Music Therapy Helps Soothe Animals and Humans Alike

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Photo: Lars Elling Lunde

Sound therapy has become one of the best drug-free ways to soothe the nerves of anxious pets.  In particular, the tones of harp music have had remarkable results. To that end, the music of harpist Susan Raimond is recommended by such reputable institutions as Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and UC-Davis in California.

Harp music produces certain overtones that some humans cannot even hear, yet a cat’s ear and detect. These tones sink in and work at a cellular level, producing an anxiety-reducing effect.  This, in turn, reduces blood pressure, improves digestion, releases endorphins, lessens separation anxiety, boosts the immune system, and benefits both pets and people in a host of other ways.  Additionally, the soothing tones of harp music reach out to the heart and lungs, which slows the functions of both until the heartbeat and breathing measures match the soft tempo of the music.

A great way to introduce this type of therapy to your pet is to play a CD while at home and the mood is relaxed; this will help her begin to connect the music with the comfort of her beloved human.  Then, when you leave or any time anxiety levels increase, the music will likely trigger that feeling of warmth and well-being.

You may remember a story we covered earlier this year about a harpist who helped soothe anxious cats at a Minnesota shelter.  It made a tremendous difference in the lives of the cats who shared a tiny space with incessantly barking dogs.  It’s a small, drug-free step we can take to help our companions feel safe and comfortable…and harp music helps decrease human stress too!

A sample from the harp, musician unknown.

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