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Healing harp sounds in a professional

healthcare environment

Music on prescription for individuals or groups

How harp healing works on health and wellbeing

From time immemorial the harp has been an aid for the ailing due to the healing characteristics of the sound.

The ancient Greeks and Egyptians knew the healthy influence of the harp. In the Bible the recovery of one of King Salomon’s depressive moods was attributed to the harp playing of David.

In present times there has been diverse research done relevant to the effects of music on mankind.

In The Netherlands Professor Dr. Erk Scherder, Dr. Dick Schwaab and Dr. Artur Jaschke are well-known for their research in the fields of neuropsychology, neurobiology and neuroscience with relation to music as medicine. The Foundation MuzIC demonstrates the effects of live music with regards to biological health, emotions and mental welfare of patients in Intensive Care wards of hospitals in The Netherlands (www.muz-IC.nl).

It is now known that live music, adapted to accommodate the individual patient, has a favorable influence on the heartbeat, blood pressure, oxygen absorption and feelings of interconnection for the patient. The consequences are that less medication is needed and therefore lessens the possibility of side-effects deeming the hospitalization less traumatic for both patient and next of kin.

Not only for the patient

In the ward of a hospital or in a nursing home, retirement residence, special needs living quarters, hospices and other care facilities, live music also has a harmonious effect on both staff and the family. Experience has proved that the workers have been so positively influenced that their duties were more pleasantly completed and patients ate more easily, slept better, were at ease and behavioral problems declined. Music is often a warm welcoming diversion too.

Through the possibility of creating a cradle of sound, the harp has a healing effect on the whole being and their surroundings. A person is not just a mechanical organism consisting of parts that may or may not fully function but a complete human being within a physical body that encompasses thoughts, emotions and a longing for meaning and connection.

The therapeutic harpist has these facets in mind whilst therapeutically playing. This way therapeutic harp playing fits seamlessly with the Positive Heath concept of General Practioner Dr. Machteld Huber (https://www.iph.nl).

Valuable moments for valuable people

Illness means hard work to recovery. As in death, it is an intense process that requires a lot of effort from the patient and his or her environment. Therapeutic harp playing can thus be a warm support.

Musical sounds, attuned to the person (interweaving correct rhythm and volume combined with the appropriate melody) unites that valuable moment of recovery.

In this way therapeutic harp playing is a cradle of sound, a bearer, during the human suffering. The aff

liction is lessened during a safe and accommodating session. The dis-eased person feels aided and supported.

Vulnerability of the youngest

Additionally, in the perinatal environs therapeutic harp playing has proved its’ service.

By adjusting to the breathing rate with soft melodic sounds, the newborn babies with complications become calmer. This reduces the ‘bleeps’ of the monitors which in turn creates a peaceful atmosphere for all those present. As a result, this small child can fully utilize its’ energy to build strength and its’ own vitality. At the same time live music is also a wonderful way to strengthen the bond between parent and child and relax together.