Music is not just a collection of sounds and rhythms. Its influence on the brain goes far deeper than any other human experience. Read on for all the truly enigmatic powers of music.
Music helps premature babies
Premature babies seem to feel less pain and feed more when listening to music, a recent study suggests. Experts led by Dr. Manoj Kumar of the University of Alberta, Canada, analyzed nine clinical trials and found that music had a beneficial effect on pain relief in premature babies undergoing painful procedures such as than heel prick blood tests. It also appeared to benefit full-term babies during operations.
Premature infants need to stay under medical supervision longer to gain weight and become stronger. To speed up this process, many hospitals resort to quiet and pleasant music. Canadian scientists have found that music reduces sensitivity to pain and improves the sucking reflex in these babies, thereby contributing to weight gain. Music is also a good way to put newborns to sleep.
Music helps people recover from brain damage
Many people with brain damage have problems with speech and movement. As an alternative and effective treatment, doctors often recommend that these patients listen to good music to stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for these two functions. When people with neurological disorders caused by stroke or Parkinson’s disease hear musical rhythm, it helps them regain symmetrical walking and a sense of balance.
Music prevents hearing loss
While music won’t cure deafness, it can really prevent hearing loss. There was an experiment involving 163 people including 74 musicians.
Participants were invited to take listening tests. Musicians heard sounds better than non-musicians, and this difference becomes more evident with aging. This means that a 70-year-old musician can hear better than a 50-year-old non-musician, even in a noisy environment.
Music heals a broken heart
No, it is not about a lost love, but about a heart attack. The problem is, music can help people recover from a heart attack or heart surgery by lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, and relieving anxiety. Listening to quality music evokes positive emotions, improves circulation and dilates blood vessels, thus promoting rapid rehabilitation of the entire cardiovascular system.
Use the power of upbeat songs that you associate with positive memories, preferably from your more distant past when you felt safe, on top of your game, and happy. Avoid songs that even remotely drag you into the emotions of your breakup. Train your brain out of its funk by listening often and with intention.
So, friends, listen to first class music and be healthy, physically and mentally!