After getting several comments about sound healing as a way to treat — or even cure — cancer, I was convinced to finally look into it. I was surprised to find a lot of information on the topic.
This type of therapy uses the vibrations of a human voice as well as objects that resonate — such as tuning forks, gongs, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls and didgeridoos (a rhythm instrument crafted by the aboriginal people of Australia)— in an effort to balance a person’s system.
Soothing music has always been known to relieve stress, but sound therapy goes a step further by promoting sound as a way of alternating the body’s frequency waves to affect healing. It has its roots in ancient traditions of ritual chanting and singing.
While some promote sound healing as a complement to Western medicine, others say that rebalancing the system through sound waves can actually cure cancer.
One of the doctors who advocates sound healing as a complement to Western medicine Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., a New York oncologist and author of "The Healing Power of Sound.”
“Research shows that listening to the right kind of music can help you sleep better, enhance your immune system, reduce pain, and even help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure,” writes Dr. Gaynor. “As an oncologist and internist who has made music an integral part of my practice, I use this power of music to assist in the healing of my patients every day.”
Integrative medicine practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil also has an installment in his self-healing music series, “Dr. Andrew Weil Presents: Vibrational Sound Healing.” It is described as “music to help listeners awaken their natural healing abilities using clinically demonstrated techniques and frequencies found in nature.”
The World Sound Healing Organization connects practitioners who use sound and music with other holistic healing arts, offering conferences and resources to members.
“Sound Healing is the intentional use of sound to create an environment which becomes a catalyst for healing in the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual aspects of our being,” reads the description on the website.
Meanwhile, according to the American Cancer Society, music therapy (the broader field encompassing sound therapy) can reduce rapid heartbeat, depression, and sleeplessness.
While there is no conclusive research to support the ability of music therapy to cure cancer or other diseases, medical experts believe that it can reduce symptoms, affect brain waves, aid healing, improve physical movement, and enrich a patient’s quality of life.
More than 70 colleges and universities now have degree programs that are approved by the American Music Therapy Association, and thousands of professional music therapists work in healthcare settings across the United States.
But don’t be taken in by unscrupulous pretenders looking to take advantage of a person in need.
For instance, I have seen one site where visitors are told they can completely restore their health with a sound that fits their diagnosis. Simply find your illness and download an MP3 of the right healing sound … for $14.95.
Somehow, I doubt that’s the kind of thing reputable music therapists would endorse.
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