DSC_0417According to Jeanette Bicknell, PhD, “A growing body of research supports the claim that music can alleviate physical pain. Studies have shown music to be an effective pain reliever, both on its own and as an adjuvant in connection with other types of therapy. Long-term studies of music therapy in pain management have shown it to be associated with improved quality of life and reduced consumption of pain relievers.” Here’s a link to the article this quote is taken from:


This past weekend at our RhythmKeepers retreat on Bowen Island, Brian and I had the opportunity to witness the healing aspect of music first hand.  One of the participants arrived at the retreat suffering from a migraine.  She was worried that it would affect her ability to participate as these headaches can often last for days.  After a day of moving and chanting in rhythm, of singing and being sung to, she pronounced her migraine gone!

On Saturday night we immersed the retreat participants in a “healing sound bath”, playing and singing music with a healing intent for about an hour while they relaxed and received.  Everyone reported feelings of increased well-being, relaxation and stress reduction during and after the sound journey, and several people reported the next morning that they had slept exceptionally well.  I had the best sleep I’d had all week!

So we can add pain relief to the many other well-known benefits of music.  Teacher, writer and blogger Peter Greene sums it up nicely in this post: “Music connects us to other humans in amazing ways. I have played in concert bands, a couple of jazz bands, and pit orchestras; I have directed church choirs and community musical theater. It is both indescribable and enormously compelling to see the many ways in which humans making music come together and connect to each other………… I can’t think of any other school subject that so completely fosters cooperation, collaboration, and connection between students. Students learn to help and mentor each other, support each other, lift each other up, and come together into something glorious and way, way cool.”

Here’s a link to the whole article – well worth the read!