For many years now, a growing number of Listen For Life members have been involved in the research and practice of sound healing, music therapy, and/or music healing (three different disciplines with different approaches and applications).
LFL founder Donna Stoering was invited to give a TEDx talk on the power of music and the need for "intentional listening". Her unique presentation (playing piano and speaking simultaneously) gave examples of music's benefits in our everyday lives, whether for studying a particular subject, processing emotions, preparing to sleep, calming road rage, or lowering blood pressure:
As a result of that TEDx presentation, Donna was invited to give a "music in grief healing" workshop at an annual gathering for family members of Fallen Firefighters nationwide.
Listen For Life team members were also invited to give sound-healing treatments at Kaiser "Wellness Days" for cancer survivors, and we created brochures about the general healing benefits of music for the attendees. Here are excerpts from that brochure:
More recently, Donna teamed up with international violist Erin Nolan and together they recorded a collection of "intentional improvisations", with the goal being to bring calm and generate the musical space for emotional, physical or spiritual/mental healing to occur. That recording, originally called "Into The Stillness" (lflintothestillness.com) is now used to surprising effect in private homes, families, car journeys, prayer/meditation groups, hospice centers, PTSD treatments, hospital wards and ICUs.
This was so successful that Listen For Life is now launching a new project, preloading those recorded improvisations (and adding new intentionally created music by other LFL artists) onto special mp3 players that are donated to a variety of medical settings (MFM Page) but it is still possible for individuals in the public to order/purchase copies of the original "IntoTheStillness" CD recording as well (contact email@example.com)
Benefits of Music in Clinical Settings
Extensive medical research has shown conclusively that music in a clinical setting can provide significant positive benefits for patients.
It can reduce stress, by reducing the production of cortisol and increasing the release of stress reducing neurotransmitters. It can also reduce stress by reducing a patient's sense of isolation and helping them reconnect with positive places within themselves.
It can help healthy circulation by reducing blood pressure and stabilizing the heart rate.
It can strengthen the immune system by triggering the production of gamma globulin A and killer cells.
It can help improve mood by increasing the production of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.
It can help patients manage pain better than medication alone.
Beyond these general benefits, music has been shown to have specific benefits for specific hospital patients.
In a neonatal ward, music can give a newborn a soothing first experience of sound, replacing the beeping of medical machinery.
In a COVID unit, it can help a patient with compromised lungs stabilize erratic respiration.
In a cancer ward, it can help a patient cope better with pain.
In a waiting room, it can help ease the anxiety of an upcoming procedure.
These are just some of the many benefits of music in clinical settings that research has already identified.