Music has long been recognized as an effective form of therapy. A 2011 report also found that music reduced the anxiety of cancer patients and helped them cope with the situation both mentally and physically. There are innumerable psychological and physical benefits that music brings to the person listening to it, such as aiding in social bonding, overcoming depression and mood management.
Music helps in pain management. A study conducted in 2013 on patients who undergone spine surgeries aimed at analysing how music therapy benefited them in overcoming the pain. It was found that after four weeks of therapy, the patients experienced reduction in pain as well as helped them overcome symptoms of depression caused by their condition. The study concluded that music can alleviate pain before and after the surgery.
In an article published by the American Psychological Association, titled “Music as medicine,” several researchers testify on the calming effects of music on people. Psychologist Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal, conducted a research on the effects of music on a person. He worked on this with his research fellow, Lisa Chanda, PhD, and found that music improves the body’s immune system and reduces stress.
In his book, “This is Your Brain on Music,” Levitin states that music reduces the level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress.
In his research, Levitin also found that music improved the performance of the immune systems of his subjects. In his book, he states that listening to music causes an increase in the production of the antibody immunoglobulin A and natural killer cells. These are cells responsible for fighting the viruses as well as helps boost the effectiveness of the body’s immune system.
A 2011 study, “Individual music therapy for depression: randomised controlled trial,” published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that music teamed with standard care help reduce depression in patients. Professor Christian Gold, co-researcher of the study, stated in the press release that music helped those suffering from depression to express themselves in non-verbal ways. Gold believes that music therapy gives people space to express their inner experiences.
Article by Samantha Richardson, www. au.ibtimes.com, www.msidallas.com