science,  sound

Can sounds be used for healing?

Sound healing is one of the oldest form of healing in indigenous cultures around the world.  Native Americans used the drums and flutes for healing purposes. In the Chinese language, the character for medicine (藥) is made up of herbs (the top part) and harmonious sounds (樂), which highlights the origin of healing practices in ancient China.

Modern science has now caught up to traditional cultural practices.  A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who play didgeridoo reduces daytime sleepiness and snoring for people with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.  This is due to strengthening muscles in the upper airway.

Another study in at the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health also suggests that teenagers playing wind instruments help them better able to cope with asthma.  In fact I had mild asthma when I was a teenager, then I started learning the oboe in year 6, by the time I was in year 8 my asthma was gone.  I was never able to scientifically prove it or test whether it can also help people with severe asthma, but I am fairly sure playing the oboe helped me.  By learning how to learn regulate breathing help the respiratory system.

There is an increase in the number of people using music therapy and sound healing to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.

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