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Music Changes the Tightness

174. Music Changes the Tightness

I’ve written before about the things that music can do. This is another one.

I was playing the piano in the nursing home. After an hour of both light classical music and popular 20’s and 30’s music, the 86-year-old woman who had been in the nursing home only three weeks motioned to me to come to her.

“I want to tell you what the music does,” she said. I agreed that I would like to hear. She continued. “You see, I did not expect to come here and there is a tightness here.” She put her hand six inches or so below her throat and rubbed her center chest area in a very small circular motion.

“It gets tight here because I hold it in. I do not talk to others about how sad I am. They don’t want to hear that I am upset, so I hold it here and it gets tighter.” She paused as her hand continued to make small circles on her chest. She started speaking again, “And then the music—I sit and listen to the music. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I just listen, and the tightness starts to change.” She still rubbed the area but starts to breathe differently as she smiles.

“It loosens—the tightness does—and I can breathe in a different way, and it is wonderful. Thank you.”

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