Have you ever listened to music when exhausted/ stressed or discouraged and then suddenly your feel happier, at peace and energetic? Music has been used for over years in different ways such as curing mental disorders, boost morale while engaging in any intense activity. Music Therapy is used to improve physical and emotional health.

People get pleasure from music by listening, composing, singing along, moving or dancing, playing an instrument and meditating. In any form that one enjoys music, it has been proven to have a great impact on the heart, body and soul.

Personally, when I listening to music, everything else in my mind shuts down. It gives me a certain aura of peace, harmony and happiness. It helps me to vividly remember every bit of information or even activities I was carrying out when the song was playing.

Music has been linked to several health benefits that include:-

  1. Elevates moods

Have you ever been so frustrated with an issue then decided to listen to music you love? When sad, you become happy, when angry and anxious you relax and when annoyed and upset you become pleased by what you are hearing.

For instance, some studies have found that listening to music you enjoy may increase the release of pleasure-causing substances in the brain like norepinephrine and melatonin. It may also decrease stress-causing hormone production in the body. 

  • Reduce Stress and Depression

Life is full of stress and depression that comes as we engage in our day to day lives. According to recent research, stress starts in the brain and then kicks off a chain reaction that switches on the stress response in every cell of our bodies. Over time, these cellular switches can get stuck in the “on” position, leading to feelings of burnout, anger, or depression as well as a host of physical ailments. Making and listening to music can help reduce stress by reducing the chain reaction that is causing stress and depression.

  • Improves memory and learning

Music has been used for memory recovery, learning and retaining new information, remembering memories that happened before and has been over time been used by Alzheimer Patient to help them recover from memory loss.

UC Davis study conducted by Petr Janata found that music triggers a memory in the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that Alzheimer’s touches last. He discovered from brain scans there was an increased level of mental activity in 17 participants who listened to 30 music samples.

Another study by Lutz Jäncke from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland found that music triggers different types of memory:

  • Explicit memory – deliberate, conscious, intentional
  • Implicit memory – reactive, unintentional, emotional

Implicit memory systems are robust and emotional, and not damaged by Alzheimer’s disease, which means the memory beyond our consciousness, is very powerful. Music is something that triggers subconscious emotional memory.

  • Comforts and Lower anxiety

Music has been used in different ways to enhance comfort and lower anxiety. An experimental study was conducted as a self- controlled clinical study to identify the effect of music on comfort, anxiety in patients with Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) in the ICU of a state hospital located in Adana, Turkey.

Research indicates that music creates a balance between mind, body and soul. It has positive effects on pain and anxiety and increases the quality of life of sick or healthy people (Uçan and Ovayolu, 2006). Music is an important tool which distracts patients’ attention and decreases their heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and breath rate. Brain waves can be accelerated or decelerated with music and they can create an anxiolytic impact by helping the coordination of muscle tension and movements (Uçan and Ovayolu, 2007). Music therapy is defined as “a major branch which makes use of music and musical activities to meet people’s physical, psychological, social and mental needs” and accepted as a scientific treatment method compatible with traditional medicine (Erer and Atıcı, 2010).

  • Exercise performance

Music exerts an ergogenic effect when it improves physical performance by either delaying fatigue or increasing work capacity. This often results in higher than expected levels of endurance, power, productivity, or strength.

When accompanying training and workouts with music, researchers have suggested assembling a wide selection of familiar tracks that meet the following six criteria to achieve benefits to performance:-

(a) strong, energising rhythm; (b) positive lyrics having associations with movement (c) rhythmic pattern well matched to movement patterns of the athletic activity; (d) uplifting melodies and harmonies; (e) associations with sport, exercise, triumph, or overcoming adversity and (f) a musical style or idiom suited to an athlete’s taste and cultural upbringing. Choose tracks with different tempi, to coincide with alternate low-, medium-, and high-intensity training.

  • Better sleep and Relaxing

Current findings indicate that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat causing alpha brainwaves (frequencies from 8 – 14 hertz or cycles per second). This alpha brainwave is what is present when we are relaxed and conscious. To induce sleep (a delta brainwave of 5 hertz) a person may need to devote at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to calming music.

  • Reduce and eases pain

Pleasant music triggers the release of the brain chemical dopamine,” explains Robert Zatorre, of McGill University, who studies emotion and music. This change “is strongly associated with other rewarding and motivating stimuli, such as food, sex, and certain addictive drugs,” Zatorre adds. 

Bradshaw’s research shows that the more actively engaged a person is in music, the less pain they feel. For instance, a group of non-musicians asked to listen for errors in a musical passage reported less pain when receiving small electric shocks than those who passively listened to the music. 

  • Peacefulness

Music is a power that directly reaches the soul of the individual; it becomes a peaceful message that goes from heart to heart: from the heart of the composer that impact the heart of the person.

And that power, working along with the peaceful and calming word shared, is strong, and influences individuals, societies and governments; and is used to educate, teach and transmit values that benefit the social, intellectual, moral and spiritual development of an individual. 

  1. Heart health

Published in the European Heart Journal, this paper reviewed existing evidence related to music and cardiovascular health. After reviewing past research, the authors found that music is associated with several markers of heart health. First, studies suggest that compared to silence, music tends to increase heart rate and speed up breathing. Faster music also speeds up heart rate and breathing more than slower music. One study found that unpleasant music is associated with a decrease in heart rate compared to pleasant music.

Research suggests that music may also improve the health of patients living with heart disease. Past studies have found that not only can music reduce pain and anxiety, it may also help lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Whenever you feel tired, stressed, depressed, in pain, angry, sad, heartbroken, have burnouts or discouraged, TURN ON THE MUSIC. Get yourself portable JBL FLIP 4 speaker and JBL reflect countour 2 earphones from Amazon you can relax at the park, exercise and cycle while listening to your music.

Published by Carolyne Gitahi

Live, Love and Learn

2 thoughts on “THE POWER OF MUSIC

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