Music tells stories, soothes emotions and breathes new energy into every fiber of your being. When music tickles the little hair cells in the inner ear, surprisingly, pain dissipates.
One day, as a patient at Mt Sinai hospital in NYC, a hospital aide entered my room and asked me to get out of bed so she could change my sheets. I grabbed my IV pole, my new best friend, that carried two bags of nutritional supplements and supplied a hook for my left arm. The artery that once lived in my forearm was reassigned to provide a blood supply from my carotid to the graft on my tongue. Elevation was required.
I hobbled over to my boom box in which rested a cassette of my favorite music, Broadway tunes. When I pushed the ‘play’ button on the cassette player, immediately, a new world opened up. The Tin Man in the Broadway show The Wiz was singing directly to me:
“Slide some oil to me. Let it slip down my spine.
Standing here in one position, sure can make one tired.
Slip some to my elbows, and my fingers if you would.
Come on and slide some oil to me girl, ooooh does that feel good.”
A close-to-pitch sound traveled over my reshaped tongue to fill the room. The grafts on my leg stretched uncomfortably when walking, but while swaying to music, I felt no pain. My right arm had free rein. The aide began to join me and danced around the corners of the bed, tucking in the sheets. “You go girl,” she repeated.
Music is an invaluable gift. It can turn a moment of utter pain, into a moment of pleasure. The brain is programmed to deliver feelings of happiness when we listen to music. My feelings of despair turned into optimism as soon as the Tin Man sang his song. The lyrics and beat transported me to a place of joy and hope. So, turn up the music and allow the vibrations to take you to your happy place. Seize every opportunity to use those sweet melodies to deliver joy!
As a Motivational Speaker and Master Storyteller, I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my inspirational messages. Your suggestions are welcome! This is Part 1 of 9 in my soundbite series from a keynote presentation in Brighton, UK.
I would love to hear your comments, reactions, stories and words of wisdom. More importantly, your participation may help someone who will benefit from your insight. Please take a minute to scroll down to the comment section at the bottom of the page. We are all connected – your comment could make all the difference. Thank you!
Eva, although we’ve known each other for more than 20 years, this is the first time I’ve heard this particular story related to your dealing with cancer, and your amazing resilience, and ability to grow and keep perspective on the really important stuff, like humor!
I have just begun to learn about the music. When my son was born, I gave my wife a piano as a birth gift. My son studied at the music college at DePaul University in Chicago, and graduated with a degree in recording engineering. I attempted to play a trumpet when I was a kid, and didn’t last very long in that pursuit. In high school, even with a forced audition for the Glee Club, I was still rejected.
I studied Tai Chi for 25 years to learn about balance. — the famous work-life balance we strive for. Over the last year I’ve been learning that the next level of skill for me is harmonizing all of the influences and people in my life. Music is my harmony practice.
My teacher is my artificial intelligence powered speaker by my left shoulder, that plays music for me on command. My female AI is very accommodating. And, often seems to detect my mood, and adjust the music accordingly. I am learning about harmony, and harmonizing by spending time listening to music, as I sit calmly integrating the day’s activities into my thinking and memories.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share that story.
Very cool Ed! Thanks for sharing.
I have long practiced the mood-elevating power of music and endorphin-producing ability of singing to start my everyday. These days it’s through a cell phone, selecting a play list from my Spotify library. Belting out everything from Old Man River to Dance Monkey, while I style my hair and apply make-up, makes for a great way to start my day! Never thought of applying same to physical pain. As always, you’ve given me something to think about – thanks, Eva!
Oh – I love it, starting your day with song. No better way to elevate the mood! Thanks for sharing Patrice.
Great video clip!! I like the singing & acting in conjunction with your personal story
If you have a talent or a passion, use it to share your message!
Music has always had a great effect on my soul. However I think it can impact many emotions depending on the kind of music. I am amazed at how I can enjoy classical, pop, country, etc., depending on my mood. But as you say, the after-effect is mainly uplifting.
I love this perspective about your ability to enjoy different genres of music and feel uplifted. I don’t enjoy all music genres equally. Some work better on uplifting me than others. Thanks for sharing!
My least favorite thing to do is clean my house! What gets me through each time I do, is singing to the oldies, songs that I so loved growing up as a teenager. Also, we drive to Florida from Jersey to visit our son and music keeps my husband and I dancing in our seats ! I did listen to music quite often when I was healing from my oral cancer surgery and going through radiation. It helped to relax me and on occasion, I even fell asleep. Music and song were an enjoyable part of your motivational presentation! It got the audience dancing in their seats !
YES! Thank you Alyce for telling your story.