Mental Health

5 Scientifically Proven Ways Music Can Improve Your Health

Who doesn’t like music?! Some of my favorite songs can bring me back to memories of events that can put a smile on my face.  I have always considered music to be very “therapeutic. ”  So, I started to wonder if music actually be used to promote health?  I found that music may prove to be a valid option for reducing depressive symptoms, improving mood, and improving overall recovery time.

Researchers found that most studies supported the effectiveness of musical treatment improves mood, depression, quality of life, recovery time, and neuromotor performances. Music Therapy and other musical approaches seem to be effective, inexpensive and non-invasive, being that no adverse side-effects were observed.  Here are 3 ways listening to music can help your overall health.

1. Lessen Anxiety and Reduce Stress

relaxed

Have you ever heard a song that just made you smile or feel instant happiness?  Well, research proves that when you listen to certain music that you like causes your brain to release dopamine.  Music lowers the stress hormone cortisol as well, which can reduce your stress.

Researchers have found that people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia. Studies demonstrated that listening to relaxing classical music can benefit patients with depressive symptoms by improving sleep quality.

2. Improves Memory and Attention

concentrating

Most people have some sort of strong emotional value to music. Both mood and emotion can affect memory, and the release of neurotransmitters associated with learning may be enhanced by musical cues, thereby strengthening the synaptic networks underlying memory.

Music has been incorporated into various behavioral protocols to aid memory and attention. Remember singing the alphabet when you were a child? You retain that memory and can sing it like you did when you were a child, despite the fact that it has been years.  Patients with brain disorders that involve general memory loss, like Alzheimer’s, often retain some type of musical information. This is said to be the cause of the neuronal memory traces built through music.  These traces seem to be deeply ingrained and highly resilient.

Music can be an effective way to learn or study, despite neurodegenerative influences.

3. Helps With Recovery

hospital beds

Preoperative relaxing music has been proven to be a useful alternative to midazolam for premedication.  There is sufficient evidence that music plays a key part in stress reduction. This suggests that a regimen of listening to music while resting in bed after open heart surgery can aid in the recovery.  Patients are able to relax easier and get the essential rest they need for recovery.  Music intervention should be offered as an integral part of the multimodal regime administered to the patients that have undergone cardiovascular surgery.  Research proves that music is a supportive source that increases relaxation and can be used as an effective intervention for patients with depressive symptoms, geriatrics and in pain, intensive care or palliative medicine.

4. Improves Exercise Performance

exercising listening music

Studies found that music can improve exercise performance.  A study was done on healthy individuals performing submaximal exercise found that not only did the individuals work harder, but worked more efficiently.  The study even found that the patients chose to exercise more and enjoyed the music more when played at a faster tempo.

Music makes a great attentional distraction, which has had a positive effect on perseverance in obese youngsters.  Further research shows that music is a beneficial technique to increase exercise.

5. Improves Brain Function

playing chess

Neuromusicology is the scientific study of the effects of music on the brain.  Studies have indicated that music can stimulate complex cognitive, effective, and sensorimotor processes in the brain.  Ongoing studies of neuromusicology hope to prove that music effectively treats deficits in motor function.

The key areas that music effects in the brain are the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and parietal lobe.  There are studies that prove that singing and rhythm exercises have been used successfully as therapies for patients suffering from brain conditions or injuries. Quite possibly because the systems in the brain that are involved in music and speech share the same neural circuitry, music appears to have enhanced recovery of speech functions.

Neuromusicological investigations have demonstrated rhythmic musical sounds can sometimes aid in the recovery of movement in neurological patients that have been afflicted with conditions like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or traumatic brain injury.  The musical rhythms can entrain the brain mechanisms that control the timing, sequencing, and coordination of movement.

 

 

 

 

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