Why music heals?
Almost everything that happens in nature is connected with the world of sounds. At least in the wild. We can consider it proved that music influences us, plants and animals.
Music is more to health. There was already a special, though not very extensive yet, area of medicine — music therapy. First of all, it treats neuropsychic diseases: music therapy sessions under the guidance of psychotherapists have become firmly established in medical practice.
And in recent years, sound effects are increasingly used for the treatment of somatic, bodily diseases. Thus, the magazine “Inventor and innovator” recently told in detail (in № 5 for 1986) about the experience of the doctor A. R. Guskov: with the help of sound, he removes stones from the ureter.There is a lot of experimental material about the healing effects of music; there are much less works revealing the mechanisms of its influence on a person. But without penetrating into the essence of the phenomena that occur in the body when exposed to sounds, it is difficult to develop and improve music therapy.
So let’s try to talk about these mechanisms, taking into account the data of Biophysics, biochemistry and medicine.
Imagine a piece of music as a certain sequence of signals — mechanical vibrations in an elastic medium, lying in the frequency range 10 – 20000hz. For some processes in the human body, and, above all, for enzymatic reactions, characterized by the same frequency.
The work of the enzyme is associated with a change in its shape, that is, with the mechanical movement of the protein macromolecule: it is compressed and decompressed during the processing of each molecule of the substrate substance. The number of such molecules processed by an enzyme molecule per unit of time is called the number of revolutions of the enzyme; this is a measure of the rate of the enzymatic reaction.
Back in 1968, Professor S. E. Shnol (Institute of biological physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences) compared the number of revolutions of enzymes with the frequency characteristics of the musical scale. It was found that many enzymes involved in the most important processes of exchange, these numbers correspond to the frequencies of musical notes of the European sound series.
Thus, in cytochromeductase, which is included at the most important stage of providing the body with energy — with the absorption of oxygen, the number of revolutions per unit of time is 183hz, which is very close to the note fadiez small octave (185hz).
Enzymes that promote the absorption of glucose, a universal energy storage in the body-phosphorylase and glucomutase, have a speed of 676, 1600 and 280hz. For comparison, the mi of the second octave — 659gts, salt of the second octave — 1567gts, C-sharp first octave — 277gts.
Since the frequency characteristics are so close, is it possible to assume the possibility of direct influence of music on certain biochemical processes?
The joint work of enzymes creates an acoustic field of the cell. Probably, the regulating influence of music on the body is due to the fact that its acoustic field is superimposed on the body’s own acoustic field.
Let the analogy and somewhat rough, but the enzyme can be compared with a tuning fork, which begins to sound — in our case, catalyze the biochemical reaction — under the action of sound, the frequency of which coincides with its own frequency, which leads to resonance.
Biochemical processes are systems of conjugated enzymatic reactions. To regulate the operation of these systems, it is enough to influence the only, the slowest reaction, constraining the process as a whole.
For processes occurring in different organs, enzymatic reactions that determine the overall rate of transformations are different, so the sensitivity of organs to sounds of different frequencies should be different.
But if so, then each organ system should have its own “musical score” — the most effective set of sound vibrations, the frequency of which is determined by the very restraining, the slowest reaction.
Analyzing the number of revolutions of enzymes, it can be assumed that the stomach is most sensitive to the low register (digestive enzymes have very low speed, about 10 Hz), and the breathing and transmission of the nerve impulse, on the contrary, correspond to high frequencies (the enzyme carbonic anhydrase — 40000hz, acetylcholinesterase — 14000hz). Changing the reaction conditions changes the speed: a full stomach “sings” in a higher voice.
The direct effect on enzymes, of course, is not the only possible mechanism of biological action of music. Studies of cell membranes have shown that in some cases, the channels through which the cell receives the necessary ions for its normal operation, behave like vibrational circuits, the natural frequencies of which lie within the acoustic range.
Thus, the effective frequency that changes the rate of release of Ca2+ ions is 15 Hz, and if the cell is affected by the sounds of this frequency, a sharp jump in the concentration of calcium ions can be expected. In fact, under the action of electromagnetic oscillations with a frequency of 15Hz to artificially cultured brain cells was observed repeatedly accelerated release of calcium ions.
Recall that calcium ions — the most important regulatory agent of cellular metabolism. And since the cell membrane is charged (its potential is about 100mV), similar results can be expected in the case of electrical or mechanical vibrations.
Of course, this is still fantasy, but, nevertheless, we cannot exclude that in the future, not too distant, for the needs of music therapy will create a scientific musical Pharmacopoeia — a set of sound recipes. Reproduced by musical instruments, they will directly affect the diseased organ…