Crank-up those speakers and really get into that song because of the incredible health Benefits In Music and really good for you! Music can soothe the brokenhearted, motivate when down-and-out, and kickoff the most epic dance parties, but it also has some serious scientific benefits for our health and overall well being. If you go back to the early history of humans, music therapy and healing once went hand in hand and was predominate in their history and cultures, as referenced in this American Music Therapy Association review of the history of music therapy.
Did you know that the Chinese character for music shares the same exact character as happiness, and the Chinese character for medicine is simply the same character with the symbol for plants placed on top? It seems that ancient Chinese had long recognized a connection between music, happiness and medicine. In ancient Greece, music was used to ease stress, promote sleep, and soothe pain.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also confirmed the ancient Greeks using music and drama as management tools in the treatment of illness and in the improvement of human behavior. Native Americans and Africans used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals, and worshiping their Gods. Even in more recent times, music has played a role in boosting morale in American military troops and their love ones, according to Wikipedia, in World War II, for example.
There were literally hundreds of songs and music blasting over all the radios all over the world for the troops and all citizens, such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “Don’t Fence Me In”, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”, and on and on…..
In Western medicine, the connection was gradually broken when the art of medicine gave way to the science of medicine. It’s slowly being restored as music therapists demonstrate the value of music for treating people with everything from Alzheimer’s disease to chronic pain and substance abuse problems.
Listening to music has been shown to improve memory functioning, increase rate of healing, improve your workouts and more. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain, as well as, improve sleep quality, mood, and mental alertness.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) music is indeed medicine! The APA in it’s research has linked music therapy to improved health outcomes among a variety of patient populations, including premature infants and even people with depression and Parkinson’s disease.
I think music in itself is healing,
American musician Billy Joel once said.
It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.
Most of us would wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and it is this universal bond with music that has led researchers across the globe to investigate its therapeutic potential.
We can all think of at least one song that, when we hear it, triggers an emotional response. It might be a song that accompanied the first dance with your first heart-throb, for example, making good times even better, or a song that reminds you of a difficult break-up or the loss of a loved one.
In fact, even surprisingly, sad music brings most listeners pleasure and comfort, according to recent 2016 research from Durham University in the United Kingdom and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, published in PLOS|ONE. That in itself is pretty incredible.
According to one study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, some people who are experiencing particularly bad times and sadness look as sad music as “empathic friend”, or something to lean on, and is more appreciated when we experience sadness or disappointment. And, of course, much research has addressed the joy music can bring to humans.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their moods and boost their happiness in just two weeks. In the study, participants were instructed to try to improve their mood, but they only succeeded when they listened to the upbeat music of Copland as opposed to the sadder tunes of Stravinsky. One 2013 study published in Pediatrics even confirmed the benefits of music therapy through singing “lullabies” on vital signs, feeding, and sleep in premature infants.
Having grown up as a young man in the mid 60s through the 70s, I have so many wonderful and fond memories, starting with the “British Invasion” the cultural phenomenon of the early 60s, with the Beatles, the Stones, the Byrds, Janice Joplin, the Kinks, Buffolo Springfield, Led Zepplin, the Who, Pink Floyd, the Doors, Beach Boys, Jimmie Hendricks, Cream, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Jefferson Airplane, Steppenwolf, Santana, the Grateful Dead…….and on and on…….Oh, how incredible it was!
Combined with the early rock festivals, the mass hysteria of girls, the live performances by all the rock groups, and music, song, and dance constantly everywhere, made it an interesting and incredible time to be a young man and alive! February 9, 1964, the date that changed the face of music in America and the world forever! The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, singing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (1).
Can you guess who said this?
My music isn’t just music, it’s medicine.
Did you guess Kanye West? As you will soon learn, there’s a lot of truth hidden in Kanye statement—music is medicine! Here are a couple of famous quotes about music and what it has meant to humans for thousands and thousands of years, and obviously, still does:
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
Where words fail, music speaks.
― Hans Christian Andersen
Music . . . can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.
― Leonard Bernstein
The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain.
Types of Sound Or Music Therapy
At its core, music is sound, and sound is rooted in vibration, and vibration has healing power, according to Barry Goldstein, a recording artist who has studied the vibrational effects of music for more than 25 years, and believes music has a profound impact on the brain by evoking emotion, helping regain memories, stimulating new neural connections, and promoting active attention, per a review he wrote in Conscious Lifestyle magazine.
