Music Is My Therapy
Last updated: June 2018
I always had a passion for music since I was a kid, which is why I decided to make it a focus when I attended college. I would love to hear people sing, especially acapella. The way their voice would shine with no instrumental was so captivating to me, and still is. On the contrary, I also enjoyed music with just instruments and no vocals, like classical or jazz. To hear a solo piano, or a solo violin, personally, is like taking in a breath of fresh air. It’s so refreshing because it’s almost like listening to sounds of nature, but with rhythm; and I love that. As someone who lives with an invisible illness that is debilitating, I realized not only do I enjoy, but I need music since it is a form of therapy that helps alleviate some of my symptoms.
Specific music for specific feelings
As an IBS sufferer, I find it hard to overcome the daily stresses caused by my chronic condition. For instance, I struggle with getting a good night’s rest due to stomach pain and the urgent need to use the toilet during the middle of the night. Also, almost anything I eat will trigger a symptom, whether mild or intense. Throughout the years, I may have learned to tolerate some of the pain, but some pain is just unbearable. Furthermore, I’m the kind of person that deals with a lot of anxiety, both in social situations and in the comfortability of my own home. Why? Because my IBS can be unpredictable sometimes. As you can imagine, this brings about depression in my life since occasionally I feel like I have no control over how I feel and what I go through. One of the best ways that I deal with my anxiety, stress, or depression is by listening to music, but not just any music, specific music.
When I am really having bad anxiety, I prefer to listen to music that has substance, which can either be soothing or motivational. For instance, if my anxiety is keeping me from relaxing, then I would play jazz music, preferably by Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong. If my anxiety was keeping me from being focused and productive, then I would play classical music, whether symphony or solo-instrument pieces. If my anxiety was keeping me from feeling positive and motivated, then I would listen to Bob Marley because his music is timeless and inspiring to me. The reason I choose wisely when my anxiety acts a certain way is because I understand that, on some level, music has an impact on the human brain and body. Music can affect our emotions in positive ways, it can improve our attention skills, and it can make you stand on your feet and dance with passion. It has the ability to uplift and inspire peace. This is why it is important to me that I treat music the way I would a prescribed medication used for an emotional disorder (with the exception that I can’t overdose on music even if I wanted to). If you think IBS sufferers only deal with stomach pain, then you’re truly mistaken, and to think music has no therapeutic effect is just plain naïve.
My point with all of this, is that I know a lot of IBS sufferers can relate to my daily struggles. However, throughout the chaos, sometimes we forget to take a moment for ourselves to just unwind and dump a load off (no pun intended). Listening to good music will help you do just that. A little Frank or Louis, wouldn’t hurt. And if you want to get ‘jiggy’, then Bob Marley will definitely have you on your feet. We must understand that if we’re going to get through this life with IBS, then we must do whatever it takes to make life worth living. Even though it may be hard, it’s worth it.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?