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May 16, 2011

The Benefits of Music

Music is part of our everyday lives. We hear it in the elevator, in the malls, and while we drive. We think of music as something to dance or relax to when it is actually much more than that. A study done by Michael Miller, M.D., director of the preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, shows that music has many more health benefits that you think.

Music can help to lower blood pressure naturally. A recent study indicates that listening to music such as classical or Celtic music can assist in lowering blood pressure as much as cutting salt out of your diet or losing a few pounds can. Music can lower the risk of heart disease from 5-15%. Although music should not replace any blood pressure medication or exercise, it can always help! It is not known if music has long term effects.

Music that has a strong beat can sync your brainwaves which can increase alertness and sharpen concentration. The change in brainwave activity allows the brain to shift speeds when necessary. Music with a slower tempo brings upon a calm state of mind and improves the ability to focus long after listening to music.

Music can also slow down our breathing and our heart rate. This causes your body to relax, which prevents chronic stress from occurring. Music can result in a positive state of mind which can help to overcome depression and anxiety. People who have suffered depression felt like they could control the pain with music. Music naturally releases endorphins which act like a natural pain killer. Music distracts someone from pain which encourages relaxation.

Listening to soothing music for at least half an hour a day can help reduce stress. Moreover, listening to music while falling asleep can ensure that we get the sleep we need by taking away stress, depression, and anxiety that we might take to our beds from a tough day. Music can also boost exercise performance and can increase energy.

It is now easy to see that music is not just here to keep us entertained while driving to work; it is so much more than that. With so many benefits for our health and mind, it’s no wonder there’s music everywhere we go.