Original Research

A metaphysical and neuropsychological assessment of musical tones to affect the brain, relax the mind and heal the body

Mark Pretorius
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 1 | a1719 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i1.1719 | © 2017 Mark Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2017 | Published: 13 April 2017

About the author(s)

Mark Pretorius, South African Theological Seminary, Sandton; Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


It has been empirically established through many controlled studies that one of the most rewarding experiences known to humanity is listening to music, especially because it affects various parts of the brain and causes emotional arousal. The aim of this article is to do a succinct study on music and its effect on, especially, the nervous system, by referring to various empirical studies undertaken on the subject. The article, therefore, has a twofold purpose: (1) to show that throughout history, music has played a special role in various cultures and religions, especially as a healing tool and (2) to demonstrate that sound frequencies and vibrations found in music have the potential to realign the emotions of the nervous system and bring the body back into harmony by reducing stress.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article’s challenge and purpose are to show that science and religion are not in conflict, but rather that together they can benefit both disciplines and make better sense of complicated topics, especially those related to how natural science and religion deal with the human body and health, and its relationship to the mind.


Music; Sound; God; Physics; Stress; Healing; Brain; Mind; Neural Pathways


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