Can music be used to heal?

It’s no secret that music has mood-changing power. It can also be used to enhance our concentration or increase our energy levels. How many times has a certain song triggered a fond memory or created within you a powerful emotional response?

The Sync Project consists of a group of scientists, musicians, tech-heads and product designers who want to discover the true healing power of music.

The group is researching the body’s response to music, by pairing online and mobile apps with users’ wearable body monitors to track how their body’s respond to the music to which they are listening. The monitors record mood, focus, heart rate, arousal and body temperature levels.

These apps may one day be able to predict the best song to help you better concentrate, to give you more energy, or to relax you into a restful nights’ sleep. They may even have the power to heal, and be able to help caretakers of those living with autism and dementia, and patients with similar disorders.

Much research already shows that music has a positive effect on the brain, improving movement, learning, memory and emotion. It can also help with with pain, fatigue, anxiety and sleeplessness, and even improve cognition after dementia or stroke, as well as relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What The Sync Project wants to know is not only how music has such powers, but also how much more potential it may have to help with more serious conditions and overall health.

The Sync Project’s CEO Alexis Kopikis says music has helped his autistic son by helping him in to calm down and improve his communication.

“If we can figure out which types of music or songs calm him down, that would be so beneficial to [caretakers],” says Mr Kopikis.

At the moment, The Sync Project is not available to consumers, as the team still needs to make a few minor tweaks to the system before it is made public.

Does the idea that music is beneficial to your everyday health surprise you? Would you be excited in the possibility of music being a non-invasive treatment for more serious illnesses? Would you be interested in using this app and participating in such a study?

Find out more about The Sync Project.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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