Benedictine Sister Ruth Stanley. She is the head of the complementary medicine program at the Central Minnesota Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital, and she has had great success easing chronic pain and other ailments by having her patients listen to chant.
"The body can move into a deeper level of its own inherent, innate healing ability when you play chant," she says. "About 85 percent of the time, the body goes into very deep healing modes. It's quite remarkable."
However, researchers are still quite unsure how this might actually work. Despite a well known study on Mozart elevating IQ's, that study has not been replicated. Researchers are still cautious in describing how music helps people.
"We haven't worked out the perceptual pathways in the brain for processing hearing as well as we have for visual and sensory perception," David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine at Stanford University, cautioned in a recent report. "We need to learn more in general about how the brain processes auditory stimuli."