It seems that if we want to be healthy, we need music in our lives. Music is seen by many as the one true global language, above and beyond Esperanto (which almost nobody truly speaks anyway). Music conveys feelings and tells stories and is an integral part of our history. Most people have a basic understanding of how music can improve our mental health. After all, it makes us feel good. In addition, it now seems that the benefits are also significant in terms of physical health. So how can music help you?
Music Lowers Stress and Anxiety
It has been well-documented that music has very positive effects on overall levels of stress and anxiety.
In one study, researchers found that patients receiving surgery for hernia repair who listened to music after surgery experienced decreased plasma cortisol levels and required significantly less morphine to manage their pain.
Various other studies have achieved the same results. It had also been found that playing music, and particularly playing it together with others, reduces stress and anxiety. One of the reasons for this believed to be the fact that members of a band, choir or other type of musical ensemble subconsciously synchronize their breathing and heart rate.
Music Makes Us Move
It is almost impossible to sit stock still when listening to a good piece of music. For some, the movement is as little as tapping a finger along to the beat, while others will go full out and dance around. Either way, it encourages us to move. It is well known that we should all get more movement in order to stay healthy, because we live such sedentary lifestyles. By simply putting on the radio, therefore, you are actually achieving greater physical health.
Music’s Vibration Helps Overall Health
Music is basically a collection of sounds, which are all vibrations. Research by the American Psychological Association has described this as true medicine, and they have identified a number of conditions that can benefit from music exposure.
Several researchers are exploring whether sound vibrations absorbed through the body can help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia and depression. Known as vibroacoustic therapy, the intervention involves using low frequency sound – similar to a low rumble – to produce vibrations that are applied directly to the body.
Music Can Increase Cognitive Performance
It seems that playing background music while performing tasks that require cognitive function helps improve results.
One older study found that listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted, and get more answers right.
However, it has been found that this is only the case when the music is a type of music that helps improve someone’s mood in the first place. In other words, it has to be a piece that the listener actually enjoys and that they associate with positive feelings. In that respect, it could be said that music simply makes us feel good, and feeling good makes us smarter.
Music Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a cause of various illnesses and diseases in our country and it is of significant concern. But by playing music, blood pressure can be reduced to more acceptable – and healthy – levels. Indeed, the American Society of Hypertension has found that people can literally train themselves to lower their blood pressure by listening to music, and then keeping it low as well.
These are just a few of the ways music can help you achieve greater health and well-being. Music also helps to focus and energizes us, which means it is the perfect accompaniment for a workout. Put some music on, sing along and dance like no one is watching.
Remember to share this information with everybody that you love. so that they can also take advantage of the wonderful benefits of music.
Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!