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Research and advancements are being done in the field of music and its effects on the human body. Music therapy has been effective in reducing pain, and new research shows that music improves chronic back pain too. How does this work and how one needs to administer music therapy? Read more to find out:
Music is probably the only thing in the world which has a positive effect on your mood, even if you are in a really bad state of mind. Music is not just a mood booster as there are other benefits of listening music.
Scientists are trying to find more and more ways music can influence the quality of human life positively. Scientists and psychologist have even found out a song which reduces anxiety level to a minimum.
Have you ever felt bummed out and then start listening to your favorite song over and over again? I guess every one of us had been in this situation once every couple of months. There is no denying that music lifts up your spirit and makes you energetic even if you are feeling low or down in the dumps.
It is a known fact that you can increase your productivity by keeping you in a good mood. It is not only a great pastime, but it also has effects on the neuro-chemical secretions of our brain.
Like every other field, there are advancements in the science of music and its effects. It has been speculated that music therapy has been established for pain management. Most of pain management techniques nowadays use distraction as the greatest tool for pain management and nothing can distract you better than a good old song.
Scientists have discovered the measurable and quantitative effects of music on human body and pain associated with it. Now scientists are trying to find the ways which are helpful to manage or even cure chronic pain.
There are hospital settings available where music is used to lessen the effects of pain as well as to cheer the patients up and lift their spirit. It has been found that music is found beneficial while treating post-op pain or pediatrics, surgery, etc.
There is a lot of hypothetical work which is being done like a study to find out the effects of music on chronic pain in patients with fibromyalgia. It is a disease which causes severe and chronic pain. The results of this study showed that patients with fibromyalgia felt less pain after listening to their favorite music.
How does it Work?
There are two theories presented for the effects of music on human body pain. It is possible that they both work in order to ease the pain in people. However, the exact mechanism is still needed to be understood.
Release of Opioids
Opioids are the natural relaxants in our body, and these are released when a person is in a relaxed state. It has been seen that music made the opioids secretion in the body. Opioids work like morphine and relax the person. It also eases the pain which means you the pain will be gone if you listen to a relaxing song and you don’t have to take any medication.
It is known that distractions make you forget the pain both emotional and physical. That’s why most of the psychological techniques used in management use distraction as the primary method.
Similarly, when a sufferer of chronic pain listen to music, his mind got redirected and took the attention away from his pain. This is a legitimate pain reduction technique and is being used widely.
Music affects our autonomic systems which control unconscious functions like heart-rate and breathing. Autonomic subdivision of sympathetic nervous system also affects the limbic system and control emotional responses.
The above-mentioned theories are proven for more than once. However, there are a few unpopular theories which are not very common. According to these theories, music does not affect directly to the pain rather aids in relieving the pain by creating relaxed state and reducing the stress levels.
Our brain is a complicated thing, and surprisingly it will be controlled if you want to control it. It has been proven through experimentation that you can control most of your emotion only by teaching your brain to do so.
Similarly, you can rewire your brain to feel the pain less by relaxing yourself and fearless. The music with a good beat can stimulate brain waves which activate the autonomic nervous system and can slow down excited breathing and heart rates.
It has been found out that music makes us come out of the emotional state we are in. Listening to your favorite melodies can be a way of catharsis. Tom Waits once said “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things” which means sugar-coated terrible things will be acceptable if it is said beautifully. You feel yourself better and coming out of the gloomy state.
Your favorite kind of music is like catharsis in certain ways, and the release of stress and tensed state also help you relieve your pain to an extent. It is known that stress and anxiety aggravate any general medical condition which the sufferer has including chronic back pain. When music reduces your tension or anxiety, it is indirectly improving your pain.
Trained Administration is not Necessary
The greater benefits of any technique or therapy can only be gained if you are applying the technique under the supervision of professionals and trained experts. However, music therapy is one thing which can easily be administered any day or anywhere. You just have to put your
favorite music on and let it affect your body positively. If you listen to your favorite music, sit back and relax while doing it and you can achieve the relaxation state you have been searching for. It can easily be applied to the pains and aches which most of us experience on a daily basis. You just have to understand how music is related to the pain and you can treat yourself without any supervision.
How to Administer Music Therapy?
It is recommended to first take some sessions from a trained therapist. However, if you want to try music therapy at home, you can apply music therapy on yourself in these simple steps.
- Start with finding the type of music which makes you relax and then go with it and see how it treats you.
- Once you have found out the best music find a time of a day in which you are free for at least half an hour every day.
- Set the time of the day and start applying music therapy every day at the same time.
