Saturday, July 23, 2016

7 (+7) Ways Listening to Music Physically Benefits Your Heart, Mind & Body

Source - The Spirit Science

by The Spirit Science

From New York City to Papua New Guinea, music is at the heart of human culture. We consume music everyday without a moment’s thought and in doing so we are actually improving our physical, mental and spiritual health. No matter your taste in music the simple act of listening and enjoying music is a health boost for your entire being.

This article charts seven of the major benefits that music has on each and every one of us…
Music reduces stress
shutterstock_147106385
Cortisol is the hormone that causes us to feel stressed and anxious. Music has been proven to lower the levels of cortisol, although it is preference specific.
Stress is only reduced by music that you enjoy and music that you don’t like can actually have the adverse effect. So when stress is getting to you listening to your favourite music will have a strongly positive effect.
Another impact that an increased cortisol level has on your body is a weakening of your immune system ­ as stress is a factor in 60% of all illnesses and diseases. Music’s ability to reduce the body’s production of cortisol actually helps you fight off infection and disease!
shutterstock_249726484Music reduces pain
If you’re struggling with a short ­term injury or chronic pain, research has shown that listening to classical or meditative music both lessens the pain and increases your tolerance to it.
Research has been done on a wide variety of different individuals from mild sports injuries to cancer sufferers, all of which show the positive power of music.
Music increases memory 
If you’re ever studying for a test or preparing a presentation listening to music is a proven way to improve memory and brain activity. People who listen to music regularly have been shown to be able to remember more complex patterns and characters than those who don’t.
shutterstock_289396541Music keeps you young
Listening and playing music are both considered to be an exercise for the brain and exercising your brain is critical as you get older. Studies have shown that playing music in particular, keeps the brain healthy well into your 70s.
Additionally, an organization called Music & Memory work with patients suffering with alzheimer’s in order to regain parts of their memory.
By playing music that has played an important role in the individuals lives many of the patients are able to remember and recount stories from their lives for a short period.
Music boosts your workout
Once you’ve thrown on your workout gear, the next step for any workout is plugging in your headphones and picking the ultimate workout playlist.
shutterstock_300328370Once you’ve got that you feel like you can lift more and run further and the beauty is that you actually can!
When people were tested with inspirational music, non-­inspirational and no music it was shown that the people listening to any type of music could run further than those that didn’t.
Inspirational music had the most significant results, so make sure you fill your workout playlist with music that inspires you and you’ll be an athlete in no time.
Music aids your emotional development 
Music has a clear and positive impact on our bodies and minds but it is the impact that music has on our hearts and souls that draw us to it as naturally as a moth to a flame. It is in our emotional development that music can have a profound impact. Science has shown that meaningful musical experiences such as listening to a song that you find moving can influence both current and future behaviour.
As well as showing that the habit of listening to sad music when you’re feeling sad enhances our understanding of art and beauty, all of which improves our overall happiness. So next time you’re singing in the shower or dancing the night away try and sing that little bit louder and dance that little bit wilder, your body, mind and heart will thank you for it.

Related The Solfeggio Frequencies | The Lost Music Scale




7 Ways Listening to Music Physically Benefits Your Heart, Brain & Health

Who doesn’t love music? Certainly there are some of us, but for the most part music is a big part of our lives. Whether it’s the music that we listen to on the way to work, while we workout, or the music we hear in a symphony or film, it can bring up our moods, tell us a story or even bring us down. Music has touched cultures all over the world since very early times in human history. Have you ever wondered how music might affect our health?
“I think music in itself is healing. 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.” ~ Billy Joel
Personally I like many types of music, but I can’t say that I fall in love with a lot of music. It is usually special bands here and there that make their way through my ears that I tend to love and stick with for a long time. The beautiful thing is, everyone’s taste in music is different so no matter what music you make, you’re likely to find someone who will appreciate it. Of course the music industry favours certain types of music and is designed to not allow indie bands to get very far, but that is a whole other discussion.

Music is capable of a number of health benefits including lowering stress levels, raising states of consciousness, changing moods, accessing different states of mind, developing the brain and is useful in meditation -which has a ton of health benefits.

