When I offer seminars on animal-assisted therapy, I spend quite a bit of time on the therapeutic nature of animal-sound and animal vibration (just in their presence). Their cooing, purring, whinnying, sighing, and happy barking can be enormously healing. Apparently, the frequency of a cat's purr helps broken bones to knit together faster. When investigated further, they found that vibrations between 20 and 140Hz at low db are anabolic for bone growth, mending muscles and ligaments, and reducing swelling and pain.
The Common Consensus: What we Know Intuitively
Do people need science to tell them music is good for them? Or that sound impacts them? Or that words have power? Not really.
For some people, music (whether that is the strain of a violin or the crash of the ocean's waves) is as vital and necessary as breathing. One woman's chronic nausea from cancer treatment was only alleviated when she listened to classical music. Yet another client who recently lost her son claims she can only get through her day by playing old records of Peter Pan, which she used to play for him. One dear friend wrote to me, "Music hits me on a level I cannot describe. I have asked the Lord to be in the part of Heaven where the singing is."
We feel music in our hearts just as we hear words in our cells: Who hasn't felt the electricity of driving down the road at a normal clip only to find himself cruising at 85 mph when the Allman Brothers came on the radio or felt hopeful and young when she heard the words to an old song that reminded her of that perfect summer and her first boyfriend?
Regardless what music we choose or how it makes us feel, regardless of the words we hear or those we use, we all seem to instinctively know and respect their impacts on us. We know it in our bones, in the beating of our hearts, and in the tapping of our feet. And if the research is correct, we know it far before we even have the words to say so.