How Music Benefits Your Physical And Mental Health

How Music Benefits Your Physical And Mental HealthAccording to research, music has an important impact upon a person’s health. It is something that cannot be overlooked today. In fact, it should be included in every individual’s treatment plan.

What Research Says About Music and Your Health

Research has been conducted on the impact of music upon a person’s mental health. In this study 400 neurochemistry research papers were reviewed. These papers looked at how music improves the human immune system and reduces stress levels. The results stated that listening to music is better than using prescription medication for decreasing anxiety.

A 2011 report indicated that music reduced anxiety in cancer patients. According to Professor Levitin and Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda (Levitin’s postgraduate research fellow) there’s compelling evidence that when music is played in a healthcare facility (e.g. operating room, family clinic) a person’s mental health is improved. This is a report that was published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in which Levitin was able to document music’s effects on neurochemical mechanisms. This is especially true when managing a patient’s moods, stress level, immunity (music increases immunoglobulin A – a specific antibody that’s important to your mucous system), and even their social bonding.

Previously the British Journal of Psychiatry published research demonstrating that music therapy in combination with standard care successfully treated depression.

Recommendations for Future Research Based on This Study

There are many areas that additional trials should be conducted in. These include:

  • Considering the relationship between Oxytocin, group affiliation, and music
  • Determining if music affects the same chemical systems in the brains as other pleasurable things (e.g. food, sex) activate since a 2011 study suggests this
  • Randomly selecting a group of people who suffer from chronic pain and assigning them to either a group that’s involved in musical intervention or a group that’s rigorously controlled to see which is more effective

Besides suggesting these topics of future study, Professor Levitin and Chanda also presented some questions they felt should be addressed by such studies. These included:

  • Does playing music vs. listening to music have different effects? If so, what are they?
  • What factors induce music’s positive effects (e.g. distraction, mood induction, social bonding or support)?
  • What stimuli can be used as a foundation when comparing music to arousal, engagement, mood induction or the lack of such feelings?
  • Since Oxytocin is known a “love drug,” what’s its role in mediating a person’s musical experience?
  • Are there some people who are more likely to experience the positive effects of music than other people? If so, what differences help with music intervention’s success (e.g. personality traits, genes, biological factors)?

Conclusion

Although music can do wonders for your mental health, you may still find yourself struggling. If this is true for you and you live in Clearwater, FL reach out to The TMS Advantage. They’ve helped many people become healthier and less anxious and look forward to doing the same for you too so give them a call today.

Picture Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom

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