Music has a calming effect on people. Research shows that music can alter a person’s mood and behavior. It also can affect the physical body. In ancient times, music was used by people to communicate with spirits. It was also used as a way to heal some health problems and conditions. One of the first uses of music therapy was by the Turco-Persian psychologist and music theorist al-Farabi who lived in the ninth century AD. He used music to calm the mind and soothe the soul. Today, music therapy is considered both an art and science. It is used to help with cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills and quality of life.
Origin of meditation music
Meditation music can be traced back to several ancient civilizations. In many indigenous cultures, shamans used mediation music in their worship to their gods or to put their followers in a trance-like state or religious ecstasy. Shamans and healers also use chants and hymns to perform their healing and magic. Christians used meditation music, in the form of praise songs and worship songs, to uplift the spirit. Monks in the holy temple can always be heard singing or chanting soothing hymns that create a peaceful and holy atmosphere in their temples. In medieval times, every celebration and feast was always accompanied with vibrant music and song playing. Meditation music been used in the early days in so many ways and forms that people once believed that music was a form of magic.
How meditation music works
According to studies, music is created using different frequencies, which can influence the brain’s frequency. When an individual listens to music, their brains will try to mimic the frequency of whatever the individual is hearing. Different frequencies or wavelengths have a certain effect on a person’s consciousness. For example, when someone listens to soothing music, the person will also feel more relaxed than when he is listening to loud, sibilant or wild music. Loud and wild music can make the body more alert and attentive as the brain will try to get in synch with the music’s beat. Meditation music helps an individual focus and become relaxed and mellow.
Meditation music benefits
- It lowers stress – Listening to meditation music can lower the stress levels of individuals who are anxious and tense from overworking. A study has shown that people working in an area where relaxing music or meditation music is regularly played experienced lower levels of stress than in places where there is no music or louder music playing.
- It lowers heart rate – Listening meditation music can help in lowering a person’s heart rate. In a 2009 study published in the journal Circulation found that changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems mirrored musical tempo. Meditation or other relaxing music can slow the heart and calm it down. Meditation music can also help soothe a baby and induce sleep so that the parents can rest or do other things.
- Inexpensive – Meditation music is a form of treatment, which improves people without hurting their wallets. Mediation music can be purchased inexpensively at music and department stores or downloaded from the Internet—often for free. Public libraries have CDs suitable for meditation. These can be borrowed for free. A single CD can be used over and over. Many already own music that would be suitable for meditating.
Meditation music remedies
- Insomnia – Meditation music has been proven to be a great help for people with insomnia. By helping the body and mind relax, it can help with falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.
- Tinnitus – People with tinnitus will find it very hard to meditate because of the constant ringing in the ears. Some studies show that listening to meditation music can help in easing the condition. Tinnitus often seems to get louder when a person is not listening to anything. Listening to something soothing and calming seems to quiet the ringing.
- Anxiety – People who are anxious can be treated with meditation music. It produces a calming effect on the body and mind. By listening to soft, soothing music, people with anxiety can relax. This, in turn, alleviates the symptoms of anxiety. According to a meta-study published in 2011 in the Cochrane Library which analyzed the results of 30 other studies, persons who worked with music therapists or simply listened to music on their iPods or stereo had lower levels of anxiety and high overall satisfaction with life.
- Muscle aches – Medication music is not only good for the mind and soul. It is also for the physical body. Listening to meditation music can help relax the body. Meditation music is often used in combination with such muscle treatments as physiotherapy, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments.
Meditation music side effects
Listening to meditation music has no proven negative side effects. When choosing a CD, pick something at least 45 minutes long. Music with flutes or bells can be relaxing or world music too. Listening to meditation music too loudly may stimulate body and mind rather than relax you.
The power of music to soothe body and mind is a discovery long known to man, and integral to several ancient civilizations. Meditation music is simply forms of music designed to calm the mind and body. It is used in the treatment of several physical and psychological problems. Many complimentary treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic and physiotherapy use meditation music to set the mood and help increase its efficacy.