About Music

“Music brings healing to both the mind and the body.  Don Campbell, founder of the Institute for Music, Health and Education states that all forms of musical intonation with one’s voice affects mood and memory.  Much has been studied regarding the Mozart effect and its benefits for memory and concentration.  Campbell says, nothing rivals toning. Making elongated vowel tones for extended periods, is soothing to the mind and dates back to the chant of the early Christian Church.  The Ahhh sound evokes a relaxation response, while an Ee or Ay is the most stimulating of the vowel sounds and helps with concentrating and the releasing of pain and anger.  Oh or Om can increase skin temperature and relax muscle tension.  Liturgical chant has these sounds and the ison is one elongated sound that gives an ethereal quality to the music.  These intonations affect the temporal lobes (the temporal lobes lie underneath the temples and are associated with emotion, facial recognition, and spiritual experiences) and it is not by accident that music and chant has been associated with spiritual practice.  Campbell writes about people who tone on a regular basis for 5 minutes a day: I have witnessed thousands of people relax into other emotions, and free themselves from physical pain. . . . I have seen many people apply toning in practical ways, from relaxing between a dreaded test to eliminating symptoms of tinnitus or migraine headaches. . . . Toning has been effective in relieving insomnia and other sleep disorders. . . . Toning balances brain waves, deepens the breath, reduces heart rate, and imparts a general sense of well-being. St. Basil the Great writes, Soothing hymns compose the mind to a cheerful and calm state, and as St. Augustine puts it, to sing is to pray twice.”
Healing the Mind:  The Nexus between Contemporary Psychology and Eastern Christian Practice by Erik Bohlin, M.A., LMHC


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