Paula Fendley, Ed.D.
paula@paulafendley.com

The Doobie Brothers say, “Music is the doctor, it makes you feel like you want to…Music is the doctor of my soul.” From pop to classical, music is a powerful tool that can help you reset your energy and help you heal. It can calm anxiety, lift one’s mood, ease pain and be a distraction from challenging situations. Most people have strong connections to some type of music and certain songs can evoke vivid memories. Surgeons often play music during surgery and many patients listen to music as part of their recuperation. Music plays a significant role in many healing modalities.

Extensive research indicates that music can reduce anxiety and even nausea during medical procedures and treatments such as chemotherapy. Stroke victims who experience damage on their left side of the brain, the area responsible for speech, use music and song to restore speech loss. Since singing is initiated on the right side of the brain, patients can sing comments and requests.

Exercise and rehabilitation can also be enhanced by music. Studies have shown that it can improve an individual’s physical, cognitive, psychological, and emotional functioning. Additionally, music can assist in pain management by decreasing the perception of pain and the amount of pain medicine needed, as well as reducing depression.

Music is my doctor and brings me great joy. It gets me through the hard times and helps me celebrate the good times. I play Native American flutes to relax, Baroque music to focus and upbeat pop music to lift my spirits and keep me motivated. I work out with Verv, a walking app, that offers an assortment of playlists from various genres. I cannot imagine life without music. In fact, I would say karaoke saved my life! Singing in a microphone can be healing and loads of fun. Hootie and the Blowfish and Counting Crows were my best friends through my years of grief after my daughter died. Today, the music of Rob Thomas, Michael Franti and others inspire me to live my best life and nourish my soul.