Over the last couple of years more research has pointed to music not only helping us cope with pain but also benefiting our physical and mental health in numerous other ways. Plato once said “music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”. New research has given Plato’s quote a whole new meaning. Research Suggests that music can help in the following ways...
Physically it can help...
1. Ease pain by reducing the perceived intensity of pain, especially in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine (an area of healthcare that focuses on preventing and relieving the suffering of patients).
2. Motivate people to bike and run harder thourgh motivation. A study of healthy male college students found that, while riding stationary bicycles or running , the participants worked harder while listening to fast music. Extra bonus: They also enjoyed the music more.
3. Increase your workout endurance. Listening to those upbeat workout tracks can boost physical performance and increase endurance during a tough exercise session. This works partly through the power of distraction. Music offers us something else to focus on other than our tiredness or pain our body is feeling.
4. Speed up post-workout recovery. One study found that listening to music after a workout can help the body recover faster. While slow music produced a greater relaxation effect post-exercise, it seems that any kind of music can help the physical recovery process.
5. Lull you to sleep with genres like classical music that have been shown to effectively treat insomnia in college students, making it a safe, cheap alternative to sleep-inducing meds.
6. Increase blood vessel circulation. 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.
1. Listening to music can relieve stress by triggering biochemical stress reducers.
2. Listening to slow musical beats can alter brain wave speed, creating brainwave activity similar to when a person is meditating or in a hypnotic state. Some research suggests that using rhythmic stimuli (such as music) to induce these states can have a therapeutic effect, easing symptoms of migraines, PMS, and even behavioral issues.
3. Relieve symptoms of depression by elevating your mood. When you're feeling down on your luck, music can help pick you up just like exercise. Research suggests the kind of music matters: Classical and meditative sounds seem to be particularly uplifting, whereas heavy metal and techno can actually make depressive symptoms worse.
4. Music improves cognitive performance. Background music may enhance performance on cognitive tasks. Simply having classical music on in the background can help focus your mind on the task at hand. One older study found that listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted, and get more answers right.
5. Help people perform better in high-pressure situations. Want to sink the game-winning shot when the pressure's on? Listen to some upbeat tunes before the big game. One study found that basketball players prone to performing poorly under pressure during games were significantly better during high-pressure free-throw shooting if they first listened to catchy, upbeat music and lyrics.
6. Reduce anxiety as much as a massage. One study found that music's effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage.
No matter what your favorite genre is, music is good for your health! So kick back and listen to your favorite tunes.