Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Healing Qualities of the Flute"

I was listening to Earthsongs on KNBA just now and a Native American flute players Aaron White and Anthony Wakeman were asked about whether they thought that his flute helped people with spiritual healing.  He said that people had told him it did - he mentioned a therapist he knew of who played the flute as part of the healing.  (I found this video of them on Youtube.)

And I thought:  We all know that music can change our mood, radically.  Why has modern medicine focused so much on physically putting things into our body and neglected the mood altering qualities of music.  If music can change our mood, surely there is potential for other healing changes.  This is acknowledged.  At Providence here in Anchorage they have a harpist who plays for patients in their rooms.

I know that there have been studies, say, that show that patients in hospital rooms with windows facing trees heal faster.  But this approach is basically the fringe element of medicine and doctors mainly heal by putting chemicals into our bodies.
image from Sage Press

There's already a journal called Music and Medicine.   (Click on the image to go to the July 2011 table of contents.)

What if there was an institute with a $2 billion endowment to study the healing qualities of music?

Two billion you say?  Wikipedia says there are 1210 billionaires in the world today.  The top 20 from the Forbes list of billionaires have a total net worth of $641 Billion.

That's 20 people, who own $600 billion more than the Alaska Permanent Fund ($41.5 billion as of May 31, 2011).  So, $2 billion isn't that much if only 20 people in the world have $641 billion.

1 comment:

  1. I am not surprised by this in the least. I play an obscure (in America) Chinese string instrument called the zhongruan (“jong – rhann”). Ironically, this month makes two years I’ve been playing it, to the exclusion of other string instruments. Because of the way it looks and sounds, often when I play for people they are taken aback and instantly beguiled by it. Listeners have described its sound as soothing, other worldly, and ethereal. I cannot say I have healed anyone with it, but I can attest to arresting their attention with it and transporting them to a place of comfort and peace. The power of music is under rated.


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