Most of us draw on the positive effects of music on a daily basis to calm our minds and soothe our bodies. And it has long been used for its therapeutic benefits in a range of health scenarios, from helping women relax during childbirth to alleviating depression and in pain management.
Music therapy has attracted the attention of some high-profile figures. American singer Ben Folds is a strong advocate, and former Australian cricketer Brett Lee put his money where his mouth is by setting up an academy for music therapy in Delhi. Musicians train at Lee’s academy to help children afflicted by trauma, illness and cognitive disabilities.
So how exactly can music make an impact on your body's healing?
There is also evidence that music can help your memory. Groups in rehab who were recovering from a stroke were assigned to listen to music, to an audio book or to 'nothing' (outside their normal daily lives). Those who listened to music had better verbal memory and focused attention, and were less depressed and confused. So, ramp up the sound while you study!
Music - like food, money and love - releases a chemical in the brain called dopamine, or 'the happy hormone'. Put simply, music makes us feel good
Taking to the dance floor could also have health benefits, which help us fight off disease by boosting our immune systems. Researchers found that volunteers' levels of antibodies increased and their stress hormones decreased – boosting their immune systems – after listening to "uplifting dance music" for 50 minutes. Taking it a step further, they found that patients who weren't consciously listening – in fact, they were under general anaesthetic – showed decreased levels of stress hormones.
The part music plays in regulating breathing and heartbeat, and decreasing levels of the hormone cortisol – which helps maintain blood pressure, immune function and anti-inflammatory processes – is definitely a plus for patients undergoing surgery. Its positive impact on stress and depression is also a factor.
For the full article, visit The Checkup – Music therapy: using sick beats to make you better
31 Aug 2017
Health Facts, Health News, Health Tips