Thursday, January 22, 2009

It'll Do You Good!

1 Samuel 16:23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better and the evil spirit would leave him.

If you skim through your concordance you'll find quite a few references in the Bible to music, musical, musician, etc. The Lord created music. So many of the references tell us to sing to the Lord, sing praises to His Name, sing for joy to the Lord. In fact, we are commanded in both Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to "sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God" - to sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord constantly.

Did you ever wonder why music is so important to God? Sure it gives us pleasure. Everyone has their own personal taste in music. The Lord's creativity is obvious in all the different styles and genres of music.

However, what I would like to draw your attention to is that science has been researching music's health benefits. Here are some fascinating facts borne out by scientific studies:

Listening to "joyful" music improved blood vessel function! Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland studied heart health and documented the positive effects of laughter. He then used the same research method to study the effects of music on cardiovascular health.

In his study he asked ten subjects to bring music they enjoyed most. The music in that group ranged from country to rap to jazz and classical rock music. He emphasized that everyone responds to music differently and what is joyful to one may not be to another.

He hooked each person up to a blood pressure monitor and played their favorite music. Then he measured their blood pressure. Nine out of the ten had very positive results. The findings were very consistent. His conclusion was that the effects of listening to music you really enjoy are comparable to taking some types of heart medications or even of doing exercise. Of course, it doesn't replace the need to watch your diet. His research found that it improves blood vessel function, and can become a pleasurable addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

His suggestion for getting the best response is not listening to the same song day after day. If , for example, you listen to one favorite on Monday, don't listen again for a week or two. For example if you listen to a Barry Manilow CD Monday, put it away until at least next Monday. Tuesday you may choose Il Divo, Wednesday Celine Dion, Thursday Frank Sinatra and Friday Usher. Perhaps Faith Hill or Tim McGraw float your boat. Fine. Just listen to a different favorite daily and recycle them every week or two. The reason is that if you listen to the same song over and over, you become desensitized to the emotional effect. I think we can see that from the scripture that opened this post. At first, each time King Saul became agitated, David would play the harp and he would calm down. When you read further in 1 Samuel (18:10 and 19:9, 10) you see that even though David was playing the soothing music as before, Saul was not calmed and in fact tried to kill David.

Another fascinating fact is that research shows music actually by-passes the conscious mind, directly stimulating the portion of the brain that controls emotions. The right music can actually be more effective than a tranquilizer!

So, put that CD or tape in, charge up your ipod and make joyful music that you really love part of a healthy lifestyle. That's a command straight from the Father and you know He always really does know best!

1 comment:

bill said...

I am new to blogging.

At first I was confused, especially when I did not recognize you as being the Mother of Liz.

My daughter is Liz. She is awesome, like Liz.

It took me a minute to remember that my daughter is your daughter and that your daughter is my daughter.

It has been a long day and I'm a bit tired.

I very much agree with your post on music.