It’s possible that if we took music a little more seriously, we would be in much better health. According to a study conducted by the Psychology Department as McGill University, music is more effective than drugs for a variety of conditions.
The study found that music can release natural chemicals and pain relievers in the brain that work quicker and better than drugs do. Via TrueActivist
How does it work?
According to one of the main researchers in the study, Professor Levitin, music triggers chemical processes in the brain that have healing effects.
“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics. But even more importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding,” Levitin said. Via TrueActivist
Some of the chemicals released while listening to music include dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, opioids and cortisol. These are associated with higher levels of motivation and pleasure when engaging in certain activities, which in turn helps with eating disorders and a host of other issues.
A major advantage of these chemicals is that they’re natural, so they do not trigger the kind of side effects that you might experience when taking drugs – whether prescribed or not. These chemicals have also been observed to help with stress, social anxiety and poor immunity.
Dr. Francis Chandra commented on the study, saying that that these findings could encourage people to limit their dependence on other drugs.
“We know music facilitates active neurochemical processes in a symphony of opioids which pharmaceutical intervention has been unable to match. We’ve had residents where we could reduce psychotropic drugs or have them come off, and we could see benefits to staff with improvements in morale and engagement,” he said. Via TrueActivist
Music also plays a crucial role in helping people who are struggling with drug dependence.
It has also been found that when patients listen to music before surgery, they have lower levels of anxiety compared to patients given anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax or Valium.
The medication that we take is meant to act as a catalyst that unlocks the natural chemicals already in us. The advantage of music is that it offers an alternative so that these chemicals are unlocked naturally so we can avoid the toxins that enter our bodies when taking medication.
Another study conducted by researchers at Brunel University in the UK found that listening to your favourite music is better than medication in helping you recover from surgery. Patients that listened to music before or after surgery experience faster recovery than those that didn’t. In fact, they reported lower levels of pain than those who used painkillers.
Experts agreed with the study’s findings.
“Music is a powerful tool with roots deep in every culture and civilization — it is wired deeply into the human brain and soul,” Dr. Ron Marino, the associate chairman of pediatrics at Winthrop-University Hospital in New York, told WebMD. “This is another demonstration of nontraditional, non-pharmacologic methods of helping patients deal with pain anxiety and the general medical experience.” Via NewsOK
Even more interesting is the fact that patients who listened to music during surgery, even when under general anesthesia, experience reduced levels of pain.
“Music is a noninvasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery,” Dr. Catherine Meads, the study’s lead author, told The Lancet, which first published the findings. “Patients should be allowed to choose the type of music they would like to hear to maximize the benefit to their well-being.” Via NewsOK
People experiencing heartbreak, and specifically those who’ve just had a breakup, can cope better with music. A study conducted in 2014 found that music helps the brain cut down on stress, so the breakup is no longer that much of a deal for the brain.
And though music therapy won’t fix everyone, it will most often help those who enjoy music, Dr. Ernie Mak, a physician in Canada, told Global News.
“Many patients,” he said, “actually find the music therapy sessions helpful because it does help them come to terms or make sense with their physical suffering on a more spiritual or emotional level.” Via NewsOK
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The power of music: how it can benefit health https://t.co/WhPkisVVix pic.twitter.com/5lBNfPF98G
— Medical News Today (@mnt) November 20, 2015
James Arthur Talks About Mental Health & His Inspiration When Creating Music https://t.co/VPGhjVSJC1 pic.twitter.com/qI6MTtb64m — TRAPS TV (@TrapsTV) November 24, 2015
Music More Effective Than Drugs At Releasing Brain’s Painkillers
400 published scientific papers have proven the old adage that “music is medicine.” Neurochemical benefits of music can improve the body’s immune system, reduce anxiety levels and help regulate mood in ways that drugs have difficulty competing.
“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics,” says Prof. Levitin of McGill University’s Psychology Department. “But even more importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.” Via Prevent Disease
Can Music Be More Effective Than Drugs?
According to a new analysis of 400 published scientific papers, the old adage that “music is medicine” may literally be true. Canadian psychologists from McGill University have shown that the neurochemical benefits of music can boost the body’s immune system, reduce anxiety, and help regulate mood. The time has come, say the researchers, for doctors and therapists to start taking music much more seriously.
The review, which now appears (pdf) in Trends in Cognitive Science, was prompted by the growing number of studies addressing evidence-based music interventions (as opposed to music therapy, which is something else). Prior to this review, no one had really taken the time to look at what all the new evidence was suggesting. Via io9
Taylor Swift Is Actually Good For Your Mental Health — Here’s Why
It’s been covered by everyone from Walk Off The Earth to babies. It’s spent 21 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s arguably one of the most positive tracks of 2014. It’s now 2015, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. However, we couldn’t help but wonder, is Taylor Swift really dispensing the best advice when she tells us to “Shake It Off”?
To answer that query, we hit up someone who knows just a little bit more about mental well-being than we do: Simon A. Rego, director of the cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) training program at the Montefiore Medical Center. Via MTV