Studies have shown music’s almost magical impact on healing and music is being used in a variety of new ways, such as teaching stroke patients how to walk and helping premature babies gain weight.
“Music treats the soul, and If you treat your soul the body will ultimately positively react,” says D. Kenny Davin Fine MD, a gastroenterologist who is also the creator of Oro-Intestinal Fitness Products (www.finerhealth.com). “Music is underappreciated as a healing source that can be just as powerful a prescription as drugs.”
Dr. Fine has held staff positions at both Baylor University Medical Center and the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. His medical research has appeared in prestigious medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, and The American Journal of Gastroenterology. He has been professionally involved in patient care, medical research, teaching, directing clinical laboratories, nutritional pioneering and original health product and unique organic health food product development for almost 30 years. Fine, a musician himself who recently recorded a “Rockspirational” double music album, has used his scientific and medical expertise to pioneer new paradigms to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. But he says music can be therapeutic as well.
“Music can be an integral part of creating a unique prescription of health, happiness, and hope,” says Fine, who is also a highly regarded singer-songwriter, guitar and harmonica player, and recording artist with 11 album releases to date. He has worked in the recording studio with Grammy and Oscar-winning producers, including Michael Lloyd, Niko Bolas, and John Hampton. He proclaims he is the world’s only Physician-Musician on a Mission!
Fine offers these recommendations for people who are having medical issues and want to incorporate music as a healing therapy:
- Sing to yourself even if it is just in the car or the shower. Research has shown that music not only engages the auditory system but many other parts of your brain as well, including areas responsible for movement, language, attention, memory, and emotion. The impact can be felt regardless of if a person is listening to music, playing an instrument or singing.
- Take off the headphones. Headphones cranked up too loud cause hearing loss. Listen more to soothing music that relaxes you at lower volumes. If you can’t give up the headphones, a good rule of thumb is to not turn the volume up so loud that you can’t hear other sounds around you.
- Learn to play an instrument. This not only enhances your music appreciation but will encourage you to listen to more. Learning to play a musical instrument also is one of the best exercises for your brain.
“Music is an important part of our lives, but for people who have health issues, it could play an even more important role if they only utilized it,” Fine says. “I believe we are only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the healing power of music. I think in the coming years we will have more hard evidence of its potential. I even predict that in the future people will choose their health practitioner not only for their specialty, and personality but in what area of creativity they dwell.”
Images by: Eric Nopanen and William Stitt