Have you ever had the experience of listening to a song and having a special memory come to mind, or have you felt happy, calm or energetic because of the music? Because the human brain has different pathways to process different tones, melodies and rhythms!
Since the beginning of civilization, humans have begun to use music to relax their body and mind. Ancient Greek philosophers even used music for therapy. Modern music therapy emerged after World War II. At that time, a large number of soldiers suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many community musicians began to visit hospitals and use poetry and melodies to treat soldiers. Medical staff therefore paid attention to the patients’ bodies and emotions. There were dramatic improvements, and the hospital began hiring musicians.
In fact, when people listen to their favorite music, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which can make people feel happy. Studies have shown that music can improve our health and well-being. Let’s take a look at the benefits of music to us today!
- Improve mood and anxiety symptoms
Studies have proven that listening to music can help regulate mood, bring happiness, relax the body and mind, and reduce stress. Especially slow, low-pitched music without lyrics can reduce people’s stress and anxiety, and is very suitable for people who are preparing to undergo surgery. Even abroad, there are many cases of playing music during heart surgery. The heart rate and blood pressure of heart disease patients can be lowered, reducing the stress, anxiety and pain associated with the surgery.
- Improve fitness performance
Because the sympathetic nervous system helps our heart contract, and the parasympathetic nervous system slows down the heart rate and helps relax, music can naturally affect these two nervous systems, changing the heart’s autonomic balance. Therefore, when practicing yoga, it is suitable to play light music to relax the body and mind, while when exercising, you can play rhythmic music to help improve the effect of exercise.
- Enhance memory and improve cognition
Repeating patterns of rhythm and melody help the brain enhance memory. In one study of stroke survivors, listening to music helped them remember words more easily and improve their concentration. In addition, other studies have shown that music can help Alzheimer’s patients recall and even help maintain some mental functions.
- Relieve pain
In one study of post-surgery patient recovery, those who listened to music before and after surgery experienced less pain than those who did not listen to music. Another study pointed out that patients with coronary heart disease who listened to music were less likely to have mild heart pain than those who did not listen to music. Music can even ease the discomfort of cancer patients and the pain of the lovelorn.
- Lower blood pressure and maintain immunity
Research shows that patients with high blood pressure can also lower their blood pressure by playing calming and relaxing music to breathe deeper. In addition, listening to music can reduce the release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and maintain a healthy immune system.
- Assist in emotional release
Music therapy can help patients learn to communicate, express emotions and enhance interpersonal relationships through music, such as helping patients with serious illnesses or dying people to release their fear, loneliness and anger. Another study showed that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improved their social and communication skills and attention after receiving music therapy.