You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to recognize that music has an effect on your mood.
MUSIC AS A WAY TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
Music evokes memory, inspires creativity, alleviates boredom, lifts spirits, and enhances motivation during a workout. But can listening to music boost your physical health and, in particular, your immune system?
The answer appears to be a resounding yes.
For decades, scientists have been exploring the power of music from various angles:
- How does music affect everyday tasks?
- Does music influence states of arousal?
- Can music alter the response to stressors?
- Does music improve depression and anxiety?
- Can music improve recovery from surgery?
- Does type of music make a difference?
STRESS, MUSIC, AND IMMUNITY
It goes like this:
Frequent stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol in the bloodstream; too much cortisol deteriorates the immune response, making us more prone to illness and certain chronic diseases.
Listening to our favorite “uplifting music” calms the mind and body enough to lower levels of cortisol and raise the levels of antibodies associated with fighting infection.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS BEST FOR HEALTH BENEFITS?
Because musical preference is such a personal matter, it’s difficult to study all the different styles and the impact on individuals.
However, we can do our own research:
Researchers are examining the healing effects of music composed specifically in tune with physiological measures and brain wave patterns.
If you have specific health concerns, consider having a music therapist design a customized program for you. Ask your natural medicine practitioner for a referral.
Which tunes boost your immunity? Share in the comments below!
Chandra, ML. & Levitin, DJ., “The Neurochemistry of Music.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, (April 2013) 17:4. Accessed 4 May 2017: https://daniellevitin.com/levitinlab/articles/2013-TICS_1180.pdf Goldstein, B. “The Secret Language of the Heart: How to Use Music, Sound, and Vibration as Tools for Healing and Personal Transformation.” (2016) Hierophant Publishing. http://www.barrygoldsteinmusic.com/book/
APA.org “Science Watch: Music as Medicine.” Posted by Amy Novotney; (Nov 2013 44:10). Accessed on 4 May 2017: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx
American Music Therapy Association. “Selected Bibliography on Music Therapy and Mental Health.” Accessed 4 May 2017: https://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Mental_Health_2006.pdf
Ryback, R., “Music’s Power Explained.” .” (posted Mar 2016). Psychology Today Online. Accessed 4 May 2017: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201601/music-s-power-explained
Bergland, C., “Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1.” (posted Jan 2013). Psychology Today Online. Accessed 4 May 2017: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1
North, A.C. and Hargreaves, D.J. “Responses to music in aerobic exercise and yogic relaxation classes.” Br. J. Psychol. (1996) 87, 535–547. http://psychsource.bps.org.uk/details/journalArticle/3476991/Responses-to-music-in-aerobic-exercise-and-yogic-relaxation-classes.html
Sloboda, J.A. and O’Neill, S.A. “Emotions in everyday listening to music.” In Music and Emotion: Theory and Research (Juslin, P.N. and Sloboda, J.A., eds) (2001) pp. 415–429, Oxford University Press. Accessed 4 May 2017: http://konecni.ucsd.edu/pdf/2003%20M-E%20Review%20MP.pdf
Rickard, N.S. “Intense emotional responses to music: a test of the physiological arousal hypothesis.” Psychol. Music (2004) 32, 371–388. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735604046096
Brown,S.etal, “Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems.” NeuroReport (2004)15, 2033–2037. http://www.neuroarts.org/pdf/neuroreport.pdf
Davis, W.B. and Thaut, M.H. “The influence of preferred relaxing music on measures of state anxiety, relaxation, and physiological responses.” J. Music Ther (1989). 26, 168–187. https://academic.oup.com/jmt/article-abstract/26/4/168/866016/The-Influence-of-Preferred-Relaxing-Music-on?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Khalfa, S. et al., “Effects of relaxing music on salivary cortisol level after psychological stress.” Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (2003) 999, 374–376. http://www.mpblab.vizja.pl/documents/publications/Khalfa_et_al_2003.pdf