The Power of Music
Whether it is Billy Joel, Kanye West or a little Beyoncé, your favorite songs fill you with emotions. A rush of pleasure instantly comes over you, encouraging a response of movement or singing. Our minds begin to calm, a smile forms and the world around seems a little quieter.
Research has shown that music is not only good for the body and soul but also a gift for your health. Music has been used as a healing therapy for most of human history. In the ancient Arabic cultures musicians worked alongside physicians. The Greeks used music to treat mental illnesses. Today, music is used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.
What are some health benefits that have been researched regarding music?
According to Michael J Breus Ph.D, a clinical psychologist, “Music has a powerful and diverse effect on both the body and mind, influencing breathing and heart rate, triggering the release of hormones, stimulating the immune system, and boosting the brain’s cognitive and emotional centers.”
Music has been linked to better learning and memory. Studies have shown if you are trying to remember something “put it in a song.” You will more likely be able to recall it.
Some research has shown that music can do wonders for the body. Helping increase blood flow, lower heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels. This therefore helps us to feel energized and happy instead of anxious or depressed.
Do you find that music helps you to get a better work out? Music can help you push the pace increasing your stamina. Songs with phrases like ‘push it,’ ‘work it’ and ‘I believe’ can subconsciously propel you to keep on keeping on,” reports author of Inside Sport Psychology Costas Karageorghis. Studies have shown, “Even playing soft music while eating can help you slow down and ultimately eat less.”
Harvard Health reports, “Music therapy decreases pain perception, reduces the amount of pain medication needed, helps relieve depression in pain patients, and gives them a sense of better control over their pain.”
According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, listening to 45 minutes of calming music before bedtime can significantly improve sleep quality. Musics can help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up less during the night.
Music has a powerful influence over us. It is truly a gift for our overall health. Next time you put on your favorite song, dance to the beat knowing you are likely reaping health benefits also.