Music Hath Charms to Soothe the Savage Beast

music-qoute

You’ve probably heard that statement before and wondered if it was true. Well, you could try it yourself. When you get really upset, put on some calm, slow music you like and then assess you emotional condition about ten minutes later. Chances are you would feel a whole lot better than you did before.

Have you ever noticed that some songs put you to sleep (like a lullaby) and others seem to pump you up for action, thrills and adventure (like the ones in your favourite action film) or have you fearing for the character about to go into the dark room where that monster might be? Without the sound effects and/or background music and you probably won’t get as excited. So what exactly is going on?

 

 
Music Therapy in Action

Music has been proven to have a great effect on the mind, body and behaviour. It is such an important finding that there is a whole university level course based on it called Music Therapy. Unlike the little experiment above, music therapy has different objectives and end goals depending on the therapist and the one receiving the therapy.

Music therapy is a type of therapy that uses music (as recommended by a qualified professional) to elicit certain reactions in our mind set, actions, behaviour and emotions depending on the end goal of the therapy in question. It may also be used in conjunction with other types of therapy like anger management hypnosis.

As an art form, music is also used to express certain emotions and feelings. Happy music is upbeat and sounds bright. Sad music is low and slow and uses a lot of lower key notes. These different types of music can be used to elicit these feelings inside you or spur you into action. They can also help people who have trouble expressing themselves to do so.

This may be the reason that a person feels a certain well-timed song “speaks” to them in a particular situation. Sometimes, music therapy is recommended for those suffering from various ailments of the body or the mind. It is used in treatment of autism for example and sometimes even physical therapy.

Have you ever noticed how a certain song will remind you of that first game you won, or your parents, or a pleasant family memory? This is the reason music therapy can also be used in cases of memory loss. A case where music therapy was used to treat this is depicted in the movie The Music Never Stopped where music therapy is used to treat a man with a brain tumour who has trouble forming new memories.

 

 
Alternative Sound Therapies

There has been a whole craze revolving around subliminal messaging that has been thought to bring out certain behaviour that one does not suspect to be as a result of that song. Subliminal messaging does have some power and like anything else, can be used for good or for bad.

Binaural beats are frequencies that are used mainly for meditation that may also bring about certain moods or behaviours. They come with standard advice of not listening to them at high volumes and if there are any adverse physical effects like headaches, nausea and visual problems, to switch them off and see a physician.

Music therapy of any kind is a practice and a profession. If you do want to explore this option as a treatment method or have any questions or concerns, please consult a qualified professional.

13 Health Benefits of Music

Music has special power to stir emotions and move us. If you have ever wiped tears from your eyes while listening to your favorite track, then you probably know how powerful simple chords and notes can be. Scientific studies show that music can boost a person’s mood, help patients cope with pain as well as boost the physical and mental health of individuals. Below are 13 Health Benefits of Music.

Music helps physically in the following ways:

 

1. Ease Pain

Music plays a vital role in reducing the intensity of pain in patients undergoing intensive care, geriatric care and those taking palliative medicine. According to research studies, music distracts anxiety-prone patients from feeling pain.

 

2. Increases endurance during workouts

Listening to music during a tough workout can increase endurance as well as boost physical performance. This is partly due to distraction. Your favorite track will distract you while exercising thus you will not notice when going that extra mile.

 

3. Makes the body recover faster

Various research studies have found out that music speeds up recovery after a workout. Although slow music has been found to create a great post-workout relaxation effect, studies show that any type of music can help the body in the physical recovery process.

 

4. Enhances sleep quality

Stress and anxiety have adverse effects on sleep. Luckily, music reduces both stress and anxiety thereby affecting sleep in a positive way. Listening to music creates restful sleep as well as enhances better sleep patterns. Some studies suggest that music has effectively treated insomnia in college students making it a cheaper and safer option to sleep-inducing medicines.

 

5. Helps people consume less

A study found out that people reduce their rate of eating while listening to soft music. If you play slow music and dim the lights during a meal, there are high chances that people will eat less food because they are mindful of fullness cues.

 

 

Music plays a critical role in the mental health of individuals. Some of the mental health benefits of music include:

 

6. Reduces stress

If you love listening to music on your iPod or your cheap Bluetooth speakers or home theatre, you will likely love this finding. Studies have found out that music triggers the release of biochemical stress relievers thereby relieving stress. This means the more you listen to music, the less stressed you are.

 

7. Relieves Anxiety and Depression

Researchers have found out that people who listen to music experience reduced anxiety and depression, improved moods and better blood pressure levels. When you are feeling low, you can listen to meditative and classical tunes and they will help you pick up. However, techno and metal music can make depression worse.

 

8. Elevates mood

Music has the power to do many things. It can make somebody feel pumped up, happy or excited. Music triggers the brain to release dopamine, a feel good chemical. According to several studies, music helps people get in touch with their feelings.

 

9. Improves cognitive performance 

Music allows you to concentrate while doing cognitive tasks. Studies have found out that music improves cognitive performance thereby allowing test takers to complete and answer more questions in the time allotted. However, for music to enhance cognitive performance, it must first improve an individual’s emotional state.

 

10. Relax patients before surgery

According to the Time, a research conducted by researchers from Cleveland Clinic shows that patients (especially those with Parkinson’s disease) are more relaxed before surgery if they listen to music. Another study shows that music helps cardiovascular surgery patients to be relaxed as they await their surgeries.

