Therapeutic Harp

At the Parliament of the
World’s Religions
2018, Toronto

For thousands of years, music has been used in therapeutic settings, either as the therapy itself, or as a support for healing. Modern studies have consistently shown the benefits of live music in stabilizing vital signs as well as in reducing pain, stress, and anxiety. The harp, in particular, has been found to have especially healing effects, possibly due to its high number of strings and the overtones that it is capable of producing.

Chris is available to play in a variety of settings, from common spaces where healthcare workers congregate, to hospital lobbies, to patient rooms.

Stress Relief for Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers are known to experience chronic stress levels and burnout, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. A recent peer-reviewed study titled “Impact of Live Therapeutic Music on Stress Levels Among Healthcare Workers in COVID-19 Critical Care Units” documents a 44.74% reduction in stress scores among workers in these units when they listened to therapeutic music for just 30 minutes during a work shift. (Interprofessional Journal of Healthcare and Research Volume 1 Issue 2, 2021, 45-54)

For Patients and Families

A 2015 study by the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management documented a number of important effects of live harp music. The study found that fatigue, anxiety, sadness, relaxation, and pain were significantly improved by harp therapy in 30-50 percent of patients.

. . . the vibrational patterns of the patient’s body and mind may be influenced by the intentional sequencing of tones and rhythms of the harp vibrations, which leads to changes in how symptoms are experienced.

“Application of Therapeutic Harp Sounds for Quality of Life Among Hospitalized Patients.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Vol. 49 No. 5 May 2015.

As for the harp itself, the study writes that “a wide range of vibrations and overtones (harmonics) that can resonate in a complementary way with the complex and vast range of cellular vibrations in the human body and mind.”

More Studies on Live, Passive, Therapeutic Music

Receptive music therapy to reduce stress and improve wellbeing in Italian clinical staff involved in COVID-19 pandemic: A preliminary study
Arts Psychother. 2020 Sep; 70: 101688. Published online 2020 Jul 15.

Improving the hospital experience with music
Journal of Applied Arts & Health, Volume 7, Number 3, 1 December 2016, pp. 391-396(6)

Haven: Sharing receptive music listening to foster connections and wellbeing for people with dementia who are nearing the end of life, and those who care for them
Dementia (London). 2020 Jul;19(5):1657-1671. Epub 2018 Oct 11.
PDF of this article from Dr. Garabedian’s website

Music Intervention as a Tool for Improving Patient Experience in Palliative Care
Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2019 Jan;36(1):45-49. Epub 2018 Jul 25.