Tired of all kinds of “chemistry”, modern man is increasingly turning to nature for help. Every year, the number of people who prefer organic food and the principles of locavorism (eating foods produced in the immediate vicinity of the place of residence) is growing. And people are increasingly looking for medicines against all kinds of ailments from nature. And it’s not just about herbal medicine (treatment with herbs). Nowadays, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in stone therapy (treatment with stones), pet or zoo therapy (treatment with animals), as well as treatment with sounds. One of the popular trends of sound therapy is listening to the singing of different species of birds to obtain a therapeutic effect. Specialists called this technique ornithotherapy. However, so far this system raises many questions: starting with what ornithotherapy is and ending with how the singing of different birds affects the human body and whether it can really treat.
What is ornithotherapy?
Scientists have long discovered that music has a beneficial effect on a person and even helps to treat various diseases. But let’s remember how it appeared. The beginning of everything was given by birds, whose singing is the first “music” that primitive man heard. These sounds seemed pleasant to our ancestors, and they began to imitate them. Over time, the first musical instruments appeared. At first they were very primitive, but later they improved, bringing the musical art closer to the ideal. Today, with the help of created instruments, a person can reproduce the most unusual and beautiful sounds, but the main thing is not to forget where it all started – with the singing of birds. Moreover, the vibrations of their voices have a very beneficial effect on a person.
Ornithologists study the behavior and singing of birds. Professionals can only determine by sound not just a variety of birds, but their gender, age and even information encrypted in trills. The longer a person studied birds, the more convinced he became that their voices had a therapeutic effect. This is how ornithotherapy appeared – a science that deals with treatment with the help of birds.
How does sound affect a person
Any sound is just air vibrations, acoustic waves. Before we realize that we have heard something pleasant or not, many processes occur in the body. First, the ear must catch these waves, after which vibrations of various structures of the hearing aid are formed – from the auricle and the auditory canal to the eardrum and further through the system of auditory ossicles in the inner ear, namely, the membrane of the oval window. Vibrations of the membrane cause fluid movement in the cochlea, and it, in turn, leads to vibrations of the basement membrane and causes excitation in the receptor cells. Eventually, this arousal is transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve. Here, through the middle and intermediate brain, the excitation enters the auditory zone of the cerebral cortex, located in the temporal lobes. And here comes the final recognition of the nature of the sound, its tone, rhythm, strength, height and its meaning, a certain sound image is created, which in the end a person likes or dislikes. But the process of sound perception does not end there. Under the influence of sound vibrations, certain reactions are triggered in the body that can affect a person’s well-being.
However, if we talk about sounds that have healing power, then not all of them a person is able to consciously perceive. Take, for example, the singing of birds. Most of the high tones emitted by birds, human hearing is not able to catch. Also, a person cannot hear a very rapid change in the pitch and volume of bird trills. But if we can’t hear something, it doesn’t mean that it can’t affect our body. In particular, this applies to the singing of birds. Any fluctuations in the air, whether ultrasound or infrasound, have an impact on both the physical body and the subconscious mind of a person. Moreover, in the case of different types of fluctuations, the effect on the body will also be different. Moreover, experts have found that with the help of properly selected sounds of nature, it is possible to correct the work of all body systems.
But an even more amazing effect is produced by the singing of birds. There are vibroreceptors on human skin that are able to perceive sound waves of certain frequencies. Bird trills fit exactly into these parameters. In this way, the singing of birds triggers an “anti-pain” reaction in the body.
It is also interesting that ornithotherapy works better on small patients. Experts explain this phenomenon by the fact that children have more nerve cell receptors than adults that are responsible for the perception of high-frequency sounds, which is why they perceive bird trills better and respond faster to the treatment of the feathered “doctor”.
Birdsong – medicine or placebo
At some point, the researchers drew attention to the fact that among ornithologists and fans of listening to birds there is a fairly high percentage of centenarians. Experts have begun to study this phenomenon. It turned out that the sounds of birds, affecting the brain, stimulate a person’s sense of joy. And this interaction, as it turned out, is inherent at the genetic level in all representatives of homo sapiens. Hence the first conclusion: people who regularly listen to birds, as a rule, feel happier than those who live in isolation from these sounds of nature.