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 to produce relaxing physiological as well as psychological effects, per a study published in Music Therapy.
Olay Skille, the developer of the Musical Behavior Scale (MUBS), suggests that, in addition to its potential for music therapists, VA therapy has possibilities for use by other professionals, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, chemotherapists, and chiropractors. In a 2009 study researcher found that vibroacoustic therapy was affective in reducing tremors, more control in walking with increased speed, in Parkinson’s disease patients.
Guided mediation is a form of sound healing in which you meditate to voiced instruction, either in a session or class, or using a video or an app. Meditation can involve chanting or repeating mantras or prayers and research has shown found that meditation offers a number of health benefits, including: stress reduction, decreased anxiety and depression, improved memory, reduced blood pressure, pain reduction, lower cholesterol, and decrease risk of heart disease and stroke.
Here are a couple of meditation apps considered 2019’s best because of their quality, reliability, and great reviews. Download one on iPhone or Android to start learning deep breathing techniques, following guided meditation, and enjoying the many benefits of mindfulness:
The Mindfulness App. Meditation beginners and gurus alike will find lots of options with The Mindfulness App. A five-day guided practice and introduction to mindfulness helps you get started, and timed guided or silent meditations from 3 to 30 minutes will suit your busy lifestyle. Free with optional in-app purchases.
A PLOS|ONE trial study showed that self-reported improvements in psychosocial outcomes can be achieved at low cost through short-term engagement with a mindfulness-based smartphone app, and should be followed up with more substantive studies.
Headspace. Find calmness, wellness, and balance in your life with this app’s guided meditation and mindfulness techniques for daytime use. Before bed, try any of its 10 new sleep music tracks or 16 nature soundscapes. The app builds personalized plans based on a little input from you, so you can learn the essentials of meditation and build from there.
Free with in-app purchase. A study by Springer found a 14 percent improvement in stress, affect, and irritability following brief 10-day use of a mindfulness-based smartphone app. A 2015 Zoeken study of a review of a Northwestern University study found using Headspace reduced aggression by 57 percent and increased compassion by 23 percent.
Breethe. Learn how to de-stress and sleep better in just five minutes a day with a personal mindfulness coach. Breethe’s guided meditations series, inspirational talks, and master classes from mindfulness coach Lynne Goldberg will help you better navigate life’s challenges and enjoy improved peace of mind.
The app’s sleep music playlists, nature sounds, and bedtime readings teach you how to enjoy more restful sleep. Free with in-app purchase. No official research on this app but functions as well as Headspace by the basic principle of slow-breathing and increasing pulmonary function, thusly improving physiological effects, per an NIH review.
Neurologic Music Therapy
Music therapy can reduce stress and promote relaxation. It’s been shown to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety levels before surgery. A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Nursing found that a 30-minute music therapy session combined with traditional care after spinal surgery reduced pain.
Music therapy is administered by a credentialed provider who assesses the individual’s needs. Treatment involves creating, listening, singing, or moving to music. Neurologic music therapy improves executive function and emotional adjustment in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation according to a New York Academy of Science study.
Singing Bowl Therapy.
Singing bowl therapy dates back to the 12th century and has been used for meditation and rituals in Tibetan culture. Metal bowls produce a deep, penetrating sound that’s used to relax and repair the mind. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine found that singing bowl meditation reduced stress, anger, depression, and fatigue. All of these negative effects on the brain are known to impact physical health and raise the risk for disease, suggesting that singing bowl therapy may be good for your physical, as well as emotional, well-being.
Let’s look at some of the ways music and music therapy can be beneficial to your health and well being in the following areas:
Manage and Decrease Pain
Listening to music has a unique ability to decrease the intensity of pain, especially acute and chronic pain and functional mobility in fibromyalgia or the pain intensive care patients experience. However, the selection of music needs to be classical, meditative, or what the patient likes and normally listens to. Several studies have suggested that music has a secondary emotional and cognitive effect on people. Therefore, creating a distraction from pain and bringing forward a pleasant and enjoyable memory evoked emotion when listening to various types of music.