 

11. Improves stroke recovery

Finnish researchers found out that listening to music after a stroke could help with recovery. The study shows that music was linked with enhanced attention, verbal memory and a positive mood.

 

12. Boost the immune system

Studies show that music can reduce the levels of cortisol, a hormone that weakens the immune system, lowers bone density and interferes with memory, learning and blood pressure. However, to get positive results, it is recommended that you listen to music that you enjoy as a personal preference.

 

13. Enables people to perform better when under high pressure

Do you work under high pressure or play under pressure? Well, you can listen to positive upbeat melodies and you will be able to perform better. Findings from a study show that basketball players performed significantly better during free throws if they listened to music prior to taking the throw.

Whether you listen to music from a phone, home theatre or bluetooth speakers, be sure to get numerous health benefits. Also, it doesn’t matter what your personal preference is, music will always have positive mental and physical benefits.

Reasons Why Your Doctor Needs To Start Listening to Music

doctor listen to music

Music plays a very vital role in our lives. Basically, the music we listen to reflects our current emotional state of being. As such, listening to good music can both help calm and energize us. But this isn’t all. Good music has been proven to have a great positive impact on one’s overall health. To corroborate this, various researches and studies have been done in hospital operating rooms, among surgeons and patients. In general, adoption of background music in operating rooms (OR) enables the surgeons to perform in diligence while the patients are able to maintain calm.

 

The use of background music in the OR isn’t a new trend. In fact, doctors and surgeons from all over the world have been using it for years. In the United Kingdom, approximately 90% of surgeons asserted that they listen to various genres of music while in surgery. The most common genres included classical, country and rock music. Their choice of music was greatly influenced by familiarity and its ability to reassure.

 

Nurses who work with surgeons who listen to background music while in the OR confirm this. They add that they noted that music enables the surgeons to achieve an inner calmness. This calmness is reflected when the surgeons hands are steadied thus allowing them to perform under no stress or anxiety.

 

The impact of music on surgeons as earlier mentioned isn’t a new trend. In 1994, a study on the same was done among medical practitioners to determine if listening to music helped their practice. The findings were overwhelmingly positive. A similar research was done 14 years later (in 2008) and, the same results were found; music increased the practitioners levels of concentration hence enabling them carry out their functions more proficiently. However, it was noted that novice surgeons are more likely to get distracted by familiar music.

 

The impact of music goes far than in the OR. A patient who’s listens to music before, during and after a surgical procedure is less anxious and is also bound to recover faster. According to recent studies, it has been confirmed that a patient who listens to music while in the OR has their anxiety levels reduced by up to 66%. In addition, their breathing patterns were noted to be more relaxed; 11 breaths per minute over the usual 13 breaths. Music further impacts on the number of medications a patient has to take. This is due to the fact that, when a patient is relaxed, s/he needs less anesthesia / sedatives. Also, once the patient has been discharged from the hospital, s/he recovers faster.

 

It’s hence clear the role of music in the operating rooms, as well as in other parts of the hospital, could be of great significance for the overall well-being of the doctors, patients and other staff, hence proving that that music truly heals. And so, if your doctor is yet to embrace music in his office, or in the operating room, you can present him/her with these benefits, and even recommend a few tunes, probably classical or jazz music, that you feel could help improve their and other patients’ moods.

The Healing Power of Music

Music is one of the most powerful ways to influence our minds and bodies. It is not fully understood how music affects our brains, and as we learn more about the nature of vibrations we are beginning to see that music affects us in many ways.

healing music
It is true that vibrations in the world affect us. Modern physicists even go so far as to say that there is nothing in the universe except subatomic vibrations. Albert Einstein said if he wasn’t a physicist he would be a musician, and that he sees his life in terms of music. Perhaps this is why music is such a universal and enigmatic phenomenon.

Music is made with vibrations of different frequencies. When these frequencies have a relation to each other we hear them as notes in harmony with each other. For example frequencies that are thirds or fifths of each other are commonly used in popular music. Therefore a mathematician once said that music is how the brain counts without realizing it is counting. The beautiful melodies that strike our ear drum are actually representative of an underlying mathematical harmony.

That could be an explanation for why we respond to music on such a primal level. Music is a real and beautiful part of our universe.

One of the least explored facets of music is the healing power music has. The most obvious way music heals us is when we are emotionally damaged. Music is so powerful it can evoke complex emotions and feelings. We usually have very strong memories tied to our favorite songs. Just hearing that song again can make us feel happy or sad or lonely or content or any emotion in the world.

When we feel emotionally hurt, especially at difficult times in our life like when a loved one dies or when a relationship ends, a song can comfort us and help us feel better. There are very few things that can help heal a wounded soul as well as music can.

Research and studies have shown that music can also be an effective treatment for a wide range of mental illnesses. Adding music to therapy improves symptoms and social functioning of schizophrenics. Other illnesses that have shown a responsiveness to music therapy is depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Listening to music produces observable biological reactions. Studies have shown music can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels.

Psychological studies have shown that positive lyrics can produce positive thoughts, empathy, and social behavior among patients in the study. Music is a connecting experience. Sharing a favorite song makes us feel an immediate connection with other people. Sometimes deep and complex emotions can be expressed in a song and we feel as if the writer knows our pain. When people enjoy music as a group it is a great community experience. This has been used in cultures around the world for hundreds of years.

As science opens up to nonphysical phenomenon we will surely understand more and more about the healing power of music. Right now we can refer to a quote by Bob Marley: “One good thing about music, is that when it hits you feel no pain.”