Pretty much everyone enjoys music of one kind of another, but there’s a difference between simple pleasure and the measurable benefits that music brings to our good health. We continue to hear about the latter as researchers stumble on the evidence.
Music can make a difference, even when we’re unconscious
German researchers have found that music not only improves our moods, but it has positive effects on our heart rate. They found that autonomic responses synchronize with music. That offers a hint that our long-term health may be stirred by our emotional response to rhythms and volume shifts.
Interestingly, it was found that the music performance itself had more effect than how a person perceives the music. In other words, whether or not we like the music, it still has an effect on our heart.
Skin diseases aggravated by emotion may be alleviated by music
It was shown in a recent study conducted by experts in stress medicine that skin disorders, including psoriasis vulgaris and neurodermatitis, can be aggravated by emotions. The study measured the effects of Medical Resonance Therapy Music (MRT-Music) on the skin disorders’ appearance.
For 14 days, two control and two study groups were studied. The experimental groups listened to music three times a day for 30 minutes. In measuring blood pressure, heart rates, and amount of reaction to scratches, it was found that the music had a measurable positive effect.
The psoriasis patients had an even greater reduction than neurodermatitis patients.
Classical music improves sleep quality
College students who had sleep disorders were studied to determine if music could help resolve their difficulties. Experimental groups listened either to classical music or to audio books at bedtime for a period of three weeks.
The classical music not only had a positive effect on the subjects’ sleep, but also reduced depressive conditions in the students.
Rhythmic music can alter brain function and assist neurological conditions
A symposium at Stanford University explored whether rhythmic music can help in neurological conditions such as attention deficit disorder or depression. It’s been known that music that has a strong beat will stimulate listeners’ brains, and cause their brainwaves to resonate with the rhythm.
Slower rhythms brainwaves to subside into a hypnotic state of meditation. People become more alert and can concentrate better while listening to faster beats.
Studies have also found that combining rhythmic pulses of light at the same time has the greatest effect on brain activity so that’s often used in religious ceremonies for that reason.
Music can improve our mood while we’re driving
A Dutch study sought to discover whether listening to music affects our driving behavior. It found that listening to music positively changed mood, which can help us drive more safely. Driving in high-performance challenges were also affected by music.
While music effects are only just getting systematically studied, man has used music to enhance mental and physical states since we first beat a log with a stick. As the research progresses, we may be able to use the findings to enhance the quality of life in our homes and offices.