Turkish Doctors Use Music As Medicine


ISTANBUL, Turkey, Aug. 29 (UPI) — Doctors at a Turkish hospital said they are having success with Islamic music therapy, a centuries-old technique using Arabesque scales and modes in healing.

Dr. Bingur Sonmez and Dr. Erol Can at the Memorial Hospital in Istanbul said they have found music therapy produced significant psychological and physiological outcomes when used as a complimentary therapy, Britain’s Guardian reported Monday.

Can, chief anesthetist in the intensive care unit, said he was introduced to music therapy when working at a Bulgarian hospital and he experimented with live instruments after moving to Turkey in 1996.

“I learned to play the ney flute in order to play the kind of music that was used in traditional music therapy hundreds of years ago, making use of the psychological and physiological effects of the makam,” he said.

Makam is a term referring to a wide variety of tone scales.

“There is a different makam for every illness, every health problem,” Sonmez said. “There are makamlar that agitate, and there are makamlar that relax.”

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