It is also known that bird voices cause peace and tranquility, charge with positive and romantic mood. By the way, the Russian empresses also knew about the beneficial effect of bird trills and actively used this technique. The peak of the prosperity of the poultry industry in the Russian Empire occurred in the XVIII century. Then specially captured birds were delivered to the yard. Canaries were especially revered at the court, whose singing in those days treated headaches.
The first scientist who officially noted that birdsong has an impact on the human body was the American ecologist and ornithologist Peter Brush. He argued that every person is simply obliged to listen to trills every day, because they have a beneficial effect on the soul and mind. The views of the American were supported by the British ornithologist John Keats.
Nowadays, the view of ornithotherapy among specialists is ambiguous. Some argue that birdsong does not affect a person in any way, and if some positive changes happen, it is only the placebo effect. But at the same time, in many countries of the world, ornithotherapy is recognized as an effective method of treatment. Take Holland, for example. In this country, ornithotherapy was tested on the basis of cardiac clinics, and after positive results in patients, it was recognized as official medicine. In Australia, this technique is also actively used. Australian experts have made sure that the singing of birds contributes to faster treatment of diseases of the spine and joints. And the British voices of birds help to get rid of seasonal depression. In addition, British scientists have found that birdsong can not only improve mood, but also promotes the development of creative skills. And all that is required for this is to listen to birds at least 5 minutes a day every day. But American experts have found out that it is easier and faster to lose weight if you exercise to the sound of birds singing.
Russian scientists who have been studying this topic since 1973 have also contributed to the study of the effectiveness of ornithotherapy. Specialists from the Center for Bioacoustic Rehabilitation, located in the Moscow region, in the course of scientific experience found that patients who listened to the singing of birds were twice as fast on the mend than the rest. Russian scientists have also found out that 8-10 sessions of ornithotherapy are enough to treat insomnia, after which a person begins to fall asleep without medication. And experts have also found that if a woman listens to birdsong during lactation, her milk arrives in large quantities.
Scientists have also discovered an interesting fact about the influence of birdsong on children. It turns out that children who regularly listen to the trills of birds are less likely to get sick, sleep better and are less likely to suffer from hyperactivity.
What kind of birds to listen to in diseases
In principle, the trills of most birds have a beneficial effect on the body. Moreover, to obtain a therapeutic effect, it is not necessary to listen to birds “live”, recordings are also suitable. But what is important is that the soundtrack should be recorded directly in nature. Only in such conditions, the therapeutic sound in the recording will not differ from the real one. This makes ornithotherapy sessions very convenient: high-quality recording (of which, by the way, there are a lot on the Internet) allows you to listen to singing at a convenient time. In addition, recordings allow you to listen to the singing of certain birds. This is important for the reason that, as scientists say, the trills of different bird species have different therapeutic properties. By the way, bioacoustics specialists can compose holistic compositions from recordings of the voices of different birds for the needs of a certain person or for the treatment of a specific disease. Let’s say more, under the influence of bird “arias”, a new trend in modern music was born – ecological jazz (eco-jazz). In the works of this style, the composers mix the singing of birds with other sounds of nature: animal voices, the sounds of rain, wind, waterfall or ocean. And I must say, eco-jazz has been successfully accepted by music critics around the world.
To hear this bird singing in the wild, you will have to get up early in the morning, because the nightingale sings at dawn. His trills are a combination of harsh sounds and soft swings. His songs are quite complex, with beautiful overflows. No wonder this bird and its wonderful songs were often mentioned in Russian folklore. Modern ornithotherapists advise listening to the singing of a nightingale for chronic fatigue, weakness, headaches, as well as for the treatment of depression. Even after listening to nightingale trills for a short time, a person can feel a surge of strength, increase efficiency, become more energetic.
