Liven Your Space - A Resource for Healing from Mental Illness
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How Music Soothes the Soul

In the Old Testament of the Bible, in 1 Samuel Chapter 16, King Saul's troubled mind prompted him to ask his servants who among them could play some music to soothe his tired, weary mind.  Saul's servants told him that an evil spirit was troubling him, and that they knew of a valiant soldier who was skilled in playing the lyre. They offered to bring him to Saul so that when the evil spirit bothered him again, this musician, the son a Bethlemite named Jesse, could play for him.  This talented musician was known to be favored by the Lord, and his name was David.  David would play the lyre (or harp) for Saul when he was troubled and the evil spirit would leave him.

Since that time, scientists have studied the effects of music on the brain.  It is now well established that classical music such as Mozart's music helps the brain with thought organizing and focus. and promotes relaxation.  Here's a video for children with music by Mozart:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ixY5rnrZhs

In the book entitled "The Mozart Effect," the author Don Campbell discusses the Mozart effect, which addresses the physiological effects of sound on the mind and body, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being, even raising one's IQ level.  Music has always been overlooked as a therapeutic component in healthcare; however, its roots are grounded in the Bible and in all cultures. Music plays an integral part of the fiber that makes cultures vibrant and alive.  It has even been a possible treatment for schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Music affects the entire brain, and a different part of the brain is used for speech.  My son, who has autism, had apraxia as a toddler. He couldn't speak a whole sentence, yet he could sing a whole song.

Music therapy also calms the nerves and is used for anger management.  Drumming classes are offered to those who need a release from everyday life and stress and are willing to turn to music to release pent up anger and frustration.  

I have recently taken up guitar playing, not only as a hobby, but also a release from the stress of everyday work and family life.  The creative urge is essential for psychological, spiritual and emotional well-being. I was just listening to an interview by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, and she said throughout her life, she suffered with depression and writing songs was a way for her to express herself and lift her mood.

Art in general is a way for anyone to express their emotions and thoughts in a way they can't otherwise do.  Betsy used to paint pictures to express herself and communicate with others.  After 50 years she gave up this hobby, and decided to take up writing and music instead.
Here's a video playing isochronic tones to help with anxiety and depression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ixY5rnrZhs

Playing music gives one an opportunity for socialization with other people who share the same passion and interest. Through group jam sessions, musicians can meet up and play together, sharing the common thread of community, fellowship and love of music.




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