It can work in many ways. At its most basic, rhythm’s ability to ease pain has been noted among patients in cancer wards and nursing homes. Quoting The National Institutes Of Health (NIH) study:
Music therapy is an effective method of supporting cancer care for patients at various stages of the disease and is practiced with individual patients as well as patient groups.
A 2015 meta-analysis of over 7,000 patients, published in the Lancet, found that people who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety and didn’t even require as much pain medicine, compared to patients who did not listen to music.
When it comes to treating chronic conditions, music therapy can also play a powerful role. In a recent 2015 NIH review of a study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry, found that music therapy can be an effective treatment for mood disorders related to neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Quoting the study:
Most of the studies support the efficacy of MT (music therapy) and other musical interventions on mood, depressive syndromes, and quality of life on neurological patients.
The study also noted, besides the Benefits In Music, that no negative side effects were reported in any of the trials, making music a low-risk treatment. At its core, music is sound, and sound is rooted in vibration, and vibration has healing power, according to Barry Goldstein, a recording artist who has studied the vibrational effects of music for more than 25 years.
Goldstein believes music has a profound impact on the brain by evoking emotion, helping regain memories, stimulating new neural connections, and promoting active attention, per a review he wrote in Conscious Lifestyle magazine.
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 to produce relaxing physiological as well as psychological effects, per a study published in Music Therapy. Olay Skille, the developer of the Musical Behavior Scale (MUBS), suggests that, in addition to its potential for music therapists.
VA therapy has possibilities for use by other professionals, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, chemotherapists, and chiropractors. In a 2009 study researcher found that vibroacoustic therapy was affective in reducing tremors, more control in walking with increased speed, in Parkinson’s disease patients.
Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Improve Immunity
Those suffering from mild to extreme anxiety may find a soothing and relaxing effect through music for therapy. Music has a unique link to our emotions. Research has found that it can be used as an extremely effective stress management tool.
In a study appearing in the Journal Of Psychology found that in addition to reducing depression and anxiety in patients suffering from neurological conditions such as dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, music therapy showed no negative side effects, meaning it is a very safe and low-risk approach to treatment.
Just like listening to slow music to calm the body, music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Another study published in an American Psychological Association article found that music was very effective in calming 272 premature babies, reducing their heart rates, increasing the time the babies stayed quietly alert, and even calmed their parents who were also present.
A PLOS|ONE study had some very interesting results. Sixty healthy female volunteers under stress were exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test after having been randomly assigned to one of three different conditions prior to the stress test, one group to relaxing music, one to sound of rippling water, and one to rest without acoustic stimulation.
Cortisol levels were checked, resulting in lower stress level in the music group, compared to the group without stimulation, but, interestingly, the group listening to the rippling water, showed the lowest cortisol levels. It’s really not surprising that nature sounds will relieve stress like none other, according to a 2017 University of Sussex study !
Quoting the study:
Get out in nature to relax, if you can’t, your next best option is listen to music.
Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, it’s an easy stress reduction option. This has been found to be true for cancer patients. Music allows us to be distracted, especially in serious circumstances such as in cancer treatment.
Patients have a chance to relax and communicate with their families about how they feel. The most beneficial music for relieving stress is light jazz, easy-listening rock, Native America, stringed-instrumental, or nature sounds such as raining, trickling water, or night sounds available through phone apps.
Go ahead and listen “Relaxing sounds for your mind” (2)
Try this one “Nights In White Satan” (3)
This will take your stress away “Night Time forest sounds” (4). Music has also been very effective in lowering stress levels and boosting immune function according to a Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada The Neurochemistry of Music review.
One study out in Switzerland found that there is considerable scientific rationale to support the use of music to enhance immunity via its powerful influence on emotions. The study determined music’s ability to alter mood and emotional state has long been known experientially, and more recently has been scientifically documented.
Improves Blood Flow and Circulation
Researchers have found in studies throughout the years that the emotions people and patients experience when listening to music has a healthy effect on blood vessel function and the entire cardiovascular system. In a study done by the American Heart Association found that listening to joyful music elicits positive emotions and therefore improved vascular health and circulation.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, a nurse-led team found that heart patients confined to bed who listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music. This study was reviewed and confirmed by the NIH.
