Why the Health Benefits of Music Have the Scientifically Proven Power to Change Your Life

Violinist

Music has been called the universal language. Music has been called color in sound. Music has been called the expression of what cannot be said; in essence, the voice of the soul. Music is all of these things, but modern day science is revealing that music is so much more than expression. Music has so many health benefits that have the scientifically proven ability to change your life forever. No, music isn’t magic, but it is more powerful than you know.

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Music has been called the universal language. Music has been called color in sound. Music has been called the expression of what cannot be said; in essence, the voice of the soul. Music is all of these things, but modern day science is revealing that music is so much more than expression. Music has so many health benefits that have the scientifically proven ability to change your life forever. No, music isn’t magic, but it is more powerful than you know.

The human body is a vibrational organism. Over 2,500 years ago Pythagoras suspected that music held healing power. His biographer Iamblichus recorded: “Pythagoras was of the opinion that music contributed greatly to health, if used in an appropriate manner…[by using] music in the place of medicine.” In today’s modern world, this theory sounds far-fetched, but science is proving that music can and actually does heal. Music can empower the innermost depths of your being.

Neuromusicology is a new branch of science exploring the effects of music upon the brain and ultimately the nervous system. Researchers continue to be astounded by the realization that music activates every known part of the brain. In a Finnish study, scientists developed a revolutionary method to study how the brain processes various aspects of music such as tonality, timbre, and rhythm. The incredibly complex networking system of the brain activated areas responsible for coordination, emotions, and creativity as it listened to music. Here are several examples of the many health benefits of music.

Music Alleviates Mental Disorders

Music can definitely improve anyone’s mood, but it goes one step further with people who struggle with mental disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADHD, and PTSD. Music therapy has proven beneficial for patients with these conditions and many more. There are over 5,000 trained music therapists nationwide, and a directory can be found on the American Music Therapy Association’s website here. The potential benefits include improved mood, concentration, and decreased anxiety, anger, and frustration.

Music Reduces Chronic Stress

Music has the ability to lower the stress hormone cortisol in your system. Research shows that music helps people to relax by stimulating the vagus nerve, leading to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system which is critical for rest and digestion. The key is calm music and not invigorating tunes.

Music Improves Quality of Life

Music can improve any situation even if you are a cancer patient. Studies conducted on cancer patients evaluated the effects of music intervention. The results showed marked pain reduction and lower levels of anxiety along with other health benefits. Music enhances all known functions of the brain, and there are specific tracks created to assist the brain in the healing process.

Music Increases Positivity

Music stimulates the release of multiple feel-good chemicals like the brain hormone oxytocin and the neurotransmitter dopamine. Many people exercise, eat sugar, or pat their pet to experience a similar burst of happiness because these actions trigger similar chemicals. Fortunately, in today’s world of electronic devices, digital downloads, and wireless streaming, music is just a swipe away!

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Music Assists in Processing Negative Emotions

Music therapists insist that music can aid us in processing negative emotions like grief and anger. Music connects and acquaints us with the depth of our emotions on an intimate scale. In one heart study involving healthy participants, the results showed that their blood flowed 26% more easily when the participants listened to music they personally described as “joyful”. According to another study, 12 minutes of Mozart a day can lower your blood pressure. Music has also been shown to help patients manage physical pain. Regardless of the emotional or physical trauma you’re facing, music may help to relieve your suffering.

Music Improves Memory and Protects against Cognitive Decline

Listening to music and playing musical instruments can shield aging brains from cognitive decline. Seniors with musical backgrounds perform better on cognitive tests and show a significant improvement in memory compared to their non-musical counterparts. Music therapists are using music with Alzheimer’s patients to provoke memories.

Healthy vs. Toxic Music

There is actually a difference between healthy and toxic music. Science shows that healthy music contains these factors:

• Instrumental
• Upbeat
• Medium volume
• Nature sounds

On the flip side of the coin, patients who have undergone heart surgery are placed at an increased risk for stress and life-threatening arrhythmias upon listening to heavy metal music and technosounds.

An experiment conducted by a highschool student named David Merrill stunned America when he revealed the results. He divided 72 mice into three groups and created a complex maze system. The first group listened to 10 hours of Mozart every day. The second group listened to 10 hours of hard-rock music. The third group listened to no music at all. At the beginning of the experiment it took the mice about ten minutes to find their way through the complicated maze. After listening to music for over ten hours every day for the extent of the experiment, these were the results. The third group of mice cut five minutes from their time, the second Mozart group shaved 8 ½ minutes off their time, and the third hard-rock group added 20 minutes to their time. David had to cut his experiment short because the hard-rock mice all ended up killing each other. This obviously does not bode well for fans of heavy metal or hard-rock music.

Conclusion

Music is a lifestyle choice that can significantly impact your health for the better or for the worse. Music can be an incredibly liberating experience for the heart and mind, but science shows that the wrong kinds of music can also prove to be harmful. It would be beneficial to everyone’s health to coordinate several playlists and cultivate a taste for daily music. Happy listening!

Check out these other great articles by EMaxHealth: Memory Problems Linked to Faulty Receptor in Brain, 10 Health Benefits of Royal Jelly and Why It May Be a Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease, and Why a Loss of Smell Stinks and May Be a Warning Sign of Dementia.

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