Music is known to sooth the savage beast but it can also do remarkable things for our own bodies and souls. The therapeutic value of music has long been recognized by health professionals; a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic even illustrated that music can ease physical pain and improve memory. From the perfect song that soothes raw feelings to the one that get us pumped up for a night of the town, the power of music and its effects on us are hard to deny. Here are just a few of the ways that music affects our minds and our bodies.
It Protects Our Brain as We Age
According to a study conducted in 2011, be trained in playing a musical instrument can actually help keep you mentally sharp as you age. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center surveyed 70 people over the age of 60 and found that those who dedicated the most time to playing an instrument scored the highest on tests for mental sharpness and overall brain function.
Music Lowers Anxiety
Feeling a little stressed after the holidays? A group of researchers from Group Health Research Institute found that listening to music on a regular basis decreased anxiety as much as a 10 hour-long massage. So the text time the commute is making you feel a little tense just turn on the radio for some long lasting stress relief.
Improves Heart Health
We know music is good for the soul but it turn out that its also good for your heart. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that listening to happy music can be linked to a 25% increase in the dilation of the inner lining of blood vessels, meaning better blood circulation to the heart.
It Eases Pain
A recent study found that listening to music helped distract people with anxiety from experiencing pain. When people were listening to music they had less of a reaction to minor electrical shocks than those who were not listening to music.
Aides in Recovery
A study conducted in Finland found that listening to music could help stroke victims recover faster. Patients who listened to music exhibited improved verbal skills and attention span than those who did not.
According to researchers, children who take music lessons perform better on tests that require memory recall. The study found that the more musical training a child had the better their verbal memory, regardless of gender age or education.
Preserves Sound-Processing Abilities
It turns out that musicians actually have better sound-processing abilities than those who do not play an instrument, according to Psychology and Aging. Not only that, but musicians who spent the most time playing an instrument also performed highest on hearing tests.
Lowers Stress during Surgery
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that patients who listened to music while undergoing brain surgery were more relaxed than those who underwent surgery in a silent operating room. The music was so effective in calming surgery anxiety that some of the patients even fell asleep on the table.