| The Health Benefits of Music
Effective therapy for pain
Overall, music has positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.
Listening to and playing music can reduce chronic pain from a range of painful conditions, including disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis, by up to 21% and mental health issues by up to 25%, according to a paper in the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth, to decrease postoperative pain and complement the use of anesthesia during surgery.
There are several theories about how music positively affects perceived pain:
Medicine for the heart
Music serves as a distracter
Music may give the patient a sense of control
Music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain
Slow music relaxes person by slowing their breathing and heartbeat
Music is good for your heart. Research shows that it is musical tempo, rather than style. Italian and British researchers recruited young men and women, half of whom were trained musicians. The participants slipped on head phones and listened to six styles of music, including rap and classical pieces, with random two-minute pauses. As the participants kicked back and listened, the researchers monitored their breathing, heart rates and blood pressure. The participants had faster heart and breathing rates when they listened to lively music. When the musical slowed, so did their heart and breathing rates. Some results were surprising. During the musical pauses, heart and breathing rates normalized or reached more optimal levels. Whether or not a person liked the style of music did not matter. The tempo, or pace, of the music had the greatest effect on relaxation.
Music improves concentration and attention
Easy listening music, relaxing classics, or playing an instrument improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. The reason for this is unclear, but many studies have shown significant effects According to a report in the journal Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology, a person's ability to recognize visual images, including letters and numbers, is faster when either rock or classical music is playing in the background.
Music boosts immunity Music can boost the immune function. Scientists explain that particular types of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience, which leads to secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music, playing an instrument, or singing can also decrease levels of stress-related hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol can lead to a decreased immune response.
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