- You need to lie down in loose fitting clothes and in a relaxed environment without any distractions or interruptions.
- Listen to the type of music which makes your comfortable and relax the most for at least 25 minutes a day.
If you have a problem with chronic back pain and you are tired of trying steroids and other types of medication, you should at least try music therapy for once.
Everyone loves music and the technology has allowed us to access all kinds of music whenever wherever we want. The right kind of music is what we all need to uplift our mood and relax after a hectic day. Music not only effects our mood but also improves our health.
Here is how music improves our health:
Music is popular in every age group and every gender equally. Even old people tend to listen to music as much as the teenager; the only difference is of taste. Right kind of music makes us relaxed and boost up the mood almost instantly. You can spend a long hard day in your office, and you just have to turn up the music when you come back home, and your mood is boosted immediately. You will feel yourself freshened up after listening to relaxing music. Music is not only a mood booster but also help you in many ways. Here is a list of a few positive effects which music has on us.
1. Healthy Aging
Researchers have found out that music has positive effects on the brain of an older adult. The benefits are doubled when the person is listening or playing music. Playing music is like exercising your brain, and that’s why you will see benefits like memory and better problem-solving techniques in aging individuals. According to research remembering the lyrics of songs can help you combat Alzheimer’s. The reason behind is that lyrics are associated with music and you start remembering things with their association with music.
Similarly, the memory loss due to a brain injury can also be recovered or partially or fully (in rare music) by listening to the music. It works on the same pattern because memories associated with music keep coming back to you when you listen to that music again and again. The reason behind this phenomenon is that the rhythm and sounds of music keep embedded in the brain’s deepest areas for a longer period of time. So, listening to music and remembering the lyrics might help you in your old age and fight neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Listening to music is also associated with the release of dopamine which is the cause of motivation and also helps in learning and memory. Kids nowadays have also reported learning better while listening to music. So, music is much more than a few phrases written and sung in rhythm; it helps you memorize, retain and recall the material you have learned. May be, our kids are smarter than us anyway.
2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Reduction in stress and anxiety is one of the most commonly known facts about listening to music. You don’t have to be a great researcher or a trained psychologist to know the effects of music which it has on us during our anxious phases. The reason is that you feel an immediate reduction in your stress levels when you are listening to music. Recall yourself, doing you Math’s homework while listening to music and if you can’t think of an even, just give it a try, and you will know it yourself.
Researchers are even able to find out a song which reduces anxiety to its minimum levels. The song with a low pitch, without lyrics and instrumental ones are known to reduce anxiety as well as stress levels. Music lowers the cortisol (stress inducing hormones) levels and also prevents heart beat and hypertension. There are hundreds of studies proving the effectiveness of music in reducing anxiety and stress.
3. Sleep Quality and Better Immunity
As music can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety which means it creates the calming effect. Hence, music can improve the quality of sleep in many people. It is also speculated that music might create better and more restful sleep. Researchers are now trying to find out the use of music in treating insomnia. Cortisol increases the chances of heart diseases, interfere with learning and memory, higher blood pressure and less bone density.
Cortisol which is a stress hormone is also related to the weakening of immune system and when music reduces the cortisol levels which mean your immune system is getting better. It has been found out that listening to music for almost an hour increases antibodies in humans and develop
better immune system and a healthy human eventually. There is not much about the specific types of music and only the music of personal preference can cause positive effects.
You are guaranteed to run more on your treadmill when you are listening to upbeat, motivational music as compared to running without music. Music helps us exercise and researchers have found this out through many studies. However, it is not a matter of research as you can simply observe this phenomenon in your daily life. If you are listening to the music while exercising you will feel more motivated and will get more oxygen through your lungs. It is not only applicable to exercise; you can do almost anything (physically demanding) for a longer period of time if you are listening to music. It also improves your mood and reduces the feelings of sadness and that is why you feel more motivated and workout more.
5. Pain Management
It is still a favorite topic for researcher about the effects of music on pain reduction. However, in recent studies clearly positive effects of pain reduction have been seen. A study on patients with fibromyalgia has proven the importance of music in pain reduction. It is not clear how music reduces pain but assumptions have been made about the release of dopamine to play a part in pain reduction. Stress reduction may also be associated with the pain reduction. Whatever the reason behind the pain reduction by listening to music, it is clear that music reduces pain effectively.
Music with right rhythm is probably the only thing the human body needs in extreme stress or even after a long hard day. A quote says that we listen to music with our muscles which means it has far longer and deeper effects on our body then we think.