Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Music And Health: 5 Ways Playing and Listening to Music Helps You

Music And Health: 5 Ways Playing And Listening To Music Help Both Body And Mind

Ah, the healing power of music.

Whether it's the perfect song after a bad break-up, or something relaxing to listen to while you study, there are endless ways that music makes our hearts and souls feel better. But research shows that music can have benefits for our bodies, too.

The Mayo Clinic points out that music can have effects ranging from reducing feelings of physical pain to boosting memory. So whether you're a fan of Vivaldi, Explosions in the Sky or Carrie Underwood -- or all three! -- be sure to check out our round-up of the health benefits of both playing and listening to music below. And tell us in the comments: How does music help you?

Reduces StressIf  you listen to your iPod every day on your way to work or break out the guitar every evening, then you'll like this finding. 

A doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg reveals that 
listening to music every daylowers stress. The thesis was based on the results of two studies, which showed that people who listened to music also felt positive emotions. "But it should be pointed out that when studying emotional responses to music it is important to remember that all people do not respond in the exact same way to a piece of music and that one individual can respond differently to the same piece of music at different times, depending on both individual and situational factors," thesis author Marie Helsing said in a statement. "To get the positive effects of music, you have to listen to music that you like."

During Surgery

Listening to music while lying on the operating table could help to 
lower stress, TIMEreported. 
The research, conducted by Cleveland Clinic researchers, included patients -- mostly with Parkinson's disease -- as they were undergoing brain surgery. The researchers found that the study participants who listened to 
pure melodies -- versus just rhythmic arrangements, or a mix of the two -- were comforted the most. Their brains also reflected this calming, TIMEreported, with some of the study participants even falling asleep.  

3.  Protects Your Ears' Sound-Processing AbilitiesA 2011 study in the journal Psychology and Aging shows that being a lifelong musician is linked with better sound processing, the Washington Post reported. 
The study included 163 people (74 of whom had played music all their lives). The researchers also found a link between hearing test scores and the amount of time the study participants practiced their music, according to 
the Washington Post.
4. Soothes PainResearchers from University of Utah Pain Research Center showed that listening to music is effective as a distraction for anxiety-prone people from feeling pain, and as a result, could help people feel less pain. 
The study, which included 143 people, was published in the Journal of Pain
. The researchers found that music helped the study participants to have less arousal when shocked with non-dangerous fingertip electrodes.
5. Works As Well As A Massage At Lowering AnxietyMassages are super-relaxing, sure -- but a study in the journal Depression and Anxietyshows that music could also do the trick, at least when it comes to decreasing anxiety. 
Researchers from the Group Health Research Institute found that patients who got 10 hour-long massages had the same 
decreased anxiety symptoms three months later as people who simply listened to music (and went sans-massage), HealthDay reported. 
The study included 68 people who received the 10 massages with music, laid down while listening to music (but didn't get a massage), or were wrapped with warm pads and towels while listening to music (but didn't get a massage), according to HealthDay.

Credit: Article is taken from 11 ways Music and Health play a role together is property of The Huffington Post by Amanda L. Chan.

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