The ear as well as our sense of sound, are powerful mediums that help us connect to our inner self and the world.
It is the first sense we get and the last to go when we enter altered states of mind. Try to think of your alarm going off in the morning or the nurse’s voice immediately after recovery.
Consider how you feel when you hear your favorite song or one that reminds you of your loved one. Music drums up both negative emotions, and this complementary therapy taps into that power.
Sound healing is still considered to be alternative medicine; however, today, this use of music therapy is recognized by the academic community. In fact, music therapy courses are offered by mainstream universities, and research is an ongoing field demonstrating its feasibility as a complementary therapy.
Hearing therapy, on the other hand, is designed to be a form of therapy for those following implant surgery or suffering from conditions such as tinnitus.
In the following article, we’re going to take a look at the benefits of sound healing and hearing therapy and why you should consider them.
What is the difference between hearing therapy and sound healing
Sound healing therapy is where practitioners use music, including the emotional, spiritual, psychological, social, physical, mental, and superficial kind to improve the health of a patient.
Sound therapy improves various aspects of the patient’s life, including social, emotional, psychological, and psychiatric health as well as cognitive and motor functioning. Sound therapy can take place in a number of ways.
Patients listen or sing-along, improvise musical acts, chant, play musical instruments, or meditate. Some practitioners encourage the patient to focus on specific sounds to induce positive brain waves.
So you probably heard about these benefits before and lots of others when it comes to sound therapy. And you’re probably wondering if there is any scientific evidence to back this up.
According to research, it is believed that the brains of musicians are more symmetrical. Is also believed that parts of the brain responsible for motor functioning, reasoning, and coordination are significantly larger in musicians than in others.
And thanks to the enlarged corpus callosum, the two hemispheres of the brain have better communication. It has also been proven that listening to music makes us more productive as well as creative, not to mention relieves stress and enhances our mood.
The reasoning behind this is that music fills our brains with dopamine. This hormone releases oxytocin, which is a natural painkiller, and the hormone allows us to bond with others. Oxytocin is commonly found in pregnant women.
Music helps language development and improves communication. In fact, it has been shown to increase IQ levels, so it’s safe to say that music makes us smarter. It improves our memory and wards of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
So it can be concluded that music is powerful and can change our brains as well as our bodies.
Hearing therapy is a service offered within audiology for patients who require additional support with hearing loss or help managing conditions such as tinnitus and hyperacusis.
Patients who have auditory processing difficulties may also benefit from hearing therapy.
This type of therapy offers guidance on communication tactics, support with hearing aid management, and advice on assistive devices that will help them with hearing both at home and in the workplace.
Hearing therapy is more of a rehabilitative process and often follows implant surgery. It is instrumental in hearing development and can possibly bring back sounds that you may have completely forgotten about.
Hearing therapy varies from one individual to the next, depending on the timing and severity of the hearing loss. Irrespective of what sound processor you may have, hearing therapy is not harmful to anyone.
In fact, this type of therapy is beneficial for those who have not just received an implant but are experiencing a hearing decline. With any type of therapy, it will take time for your brain to relearn anything it has forgotten. So the sooner you begin hearing therapy, the better.
Sound or music therapy can refer to many things, such as playing a musical instrument, singing along to a song, or just listening to music. Ultimately, it is believed that sound therapy has the following benefits:
Improves symptoms of depression: Despite the fact that more than 15 million Americans live with depression, only a few get treatment for this condition by listening to music. Many don’t even seek treatment at all. Music improves your mood, lowers your heart rate and reduces blood pressure so it is an effective solution for depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
Music improves symptoms of autism: Patients with developmental issues pertaining to communication and social interaction should definitely invest in music therapy. Many autism patients are interested in singing or playing musical instruments. An advantage is that it helps them increase attention and focus and improves social awareness as well as communication and ultimately alleviates anxiety issues.
Listen to music enhances fetal development: Apart from helping the child become more responsive to music after birth, music therapy reduces the heart rate, helps the fetus gain weight, increases the feeding rates, and helps them get into a deep sleep. So live sound and even played songs on devices will influence positive neonatal behavior and reduce the stress faced by parents when caring for a premature baby.
Music is good for the heart: Whether you sing out loud or just play an instrument, or listen to your favorite tunes, it will improve your blood pressure level and lower your heart rate. It’s beneficial for those who are predisposed or have cardiovascular problems. Aside from that, it promotes relaxation, and that is why you need to listen to a few songs before bedtime.
In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, sound therapy has been known to bring positive results in people suffering from learning disabilities, PTSD, and pain.
It’s also able to bring about clarity and balance, induce relaxation, improve your memory and concentration, and help you fall asleep. Sound therapy is believed to give you a stronger immune system and enhance your creativity, awareness, and self-esteem.
While it is certain that sound therapy has more advantages than disadvantages, some experts claim that music is not the best therapy for dementia patients. It does help them to unwind and reduce stress; however, it can also cause harm. Listening to melodies creates false memories, confusion, and distress in those whose memories have already been altered.
So if they listen to the same songs that they used to when they were healthy, chances are they will improve their condition.
Music therapy has dozens of advantages, and not many disadvantages if any. It has not been proven to produce any adverse effects on anyone, either healthy or not. It simply helps people to express their feelings and learn how to feel better about themselves.
Ultimately, sound and music therapy helps release dopamine in the brain which is a feel-good hormone.
Pros and Cons
Hearing therapy has been proven to be helpful in patients suffering from hearing loss, central processing disorders, tinnitus and hyperacusis. Only a professional hearing therapist can carry out this type of therapy.
When you enroll in hearing therapy, you decide exactly what type of help you need. Hearing therapy consists of sessions of communication tactics for patients, family, and significant others.
Lip-reading sessions are available on an individual basis, and they provide auditory training sessions for developing the listening ability for people with hearing loss.
Lots of hearing therapy sessions offer assertiveness sessions that enhance the patient’s confidence in explaining their communication needs and hearing problems to others.
To date, no known disadvantages of hearing therapy have been discovered or recorded. So it’s safe to say that irrespective of what type of hearing difficulty you are experiencing, that hearing therapy is 100% beneficial to the patient.
Sound or music therapy can be experienced in a number of ways.
Some people choose to listen to music, sing along to music, move to the beat of the music, meditate, or play a musical instrument.
Sound therapy dated back to ancient Greece and was used to cure mental disorders, boost morale, and help people become more productive.
To this day, music and sound therapy seem to have positive effects on people suffering from various mental, physical, and emotional struggles.