At the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, researchers measured blood flow through the blood vessels in the forearm as healthy volunteers listened to music or relaxation tapes. Blood flow increased significantly while the volunteers listened to music that evoked joy or to relaxation tapes, and decreased while they listened to music that provoked anxiety.
In a study from Hong Kong, older volunteer patients who listened to relaxing music for 25 minutes a day for four weeks, before being administered stressful procedures, became relaxed, which lowered their systolic pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, and less critical, by 12 points and their diastolic pressure, the bottom number, by 5 points, while a control group that didn’t listen to music had no change in blood pressure. The NIH reviewed this study and concluded that relaxing meditative music is an effective strategy in reducing stress in patients.
Enhance Sleep Quality
Insomnia is a serious problem that affects people of all age groups. While there are many approaches to treating this problem as well as other common sleep disorders, research has demonstrated that listening to relaxing classical music can be a safe, effective, and affordable remedy. In a study with college students, participants listened to classical music, an audio book, or nothing at all. One group listened to 45 minutes of relaxing classical music while another group listened to an audio book at bedtime for three weeks.
The researchers assessed sleep quality both before and after the intervention and found that participants who had listened to music had significantly better sleep quality than those who had listened to the audio book or received no intervention. Since music is an effective treatment for sleeping problems, it could be used as an easy and safe strategy for treating insomnia.
Another NIH study looked at using relaxing music as a sleep aid. The findings showed the potential interaction between cognitive control of negative thoughts and music may be of significant importance for unearthing the pathways in the future by which music aids in the production, maintenance, and enjoyment of sleep.
The Sleep Foundation endorses the practice of listening to enjoyable music at least 30 or 40 minutes before falling asleep because it’s been shown to slow your heart rate and breathing, lower blood pressure, and even relax your muscles.
Better Cognitive Behavior
Research suggests that background music, or music that is played while the listener is primarily focused on another activity, can improve performance on cognitive tasks in older adults. Specifically, one study revealed that playing more upbeat music led to improvements in processing speed while both upbeat and downbeat music led to benefits in memory.
A Harvard Medical School study cited research done by researchers at the University Of California Irvine using the “Mozart Effect” to improve brain cognitive function. Standard IQ tests were given to 3 groups of college students after one group listened to Mozart, one group listened to relaxing music, and one sat in silence. Each test, for a total of 16, result showed the Mozart students always had the boost in IQ test scores.
Researchers theorized the Mozart music acted as an exercise that “warmed-up” certain brain cells responsible for processing information more efficiently. So the next time you are working on a task, consider turning on a little music in the background if you are looking for a boost in your mental performance. Consider choosing instrumental tracks in the classical realm rather than those with complex lyrics, which might end up being more distracting, since it’s the background affect you’re going for.
Will Improve Your Mood
Another of the science-backed benefit of music is not only listening to music but also creating it, just might make you happier, or, if depressing music, maybe sadder, as well. A unique orchestra was created for people with dementia which helped improve their mood and boost their self-confidence, according to researchers in a 2015 study at the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) in Dorset, U.K.
said Dr. Anthea Innes, head of BUDI, in the PsychCentral review. Music can bring you up or bring you down. It can bring you to the “highest of highs”, or the “lowest of lows”. In one examination into the reasons why people listen to music researchers discovered that music played an important role in relating arousal and mood. Participants rated music’s ability to help them achieve a better mood and become more self-aware as two of the most important functions of music. What is your emotional reaction to these 4 songs?
Eagles “Lying Eyes”
Alan Parsons and Sirius “Eye In the Sky” (5)The
Neil Young “Old Man”
Todd Rundgren “Hello, It’s Me”
What Is your All-Time Favorite song that gets you up? That Makes you romantic? That brings you back to an earlier time? Let us know in the comments section.
Improves Exercise and Performance
Turning up your tunes can also up the effort you exert during exercise. In one study researchers found that cyclists worked harder and biked a further distance when listening to faster music as compared to music with a slower tempo.
When the tempo slowed, so did their pedaling and their entire effect. Their heart rates fell and their mileage dropped. They reported that they didn’t like the music much. On the other hand, when the tempo of the songs was upped 10 percent, the men covered more miles in the same period of time, produced more power with each pedal stroke and increased their pedal cadences.
