If you’ve ever lulled a stubborn baby for a long time, performed a large-scale general cleaning, or endured a difficult workout with a selection of favorite songs and melodies, you’ve probably already learned the healing power of music. A new study has confirmed the impressive health benefits of music, which we really enjoy.
That’s what music does to us
Lowers blood pressure
In the Italian study, people listened to classical, Celtic, or Indian music daily for 30 minutes with conscious slow breathing. As a result, their systolic pressure decreased by 4 points: the same results are given by the reduction of salt in the diet.
Soothes relieves tension
According to a Swedish researcher, if you relax the same 30 minutes a day to your favorite music, the level of the stress hormone cortisol can decrease even better than from resting in silence. And deep breathing while listening to music relieves anxiety as effectively as massage, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health Research.
In a University of Utah study, 143 brave volunteers listened to recordings of their favorite music while receiving short electric discharges. As a result, the real tuning to the melody reduced the sharp pain.
“Music isn’t just a distraction,” says Jock Bradt, Ph.D., an associate professor of creative therapy at Drexel University and a certified music therapist. “Initially, it is processed by a brain substance that controls basic functions: respiration and heart rate.” This explains the effect of music on blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, music reduces the activity of the tonsils, which is responsible for negative emotions, and at the same time affects the neural systems that stimulate pleasure. In the end, you get the same effect as eating chocolate.
How to get the most out of music
Choose your favorite
Research that has proven the benefits of music has worked on everything from Sinatra’s songs to Bach’s fugues. “There’s no universal best style of music or rhythm,” says Bradt. “If Lady Gaga gives you a sense of relaxation, then listen to her.”
“If you want to reduce blood pressure or relieve stress with music, you should not choose one that” breaks the soul “and causes concern,” – advises the doctor. “Don’t put songs that are associated, for example, with your ex-husband.”
Background music won’t work, even if you listen to it all day doing other things. Dr. Bradt advises, “You’d better choose a few of your favorite songs and listen to them purposefully.”
Select the appropriate sound source
Music from headphones works the same as from external speakers. “If you’re worried about not hearing the phone, it’s best to listen to music through the speaker to worry less and relax.” The choice of headphones seems obvious when you want to calm your nerves or distract yourself from the process during painful medical procedures. But sometimes a person is worried about the lack of sensory information. In this case, listen to music through external speakers or ask your doctor to turn on the radio.