Most of us enjoy listening to music, but did you know that it’s more than just a pleasant activity? It affects us in many ways, but these are some of the most amazing.
Music Can Relieve Pain
Scientists have long-known that music can have a direct effect on acute pain, like when you accidentally burn yourself on a hot iron. But more recently they’ve discovered that it can also have a positive effect on chronic pain. In a Danish study, researchers found that patients with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes severe chronic pain in the joints and muscles, experienced less chronic pain after listening to their favorite tunes. The experts measured how they experienced their pain after listening to pleasant, relaxing music they chose, and reported that the pain became less intense and less pleasant.
Another study out of the UK, suggested that music may reduce pain after surgery. The researchers found that patients who listened to music following the procedure experienced less pain than those who didn’t and were less likely to need pain medication.
Easing Depression and Anxiety
You’ve probably noticed that music can help put you in a better mood, but did you know that it can even ease depression and anxiety? It’s been used in both instrumental and vocal form to treat people with mental health issues as it acts as a neurological stimulator, inciting positive reactions. Whether you’re relaxing on a beach in San Diego listening to music or just relaxing in a nice car ride, music can amplify wellness.
Music has been shown to stimulate parts in the brain in multiple ways, and it can even boost one’s memory. Numerous studies have demonstrated that it enhances memory in patients with dementia and even Alzheimer’s. When you hear a familiar song, you may be able to recall a moment from your past that’s connected to it. Favorite tunes affect memory in multiple ways – ever get a song stuck in your head? That shows you just how easily it can be ingrained in our memories. The rationale behind this is that it triggers the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for long-term memory storage.
Strengthening the Immune System
Scientist have also studied how music can affect our immune systems. Researchers have discovered that calming music can reduce cortisol levels and lower stress. When cortisol levels are reduced, the result is a stronger immune system. It can even help shorten the duration of a cold and recover quicker from heart disease. The music that has the most profound affect tends to be calming music like classical or meditative type music.
Whether it’s an addiction to alcohol or drugs, a chemical addiction creates excess neurotransmitters which create a feeling of pleasure, or happiness. But it also affects brain chemistry, and over time the body stops producing its own neurotransmitters, relying on the external source instead, which cause a problem when the person addicted tries to quit said drug or drink. Music can actually help replace lost neurotransmitters, helping the body produce more which can dramatically reduce withdrawal symptoms. It can also provide an outlet for negative emotions and help those with impulse control issues.
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