For pace-based exercises like running or weight-lifting, music can help regulate rhythm and signal to the brain when the body should move. This signal helps us to use our energy more efficiently, so we’re not exhausting ourselves too soon. One study by the NIH looked at high rate of physical inactivity and the associated negative health outcomes worldwide, practicians need new evidence-based theories and interventions to increase physical activity. NIH concluded,
music alters mood, is a cue for movement, and makes physical activity more enjoyable leading to improved health outcomes of weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cardiovascular risk factor management, and improved quality of life.
According to multiple studies, like this NIH study, choosing the music you like best can enhance the performance boost and reduce your perceived exertion. In other words, listening to music can make your workout feel easier or encourage you to work harder without you feeling like you are. Bring your heart rate back down and recover faster post-workout with some slow music.
A study published in Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, with 60 participants found that slow music lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate, and quickens recovery time.
Researchers also noted recovery with slow music was faster than with silence or fast music. Keep in mind, music does fine for exercising indoors, but for the optimal health benefits of exercise or physical activity, the best option is outdoors out in nature and more so, with nature’s sounds.
Boosts Our Memory and Recall
Music elicits strong emotions in all of us. When you hear one of your favorite songs you are able to recall where you were when you first heard it in addition to how it made us feel. Over the years and in more recent research, music has shown a strong correlation to our memory, as discussed in this Psychology Today article.
When people listen to music that is thought to be pleasurable, there is an increased amount of dopamine released in the brain that is known as the pleasure neurotransmitter. Dopamine has an effect on our episodic memory, allowing us to recall certain events in which we were involved, overall strengthening our long-term memory, as confirmed in a NIH study.
In many patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, memories related to music can far outlast other memories, and listening to music can stimulate the recollection of autobiographical memories and enhance verbal memory, as well. In some cases, patients with dementia will be able to recognize emotions through listening to music, even when they can no longer do so through voices or facial expression. In late stages of the disease when it becomes difficult to form words and sentences, listening to music may make it easier to overcome these kinds of language deficits.
In one small study, singing familiar songs elicited conversation between patients as well as recall of memories. A social worker, Dan Cohen, began bringing personalized music he created after talking to family members, on an MP3 player to dementia patients in nursing homes. The results were incredible because patients who had seemed unable to speak, proceeded to sing and dance to the music, and others are able to recount when and where they had listened to that music.
The music seems to open doors to the residents’ memory vaults. Listening to and performing music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, emotion, and reward. There was even a award-winning documentary film “Alive Inside” (6), which was released in 2014, on Cohen’s patients.
Music and Other Beneficial Activities
As you now know, there are so many amazing Benefits In Music which has a huge positive and healthy impact on rejuvenating restful sleep, on physical activity ability and endurance, on mood, memory, recall and cognitive function, on your cardiovascular system, circulation, and heart health, on illness recovery and pain management, and on stress, anxiety, and depression, Let’s quickly review other activities that are also beneficial to your continued health and well being:
Learn To Relax, Re-Center, and Meditate
Eat A Well-Balanced, Fresh, Organic, Non-GMO, Nutrient-Dense Food Diet Of Lean Meats, dairy products, and eggs; wild-caught fish; whole-grains; fermented foods; natural herbs and spices; and antioxidant drinks. For more information, documented studies of benefits, and to purchase use the links provided:
Fresh certified organic, non-GMO’s, grass-fed finished red meats and free-range poultry, grass-fed dairy and eggs (A). Wild-Caught Fish and Seafood (A), Organic Fruits, Veggies, Nuts and Seeds (A), Whole Grains and Carbs, Fermented Foods, Natural Spices, Dark Chocolate, and Antioxidant Drinks (A)
Supplement Your Diet With the All-Natural, Organic, Non-GMO, Whole-Food Adaptogen, Peruvian Maca (A)
We’re sure you will agree that using the Benefits In Music is a very effective way to improve many aspects of you health and well being, and your life. What are your thoughts? Do you agree with our conclusions? Please address your questions below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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(A) Use these links for more information, more documented studies , and to purchase these incredible nutrient-dense foods and natural supplement.
(1) The Beatles Video
(2) Sounds By Knight Video
(3) Red Baron 863 Video
(4) Past Tense Video
(5) John Regna Video
(6) Movie Clips Indie Video