The Power of Music

Most of us would wholeheartedly agree with this statement, that ‘music is an explosive expression of humanity’. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.

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Research suggests that music not only helps us cope with pain, it can also benefit our physical and mental health in numerous other ways.

Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music heightens positive emotion through the reward centers of our brain, stimulating hits of dopamine that can make us feel good or even elated. Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brain, in fact, almost no brain center is left untouched, suggesting more widespread effects and potential uses for music.

But increasingly, there are findings that the health benefits of music may go beyond mental health, and as a result, some health experts are now calling for music therapy to be more widely incorporated into health care settings.

In this Spotlight, let’s take a closer look at some of the potential health benefits of music and look at whether, for some conditions, music could be used to improve, or even replace current treatment strategies.

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Music can be used to relieve stress and anxiety.

Calming music decreases blood pressure, steadies the heart rate, and eases stress. Research has shown that music can reduce stress for patients undergoing surgeries and colonoscopies, for children undergoing medical procedures, and for patients with coronary heart disease.

Music may aid memory.

Music enjoyment elicits dopamine release, and dopamine release has been tied to motivation, which in turn is implicated in learning and memory.

Improve sleep quality.

Listening to classical music has been shown to effectively treat insomnia in college students, making it a safe, cheap alternative to sleep-inducing meds.

Enhance blood vessel function.

Scientists have found that the emotions patients experience while listening to music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function. Music both made study participants feel happier and resulted in increased blood flow in their blood vessels.

Help cancer patients manage stress and anxiety.

Music has been found to help cancer patients communicate their feelings, manage stress, and ease physical pain and discomfort. It can also reduce anxiety and improve their quality of life.

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Regardless of your taste in music, it’s clear that tunes benefit our health.

Culled from:  jamesclear.com

 

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