9 julio, 2024

What is Music for? 12 Reasons to Listen

The music It serves to provide great health benefits such as: maintaining heart rate, reassuring the baby, reducing anxiety or depression, among many others. Likewise, experts say that it improves vision and our cognitive and verbal abilities.

In summary, it can be said that music serves: «To express, listen, shut up, change, be different, be equal, unite, strengthen, harmonize, balance, define, be unique, coexist, reflect, diverge, coincide, motivate , support, reach, try again, imagine, inspire, etc.”. (Music Teacher Network Portal).

Therefore, if you focus on health, music has a positive influence in broad strokes. Above all, in the improvement of brain functions, which, in turn, leads to other contributions to our body that are worth knowing below:

Health benefits of music

1- Brain function

To understand the usefulness of music, it is good to go back to the emotional or limbic system of the brain, since it processes feelings in the right hemisphere. This is the one that is activated when an individual hears a melody, affecting her imagination.

It should be noted that language contemplates a large part of the left hemisphere to be produced. Meanwhile, music uses the right hemisphere. Consequently, these two human functions are reciprocal.

In addition, in this line, the intonation of the language is located in the right hemisphere, and the musical rhythm, for its part, in the left.

2- Reduces anxiety and depression

According to the Collective-evolution site, music helps in the field of depression and anxiety.

Scientists at Drexel University found that cancer patients who listened to their favorite tunes or worked with a music therapist reduced their levels of anxiety. They also reported better blood pressure levels and were in better spirits.

Therefore, according to experts, music would have positive effects on the human psyche since it fights depression, pain and a better quality of life is obtained.

3- Stimulates the body’s defenses

According to a study, relaxing music is capable of reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which interferes with learning and memory, decreases bone capacity, etc.

According to research, listening to fifty minutes of music a day increases the body’s defenses, boosting the immune system. Although the different types of music were not analyzed, the preference of personal melodies, can have these positive effects of protecting health.

4- Improves memory

According to the previous study, music can contribute to improving memory, recording events, data and information in the brain in the short and long term.

The people who participated in the experiment of this study tried to memorize Japanese letters, while listening to reflective or positive music for them.

The investigation showed as a result that the participants who were already musicians retained the data better, with relaxing music, as well as the non-musicians, who with positive and meditative music were able to memorize the information.

5- Regulates sleep

Music can be a good remedy to combat insomnia and other types of sleep disturbances. In the United States, for example, more than 30% of the population suffers from this disease.

According to the previous studies, a group of students who participated in an investigation showed that they could sleep better after listening to slow music.

6- Keep the rhythm

For those athletes who run or jog frequently, listening to some stimulating music encourages them to increase their pace or maintain it.

A study from Brunel University in London showed that music contributes to increasing physical resistance by up to 15%. This, in turn, helps to reduce the perception of effort during exercise and boost energy efficiency by 3%.

Experts affirm that the best alternatives for this purpose are songs with a tropical rhythm, trance, or techno, which encourage aerobic movements in practices such as zumba, which can have a metronomic effect on resistance.

7- Chronic patients

On the other hand, music can have a positive impact on patients with long-term diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes or respiratory problems.

According to tests done by scientists, music can lower heart and blood pressure.

In this sense and according to doctor Dr. Williamson: “Music can be very useful for someone who is in a situation in which they have lost a lot of control of their external environment. Especially for those who are in the hospital for a long period of time, with a serious illness and are not able to move”.

8- Induces a state of meditation

If a person wants to relax, listening to classical, Tibetan or Hindu music is a way to achieve that goal and induce a meditative state in the body.

Certain musical rhythms, melodic and harmonic, can alter brain waves in a positive way. Create an atmosphere in the brain when a person is in a hypnotic state or, simply, meditating.

Some research asserts that the use of rhythmic stimuli (such as music) induces states can have a therapeutic effect, relieving symptoms of migraine, premenstrual syndrome, or behavioral problems.

9- Improves cognitive performance

A study carried out with university students showed that those who listened to classical music while answering some tests obtained better grades than those who did not.

Also, experts suggest that listening to more than one type of music increases cognitive ability.

10- Elevates mood while driving

Some experts say that listening to music while driving a car can positively affect people’s mood.

11 -Improves blood vessel function

Some scientists have found that patients who experience positive emotions, such as joy and excitement, while listening to music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function.

The participants of a study carried out by experts proved that they feel happier when listening to music, which resulted in an increase in blood flow, in the blood vessels, improving the circulatory system.

12- Control your appetite

When music is able to reduce stress, relax, raise your mood and kill anxiety, it means that it controls your appetite.

According to a study, playing soft music in the background in the dining room, while enjoying the snack, and with low lighting, can contribute to slower eating and, therefore, food can be consumed in one sitting.

This generates a feeling of satiety that removes the feeling of hunger and can help reduce weight if there is a need for a diet.

12- Mozart effect

Putting classical music on fetuses and babies is a good way to calm them down and stimulate their cognitive function. The so-called “Mozart effect” points to the series of presumed benefits produced by listening to music.

This effect «continues to be the subject of investigation, without any firm or definitive pronouncement that vindicates or rejects the theory in question.»

According to the specialist in the field Don Campbell, the melody is what stimulates the development of the baby from before birth while it is inside the womb.

In this sense, the mother’s voice, plus her heartbeat, calm the fetus. «The height of the sounds awakens her ears and stimulates her to develop language, songs, rhythmic games and will teach her to move her body with agility.»

References

Study: «The effect of music on the Human Stress Response» (2013). Myriam V. Thoma, Roberto La Marca, Rebecca Brönnimann, Linda Finkel, Ulrike Ehlert, and Urs M. Nater. Robert L. Newton, Publisher. Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States.
Study: «Music improves the quality of sleep in students» (2008). Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.
Study: «Pleasant music affects reinforcement learning according to the listener» (2013). Benjamin P., Michael J. Frank., Brigitte Bogert, and Elvira Brattico. Brain Research Cognitive Unit, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Department of Music, Finnish Center of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.

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