Music is a great mood regulator, whether it’s used in conjunction with exercise or not. Loud, upbeat music generally has a stimulating effect, whereas slow music can act as a sedative.
It’s very encouraging that more and more health professionals are beginning to realize the value of simple techniques such as music, using it as an adjunct to promote healing even in more conventional medical settings. As pediatrician Linda Fisher stated in the article above, it’s the music’s rhythm, melody and tonal quality that puts the patient in that “special place of peace” where healing can be achieved faster.
For example, harp music might be particularly helpful for people who have heart trouble. Harvard researchers have shown that the rhythms of healthy hearts may be similar to those found in classical music, and that certain rhythms, such as that of harp music can cause your heart to beat more normally.
Other studies from the early 1990s concluded that music significantly lowered the heart rates and calmed and regulated the blood pressures and respiration rates of patients who had undergone surgery.
Music therapy has also been shown to:
- Improve motor skills in patients recovering from strokes
- Boost your immune system
- Improve mental focus
- Help control pain
- Create a feeling of well-being
- Reduce anxiety
One study published in the October issue of The Journal of Clinical Nursing found that pregnant women listening to soothing music showed significant reductions in stress, anxiety and depression.
The researchers concluded that,
“The findings can be used to encourage pregnant women to use this cost-effective method of music in their daily life to reduce their stress, anxiety and depression.”
Just more evidence that some of the simplest things in the world can benefit your health in profound ways.
Since depression, general stress and anxiety are very common issues facing many pregnant women, this is excellent advice, especially in light of the ever increasing use of antidepressant drugs during pregnancy. Although some studies claim that using antidepressants during pregnancy does not raise your risk of having a baby with birth defects, others have shown that they can cause severe rebound effects in your baby.
Clearly drugs are rarely the best choice for pregnant women who are depressed. There are so many better options – music being one of them.
In addition to various types of music, like classical, nature sounds such as birds, rainstorms, frogs or ocean waves are also often used as a stress-relief tool. The sounds have a calming effect and can help patients relax while undergoing medical procedures.
Another exceptional, and more scientific, tool to help you dramatically reduce the stress that is a prime contributor to all forms of disease, while maximizing your awareness and potential for growth, is the Insight audio CD. Many of the patients at my clinic (Dr. Mercola.com) have received enormous benefits from it. Layered beneath the soothing sounds of natural rain is a “binaural beat,” which can help you achieve dramatically powerful states of altered consciousness.