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As a music lover, you will notice that different kinds of music evoke different reactions in you. While some may bring tears to your eyes, some will definitely leave your happy. Truth is,music is not only for entertainment. It has been used as a form of therapy to cure various emotional and physical issues throughout the years. Here are a few ways in which music has been able to cure different ailments
Music for Pain Relief
Recent study showed that individuals who listened to music while receiving safe electric shocks cut their pain level by 17%. For this to work, you need to be actively listening to the music – paying attention to the lyrics. Some of the same brain pathways that process music, process pain. So listening to music distracts you from the pain. Researchers have postulated that music is best for relieving acute pain. It does not matter what kind of music it is, so long as it is one you like.
Music to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Listening to music relaxes our minds especially slow music such as classical music. Such music relaxes by slowing pulse and heart rates which in turn reduces the level of our stress hormones. Singing along to music can help reduce tension. Certain people have found karaoke freeing and relaxing. People that listen to soothing music before sleeping or play music while they sleep have been known to sleep better. Individuals have testified that playing natural sounds such as the sound of the waves or lapping ocean while they sleep makes them wake feeling fully rested. Listening to music on headphones has been said to reduce anxiety in patients pre and post-surgery.
Music Can Make You Happier
In a research done by Yuna Ferguson and Kennon Sheldon in The Journal of Positive Psychlogy (2013), participants who listened to upbeat classical music and made conscious effort be happier, became happier as opposed to those who unreceptively listened to music. This shows that really listening to that upbeat music you love so much could actually lift your spirits. This however works for just upbeat music, you cannot listen to sad songs and expect your mood to change. You will become even sadder.
Music and Dementia
Classical music has been said to awaken memories when sung by dementia and Alzheimer patients. Neurologist Oliver Sacks said ‘music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memories’. In late stages of dementia, patients become unable to share emotions. While listening to music, some patients in late stage dementia danced and exchanged hugs and kisses thereby sharing emotions. It’s important to note that these patients could walk earlier. Music has not been known to heal the lame. Music works so well for dementia patients because it requires little mental processing so singing does not require cognitive ability that is absent in dementia patients.
All these probably change the way you see music, no go grab your headphones and turn on your favourite track!