The fact is, there isn’t a single human culture on earth that has lived without music! For example, native Africans and Americans both used music in the form of chanting for their rituals and healing ceremonies. In Ancient Greece music was used to ease stress, soothe pain and help with sleeping patterns. Many have said music heals the soul, and it appears that they were right!
How Music Benefits Our Health

1) Improves visual & verbal skills

Several studies have shown that music education at an early age stimulates the child’s brain in a number of ways that helps to improve verbal skills, communication skills and visual skills.

A study that looked at 4 to 6 year olds who were subject to one month of musical training that included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts resulted in enhanced ability to understand words and explain their meaning. [1]

A study using subjects that were 8 to 11 year olds found that those who were involved in extra-curricular music classes were developing higher verbal IQ’s and their visual ability was greater than those who were not receiving the training. [2]

Even children as young as one year old who participated in interactive music lessons with their parents had a greater ability to communicate, smiled more frequently and were showing greater signs of sophisticated brain responses to music. [3]


2) Keeps an aging brain healthy

Research has shown that having musical training and listening to or playing music in old age can help keep the brain healthy especially as it ages. Since listening to music is like exercising the brain, one can expect the benefits of better memory and mental sharpness as they age. [4]

Even people who have some form of brain damage can regain partial or full access to memories (depending on severity) by listening to music, as listening can help draw on old memories and neurological patterns due to the fact that the rhythm and sounds of music stay within the core of the mind for a long time.



3) Music Makes You Happier

As mentioned before, music has the power to do so much. It can make you feel happy, sad, excited or even pumped up. Listening to music that hits you in a special way causes your brain to release dopamine which is known as a feel good chemical. It causes us to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, joy, etc. Listening to music provides us with the same burst of happiness that we would get from eating a piece of chocolate, sex or certain drugs.

Another study showed that music with a quick tempo played in a major key made people feel happy, while music with a slow tempo in a minor key more easily led to feelings of sadness.[6]

4) Heartbeat, Pulse Rate & Blood Pressure
‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ Nietzsche
Studies have shown that music strengthens the heart and improves the recovery time of patients who were suffering from heart disease. [7]

Regardless of the genre of music, listening to your favorite music releases endorphins in the brain that help to improve vascular health. It has been seen that both men and women who listened to music soon after cardiac surgery were much less anxious and even reported having less pain as opposed to those who rested quietly.

An observation made at Massachusetts General Hospital, found that heart patients confined to a bed that listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music.

5) Improves Sleep Quality

Some of the most common things to interfere with sleep are stress and anxiety (heart rates.) Since music has the ability to affect both in a positive way, research has found that listening to music at various times promotes better sleep patterns for people and even created more restful sleeps. In some cases music might even be able to be used to effectively treat insomnia. [8]

6) Boosts Your Immune System & Reduces Pain

Research has shown that music is capable of reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for weakening the immune system, increasing risk of heart disease, interfering with learning and memory, lowering bone density, blood pressure, etc. [9] Research found that by listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting music the levels of antibodies in the human body increases. While different types of music were not studied, it is important one listens to music they enjoy as personal preference of music does have an effect on overall physical effects. [10]

7) Reduces Depression & Anxiety

Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods. Music can have positive effects on the psyche, mood, pain and quality of life as well.
“The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to people with cancer,” Joke Bradt
Sources:

1. http://www.psmag.com/blogs/news-blog/music-training-enhances-childrens-verbal-intelligence-36701/

2. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003566

3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509123653.htm

4. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/04/25/music-training-may-help-keep-aging-brain-healthy

5. http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/music-dopamine-happiness-brain-110110.htm

6. http://cogweb.ucla.edu/ep/Music_Leutwyler_01.html

7. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/116/24/F139.full.pdf

8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18426457

9. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2569640/Music-can-boost-your-immune-system.html

11. http://news.health.com/2011/08/12/music-eases-cancer-patients-anxiety-study/

About The Author 

Joe Martino

I created CE 5 years ago and have been heavily at it since. I love inspiring others to find joy and make changes in their lives. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball.
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Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.comThank you for reading.

Minor grammar errors were corrected in the original article text of the first article.
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Sources:

http://thespiritscience.net/2016/07/20/7-ways-listening-to-music-physically-benefits-your-heart-mind-body/

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/03/13/seven-reasons-why-music-benefits-your-health/
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