We all know that listening to music can lift our mood, relax or invigorate us. Recent studies have now found that music can do more for you than just lift your spirits. It also has a variety of measurable health benefits.
Music and Health
Music works on the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling our blood pressure, heartbeat and brain function and the part of the brain that controls feelings and emotions. When slow rhythms are played, our blood pressure and heartbeat slow down, helps us breathe more slowly thus reducing muscle tension and experts say that apart from physical tension; music also reduces psychological tension in our mind.
Below are just some of the health benefits of listening to music that recent studies have identified.
Reducing blood pressure
According to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension in 2012, listening to just 30 minutes of classical, music every day may significantly reduce high blood pressure.
Headaches & migraine remedy
Music can help migraine and chronic headache sufferers reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of the headaches.
Overall, music does have positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and post-operative pain. No matter how anxious you may feel, getting absorbed in music can help with pain. There are several theories about how music positively affects perceived pain. It is thought that music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain and that slow music relaxes us by slowing our breathing and heart rate down.
Music boosts immunity
Scientists also go on to explain that a particular type of music can create a positive and emotional experience that leads to a secretion of immune-boosting hormones, which helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing can also decrease levels of the stress-related hormone Cortisol.
Music improves concentration and attention
Easy listening music or relaxing classics improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. Many studies have shown significant effects.
Music helps us exercise
Experts say listening to music during exercise can give us a better workout. A study by America’s Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked at the effects of 12 men riding a bicycle for ten minutes while listening to music on one day and compared it to the same men riding bicycles without music for ten minutes, the following day.
On the days that the men exercised listening to music, they travelled 11 per cent further, compared to the days they didn’t listen to music. Researchers also found that the men’s levels of exertion were at their lowest when listening to music.
Other studies show that listening to music releases endorphins, our natural ‘feel good’ hormones that lift our mood and give us motivation to carry on longer with exercise.