Music and dancing make good medicine

I love the way this performance brought people together- the musicians, dancers, visitors, hospital staff and patients. You can feel the joy they created in a place that always needs it.

A flashmob as medicine

Social media created the concept of  “flash mobs” although I haven’t seen as many of them posted lately. This one from 2013 is still my favorite.

I guess surprise is characteristic of a  flashmob, but this one happened in an unexpected place-a hospital-and illustrates what this blog is all about-exploring and promoting the heart of health.

(This post contains affiliate links, links which pay a commission for sales made with its use)

Who was Hadassah?

The Hadassah Hospital  in Jerusalem is named for an Old Testament Bible character, Hadassah, whose name was later changed to Esther. Among the 66 books in the Bible,  Esther is one of only two books named for women; the other is Ruth.

The story of Esther is one of the epic dramas of the Bible, full of intrigue, conflict, conspiracy, danger, risk, betrayal, discrimination, and ultimate justice. As the Queen of Persia, Esther faced the choice of risking her life to save others.  The story is so engaging that it has been dramatized in movies. (There is even a Veggie Tales version.)

You can read the whole story here-

The Book of Esther 

Who was Tchaikovsky?

The music in the video is  The Waltz of the Flowers  by famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky . If you’ve ever attended a performance of The Nutcracker during the Christmas season, you will recognize it. 

I love the way this performance brought people together- the musicians, dancers, visitors, hospital staff, and patients. You can feel the joy they created in a place that always needs it.

You can tell that some of the patients here are seriously ill. Perhaps they felt a sense of hope and peace and for a few moments forgot the reason they were there. Music can be therapeutic and I believe it was that day.

How does music make good medicine?

“There’s just something about music — particularly live music — that excites and activates the body,” says Joanne Loewy, whose work is part of a growing movement of music therapists and psychologists who are investigating the use of music in medicine to help patients dealing with pain, depression and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health-care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics,” says Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of the book “This is Your Brain on Music” .

The analysis also points to just how music influences health. The researchers found that listening to and playing music increase the body’s production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells — the cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system’s effectiveness. Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“Music very much has a way of enhancing quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery.”

Information taken from Music as medicine from the American Psychological Association, click the link to learn more.

sharing the HEART of health in music and dance


Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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