Hearing your favorite song can brighten your mood, and singing in a chorus of friends and family can bring a smile to anyone’s face. Music and health research prove music can improve mood, but what isn’t so well-recognized is its ability to ease pain, decrease anxiety, and enhance the treatment of diseases and illnesses.
The way music and sounds can impact the human experience isn’t just a happy coincidence. Neurological research findings support evidence that music activates the same reward pathways as sex, food, and drugs.
The principle is that sound has energy, like everything else in the universe, and that energy vibrates. Sound wave vibrations affect the various body system and initiate healing.
Ultrasound vibrations have long been used in Western medicine to speed the recovery of broken bones, break apart kidney stones, and relief from glaucoma, but not many people know how music and sound have immediate healing properties.
This guide will walk you through how and why music helps us heal, plus 6 surprising ways your favorite song improves your life.
Fast Ways Music and Sound Can Heal
Music therapy can help with long-term issues such as chronic pain management, post-op care, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. It also provides instant relief and aids in the treatment of many short-term maladies:
Researchers have found that music and singing can regulate moods because it’s processed immediately by the amygdala, the part of the brain that manages mood and emotion. Music can also boost the production of dopamine, which helps alleviate sadness and melancholy feelings.
Researchers have also found more cortisol, the stress hormone, in saliva before you sing than after. Listening to music and singing can immediately lower your heart rate and stress levels by triggering biochemical stress killers.
Music can boost mood by increasing dopamine and relieves stress by eliminating cortisol, making it an effective solution for depression as well.
Music can assist in pain management by lowering stress and supplying a powerful competing stimulus to the signals of discomfort arriving in the brain. Music can profoundly decrease the perceived level of pain, particularly in senior, intensive, and palliative medicine.
Supports Exercise Benefits
Thoughtfully chosen music increases exercise endurance by as much as 15%, according to a Brunel University study. Exercising in time to music helps people feel more energized and optimistic about the experience, lengthens endurance times, and speeds recovery.
Benefits Heart Health
Blood flows more freely while music is played, helping to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels while increasing serotonin and endorphin levels.
Music, singing, and sounds work as a stimulant in the brain. Listening can help recall memories and relieve some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Humans have been making and listening to music for more than 35,000 years, so it should come as no surprise that it’s helpful in all parts of life. Music therapy is a way to use the benefits of music to increase happiness purposefully, but it doesn’t always have to be done in a professional setting. There are many ways to gain the benefits of music from the comfort of your home as well.
How to Apply Music for Health at Home
Music therapy is used in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities, and doctor’s offices worldwide. It can also be applied at home without any special training or knowledge. Here are 6 easy ways to incorporate music therapy into your life.
1. Play Music in Your Home
The simple act of listening to music as you go about your daily chores at home is a form of music therapy. Choose music that is happy and energetic to experience the greatest benefits.
Sing along to the radio or just belt out a tune you know by heart – the benefits are the same. Singing alone or singing along with other people is an excellent form of music therapy.
Dancing to music is a way to unite your mind and body with the melody you hear. Music can make you want to move and express yourself, which are both excellent forms of therapy.
Composing your own lyrics, instrumental pieces, and songs is a wonderful way to bring the music in your head out into the world to share with others, which can be highly therapeutic.
5. Explore New Music
Everyone has a favorite song, playlist, or type of music. It’s fun to listen to old favorites that always put you in a good mood, but finding new music you love is fresh and exciting, as it engages your mind and encourages thought and movement.
6. Playing an Instrument
Playing an instrument incorporates music into your life in a very proactive, tangible way. You hear comforting sounds you have created yourself, which is satisfying on many levels.
Music has immediate health benefits at home, just as it does in therapeutic environments – all without copays or doctor visits. It allows you to explore some of the health benefits at your disposal in a place you feel completely comfortable. There are also a large number of professional music therapies, such as the Dalcroze method, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, and the Nordoff-Robbins approach, which are typically most helpful for people with autism, mental disorders, and some neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
Sloan School of Music and the Powerful Health Benefits of Music
Extolling the virtues of music is part of what we do here at Sloan School of Music. It’s one of our favorite things to do, in fact. We are a music school that provides private, group, and virtual lessons in a considerable range of musical disciplines.
We also have a store that sells top-of-the-line musical instruments and accessories as well as offering instrument rental programs. Contact Sloan School of Music for more on the healing power of music as well as information about musical instruments, accessories, lessons, and more.