The Healing Power of Music and SoundOct 31, 2013 01:15AM ● By Jennifer Zulli
What is music? Beethoven said it is, “one incorporeal entrance that comprehends man but man cannot comprehend.” We can say the same thing for sound.
Have you ever heard a song that, when you got to one part, that one part, you sing with all your heart? Your arm hairs stand up, chills run through your body and, for a brief moment, you feel as though you’ve slipped into another dimension. Many of us have experienced this once or on numerous occasions. Is it the lyrics or the chord structure? Is it the intention of the artist that does it each time? Many of us can agree that we are connected in that moment to something bigger than who we are.
It all begins with vibration. Everything is in vibration - the trees, our food, your chair, the earth – because everything is energy. The higher the frequency, the greater the energy. But what is it about music and sound that possesses the extraordinary power to make us feel otherworldly?
What speaks to you in music you love? Every note has an exact pitch an exact frequency (or a cycle) that resonates with perfection whether it be the words and lyrics themselves or the chords’ vibrations in non-lyrical compositions.
According to Mitchell Gaynor, MD, a New York oncologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, “sound enters the healing equation from several directions: It may alter cellular functions through energetic effects; it may entrain biological systems to function more homeostatically; it may calm the mind and therefore the body; or it may have emotional effects, which influence neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, which in turn help to regulate the immune system--the healer within.”
Each of our physical organs resonates to its own frequency, as do our thoughts and feelings. Those frequencies fluctuate depending on health, dis-ease, outside situations and what our personal “HOME” frequency is tuned to. We also have intention. Have you felt a vibe that was off when you walked into a room and immediately wanted to escape? Children are attuned to this; watch your children and they can alert you to the true intentions of people around you. How do you feel when you leave a rock concert - where the intention is to excite - or when you are chanting “Om” in your yoga class? All of the above result in the symbiotic and perfect culmination of the music and sounds you hear as a vibrational match to your HOME frequency and/or what energy needs to be moved or released at that particular time.
The beauty of sound is that it is powerful, multifaceted and yet simple. It can be used to heal on a deep cellular level. Vibrational and sound healing techniques are widely offered today and effective through the concept of resonance and entrainment. During our waking state, our brain waves’ normal frequency is that of Beta. Sound tools entrain the brain to move into the deeper Alpha and Theta frequencies. These are the frequencies that induce deep meditative and peaceful states, clarity of mind and intuition. Modern medicine can now measure, and thus confirm, the practice of sound as a means to promote healing. Sound is a type of energy medicine that has the ability to move and clear energy not only in our physical bodies, but our spiritual and emotional bodies. It can create the sacred space in which the body can heal from pain, stress disorders, depression, emotional roller coasters and more.
Entrainment is when the dominant vibration of one tone or frequency changes the less dominant one. Sound or sonic entrainment has been used across cultures by medicine men and women and shamans. The ability to create altered states of consciousness through drumming, chanting and music is probably as old as music itself.
One of the most powerful yet sometimes overlooked instrument for healing is the human voice. The voice is most powerful because it can transmit intention more directly than an instrument. The human voice contains tones and overtones which can work the physical and subtle energy bodies while electronic instruments and machines do not have the full spectrum of harmonics. Toning, chanting and vocalizing mantras are ways to use your voice in a group or alone. Many people who have never previously experienced group chanting describe their first time as life-changing or spiritually profound. Through the regular use of sound plus intention, we have the ability to shift the vibration, thus creating healing for ourselves and on our planet. It is through this divine gift we share, that we can find our true HOME frequency and pathway to understanding ourselves unlike anything else.
In the Hindu tradition the word AUM, known commonly as Om, was the sound that initiated the Creation. According to scientists, the big bang theory was actually an extraordinarily deep subatomic note, much slower and deeper than anything that could be heard. No matter what school of thought you resonate with, it seems we have come full circle. For everything originates and is comprised of vibration and sound.
Jennifer Zulli, MA is a Sound and Energy Healing Practitioner, New Age Artist and Composer, Teacher and the Founder and Director of SOUND (A Center for Music, Creative Arts & Mindfulness), located in Newtown, CT. Her latest album “Goddess Rising” will be released in late 2013. For more information, visit SoundCenterArts.com and JenniferZulli.com. See Community Resource Guide listing, page 60.