Melodies of Healing: The Impact of Sound Therapy on Older Adults

By Cynthia Germain

There’s an interesting opportunity coming up this month presented by Midsummer’s Music, a local organization dedicated to bringing chamber music to Door County. On June 14th, they will be hosting a coffee talk with Dr. Maja Jurisic to discuss and demonstrate the healing power of sound.

In recent years, sound therapy has gained recognition for its profound healing effects, particularly among older adults. This ancient practice, which uses sound frequencies to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, offers an enjoyable way to enhance overall health.

Sound therapy encompasses a range of practices that use sound to promote health and wellness. These practices can include listening to music, chanting, singing bowls, tuning forks, and even nature sounds. The underlying principle is that sound vibrations can influence our brainwaves, promoting healing.

One of the most immediate benefits of sound therapy is its ability to reduce stress. The soothing sounds can help lower cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone. For older adults, who may experience heightened stress due to health concerns or isolation, sound therapy can provide a much-needed sense of calm and relaxation.

Sleep issues are common among older adults, often affecting overall health. Sound therapy, particularly through the use of calming sounds or music, can improve sleep quality by helping the mind and body relax before bedtime.

Chronic pain is a significant issue for many older adults. Sound therapy can help alleviate pain by promoting relaxation and reducing the perception of pain. Techniques such as rhythmic drumming have been shown to activate the brain’s natural pain-relief mechanisms, offering a non-pharmacological approach to pain management.

Engaging with music and sound can stimulate cognitive function and improve mental clarity. For older adults, sound therapy can help with by increasing brain activity and enhancing memory. Listening to familiar music can also evoke positive memories, providing comfort and a sense of connection.

Dr. Maja has long believed that the mechanistic model of health she learned in medical school is too narrow. This event offers not just valuable information about the science and art of sound healing but an experience as she plays her crystal alchemy singing bowls. This fun and perhaps soul refreshing event is being held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim. For more details, visit