As already mentioned, listening to canary songs relieves headaches, but this is not all the talents of this feathered “doctor”. Scientists have found that it is possible to get rid of arrhythmia and normalize the heart rate if you regularly listen to her singing. By the way, the singing of finches and buntings creates a similar effect. In addition, it is useful to listen to the songs of the canary for people prone to neurosis. And the singing of this bright bird helps to cope with stress, prevent diseases that can occur on a nervous basis, and also increases stress resistance.
Experts always characterize the lark’s singing as continuous and flowing. You can hear the sounds of this bird in the forests and fields, as there is a forest and field lark. He opens the singing season in the wild in April. Listening to the sounds of the lark is useful for people with bronchitis, tracheitis, as well as people with blood pressure disorders. By the way, you can also treat a bad mood to the singing of this bird. Ornithologists say it’s enough to listen to her songs for a few minutes to completely forget about the problems and start enjoying life again.
The singing of goldfinches, as well as finches, according to ornithotherapists, can be useful for the treatment of neuroses. The songs of these birds help to get rid of irritability. It is also useful to listen to them at the end of the day to relieve fatigue and relax.
The voice of a cricket, a small gray-brown mobile bird, is easily confused with the sounds that a grasshopper makes. To hear its soft chirping in the conditions of wildlife, you need to walk along the riverbank, overgrown with dense bushes. It is in such places that the cricket likes to settle. Rhythmic sounds made by this bird are especially useful for people with cardiovascular and nervous disorders to listen to. The voice of the cricket calms down when overexcited, normalizes the heart rate during tachycardia, and also improves the work of the heart as a whole.
The singing of blackbirds in nature is a little easier to hear. Firstly, this bird is quite common. Secondly, he always settles near houses. Ornithologists know several species of thrushes. One of them is black. It is his ornithotherapists who advise people with heart diseases, suffering from hypertension or tachycardia to listen to. It is also known that the sound vibrations of blackbirds can affect the “pain” centers of the brain. Therefore, the singing of this bird can be an excellent “medicine” during a migraine attack. It is also interesting that listening to blackbirds singing after surgery accelerates wound healing and even relieves pain syndrome 2 times faster than medications.
Slavka’s song is always perky and energetic. Her singing is so appreciated that sometimes this bird is put in a cage to enjoy her trills constantly. In ornithotherapy, warbler trills are considered a natural means to increase tone. The singing of this bird helps to treat headaches, and also improves the functioning of internal organs.
Other names of this bird are zaryanka or zorka, as it sings, as a rule, at dawn: early in the morning and before sunset. The robin is a migratory bird, but it arrives in our region one of the first among all spring birds. You can hear the singing of a robin in forests, parks and even in gardens. The main condition is that there is a pond nearby, since this bird prefers to live near water. The robin is interesting because it belongs to the few species of birds in which both sexes sing. Birdwatchers recognize the song of the robin without difficulty: it sounds optimistic and always begins with a characteristic creak.
Ornithotherapists advise people suffering from insomnia, heart and liver diseases to listen to the voice of the robin. In addition, it is known that the sound vibrations emanating from these birds help to relieve pain in the joints and head, eliminate stomach cramps. Robin singing is useful for women to listen to during PMS: sound vibrations facilitate the manifestation of the syndrome.
Of course, speaking about the influence of birds on humans, it is impossible not to remember about parrots, although their influence on humans is still somewhat different from what was discussed above. The use of parrots is a little different. Doctors advise to have these birds in families where there are children with speech problems. Birds for children are always interesting. But in the case of a parrot, while the child will teach a feathered friend to talk, and he will learn to pronounce words correctly, get rid of stuttering or other speech deficiencies.
In addition, parrots have another amazing ability. It is believed that these birds are natural massage therapists. Parrots are able to find massage points on the human body and massage them with their beak, which also has a beneficial effect on well-being.
Ornithotherapy is one of the most pleasant methods of treatment. In order to improve your well-being and mood, you just need to take a comfortable position, relax, close your eyes and enjoy the sounds of nature. But of course, we must not forget about traditional medicine and not try to get rid of serious diseases solely by the forces of ornithotherapy. There are ailments that it is absolutely impossible to delay with the treatment of which. But at the same time, no one forbids listening to birdsong in parallel with traditional therapy and, perhaps, thereby accelerating their recovery.