Dr Frances le Roux hands over her Fish Hoek physiotherapy practice of 31 years at month-end to become a full-time researcher for the International Association for Music and Medicine.
Dr Le Roux is a honorary member of the association and on its editorial board.
“The greatest reward was having had the privilege to serve my patients, and have the beauty of being part of their lives,” she said, adding that they had inspired her studies.
Why would a patient respond better when listening to baroque music? “Well,” said Dr Le Roux, “that was my entry point into this field, and what I went to the University of the Western Cape to study.”
It was a patient who first brought her baroque music, and another patient offered her a selection of baroque music to experiment with.
She had shared a wonderful energy of exploration with her patients, she said.
Dr Le Roux, while working full time, obtained her Master’s degree on music and pain and then completed her doctoral study on the effect of music on emotions, lung function and the immune systems of people with lung infections.
She has written international papers and given presentations on this work. She has written three books on music and health which will remain available at the practice. Her books are: Music is Healing, Music and Babies (“Sound benefits babies,” Echo, July 7, 2016) and Music and Natural Medicine.
Dr Le Roux is now reviewing research from around the world on the effect of music in physiotherapy. The results were already proving positive, she said.
“How music works for us, how it affects our brains, is endlessly fascinating to me, and there will definitely be a book on this which will be directed towards the layman so it can reach everyone.”
And for her peers and those with an academic interest, there will be papers out for review too. There is a conference planned for 2022 in Athens, where Dr Le Roux will present her findings on the role of music in physiotherapy.