Music More Effective than Drugs
In a 6-minute video, nutrition expert Dr. Greger discusses peer-reviewed research that shows how music can be more effective than drugs for lowering anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, with no side effects. Music is also effective for procedures with children, such as getting shots, doing spinal taps, and so on. Apparently listening to Mozart (but not Beethoven) can reduce skin allergic reactions! It gets more interesting: listening to Mozart (but not Bach) reduces the resting energy expenditure (REE) of preemie infants; they put on weight faster, and go home sooner from the hospital. For adults, listening to our choice of music increases our metabolism such that we burn more calories even when we’re resting! Even more fascinatingly, various kinds of music reduce testosterone in men (which governs sex drive and aggression) while increasing it in women (it governs affection), suggesting that we may have evolved to make music to promote more harmonious relationships!
More research reveals greater benefits of music therapy.
Music is ancient – “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity”1 – the first tones and sounds came to early man by way of wind through holes in wood or rocks, water falling on rocks in streams, rocks falling into water and animals, song birds and wind going through leaves. Psithurism is salubrious; in other words, the sound of rustling leaves gives us a feeling of good health. So, music has been with us since the beginning, in one form or another, as nature’s gift to benefit all. Music is a language that can be understood by all nations, all the people of the world and you don’t have to learn it or play it, you can just listen (and dance) and enjoy all its benefits.
Some music therapists use music and all of its facets —physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual — to help clients improve their physical and mental health. In fact, musical experiences can aid in improving health in several domains, such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional development, social skills and quality of life. For Alzheimer’s disease, music has been proven to help ease suffering in many ways.
Music therapy has a wide qualitative and quantitative research literature base with over 18,000 peer-reviewed articles published since 2014, according to Google Scholar. Music therapy incorporates clinical therapy, psychotherapy, biomusicology (the biological study of musicality), musical acoustics, music theory, psychoacoustics (the study of sound perception), embodied music cognition (the role of the body in relation to music), aesthetics of music, sensory integration (how sensory perception affects behavior) and comparative musicology.
All the songs we have ever heard and all the songs that have been or will be created are made up of just twelve musical notes, ignoring octaves of course. Each note can go to another note, or to itself, or to a rest, and this yields twelve possibilities, then each of those possibilities can yield twelve more. When you factor in rhythm, then each note can take on one of many different note lengths and the number of possibilities grow very rapidly. Those combinations evoke emotions, thoughts, moods and realizations, depending on the environment, time, situation or use. Just think about the last time you heard a song that made you feel happier, sadder, nostalgic, or annoyed. At Alchemus Prime, we utilize music and sounds to evoke positive moods and inspire our clients to cognitively, physiologically and behaviorally utilize music to reach their prime potentials.
Given all the science behind the power of music to heal us and give us inspiration to be our best, it might be that time. Time to search for new music, look into that concert you’ve been thinking about, put on some Mozart for your baby, dance like there is no one watching and take your mp3 player to the office!
That time is now!
*Written by Marilyn Cornelius and Sundarajan Mutialu
1 From the Merriam Webster Dictionary