No matter the genre, music is an essential part of our lives. It has touched cultures and helped people evolve all over the world since the very early stages of human history. It is known the fact that music can improve mood, but how can it 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
The effects of music on people don’t end at the pleasure of enjoying the beauty of this art.
Researchers have discovered that music has numerous health benefits, from physical pain relief, up to the improvement of memory.
Also, music can radically change the mood and can increase the efficiency of concentration, while freeing the body from the harmful effects of stress.
Listening to a favorite melody and the own interpretation of a song can have real effects on many brain regions, which include those responsible for memory and the sense of sight.
A doctoral thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg shows that listening to music every day is an effective method of reducing stress levels. The work is based on the findings of two studies that have shown that music lovers have the most positive emotions. For a real stress reliever, it is recommended to listen to your favorite music genre, because people don’t have identical emotional reactions to the same kind of music.
Maintaining cardiac health
The researchers at the University of Maryland found a definite link between listening to music and heart health. The cheerful and rhythmic music stimulates the dilation of the blood vessels from the heart device, facilitating the blood flow to the heart.
Scientists at the University of Utah, US, have demonstrated experimentally that music is a great source of distraction from the physical pain felt. Thus, people who listen to a good song, seem to feel a lower the pain at a lower intensity. The study was conducted on a sample of 143 people, and the result showed that all participants focused on a certain melody felt less intense pain caused by the electrical impulses, which were generated by small electrodes attached to the fingertips.
Psychologists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong sustain the theory according to which children who take music courses, assimilate more easily the material taught in school, get better grades and own a superior verbal memory compared to students who do not unfold any musical activity.
Preventing premature aging of the brain
Constant contact with music can be helpful in protecting brain efficiency with age. Researchers at the University of Kansas, USA, found that the elderly who received a musical education at some point in their lives are those who keep their best return on cognitive functions.
Strengthening of the blood vessels function
According to researchers, the emotions that people feel when listening to their favorite music turn into a health effect on the blood vessel function. Also, music made the study participant feel happier, which led to increased blood flow in the blood vessels.
Quality music can be a good substitute for relaxing massages in fighting high levels of anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Depression and Anxiety says that patients who received 10 hours of chilling massages showed the same symptoms of anxiety relief, such as people who treated their anxiety listening to their favorite music.
Maintaining emotional balance in treating cancer
Scientists at the Drexel University highlighted another potential benefit of music, and that is relieving anxiety experienced by cancer patients during treatment. A study involving 1891 patients showed that the sufferers who found refuge in their favorite music after finding out about their diagnosis, not only presented an inferior level of stress but also better blood pressure and a more positive mood.