Music makes the people come together…And apparently, it also makes more effective brain structure and functioning come together as well. Many inspired thinkers have testified to the incredible power of music. Plato said: Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.
How many times has a particular song summed up a memory or experience more precisely and intensely than any attempted word description of it. There’s no question that music has power- to attract masses, to uplift and inspire, to speak what someone is feeling, to speak what words alone fall short to do. So what happens when we bring attention to this power as a deliberate means for healing and recovery. What are some of the powerful benefits of music, especially for healing and recovery? How can we best access the power of music to transcend our limited responses to life?
First, let’s look at a few key effects of music on mental functioning, especially as we participate in making music:
functioning in the brain- the key parts of the brain that are involved in processing and retaining information, making decisions, and problem-solving.
This last point brings me to a very important piece of this positive effect for those in recovery. What is one of the biggest hindrances to functioning in the world, in the beginning, stages of recovery? Executive functioning. That’s right. So many of us, when in the throes of addiction, have found ourselves in positions of poor decision-making, poor recall for creating a new reality, and an inability to find any logical, attainable solutions to current problems. And of course, the negative effects of the substances themselves contribute to significant declines in effective functioning.
So how beautifully appropriate that not only would a powerful form of creation have the ability to heal and uplift its receivers, but also be a force for rebuilding in the face of the destruction of addiction. Creation is an antidote to destruction, it is the polarity in a 3-dimensional world of duality, where one in the midst of a destructive past can get swept up into a positive shift in consciousness. And this creative power can be accessed across many fields of manifestation; creation of the connection, the creation of new trauma-free memories, the creation of new ways of speaking and seeing, and the creation of beautiful solo and collaborative works of art, including music. So what are some of the concrete ways that music can assist in recovery? Here are a few that I have found particularly pertinent:
So what are some of the ways we can use the powerful medium of music for positive change and healing among the recovery community? Here are a few that are used at Oasis Recovery Center, that have effectively helped to bring healing and new connections to those involved:
even the simplest of instruments, this requires a brave venture into a multidimensional experience of musical healing.
There are also a host of music therapy techniques, within and around these ventures, specifically structured for optimal therapeutic goals. So whether you are taking part in the exploration of different musical creations, through listening, picking up an instrument, or singing in the shower, you can take pleasure in the simple wisdom of knowing you are contributing to your own healing, well-being, and the restoration of positively focused consciousness. <applause, applause, applause>