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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

What effects does music have on our body?

What effects does music have on our body?

Whether we prefer classical music, jazz, pop or something else, the first reason why we listen to them is that we like this music for how it sounds.

Brian Harris, an accomplished neurological music therapist stated that "There is no other stimulus on earth that simultaneously engages our brain as extensively as music does", and music indeed engages not only the auditory system, but other areas as well. such as those responsible for movement, language, attention, memory, emotions.

This activation occurs whether we are listening to music, playing an instrument or singing.

In stroke therapies, music therapy is introduced as an aid in the recovery of speech and movement.

When we listen to music at a constant rhythm, the auditory system but also the motor system is activated.

Some studies, for example, have also found that listening to music can allow people to exercise longer during cardiac exercise tests performed on a treadmill or stationary bike, improving the function of blood vessels by relaxing the arteries, thus helping heart rate and blood pressure levels return to baseline more quickly after physical exertion. Likewise, its usefulness has been seen in alleviating anxiety in heart attack survivors, and in helping people recovering from cardiac surgery to experience less pain and anxiety.

Among other pleasant sensations, listening to or creating music triggers the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that aids motivation.

Sound processing begins in the brainstem, which also controls heart rate and breathing. This connection may explain why relaxing music can lower heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and also appears to relieve pain, stress, and anxiety.

Individual musical preferences are key: Research suggests that patient-selected music shows greater beneficial effects than music chosen by someone else. The American Music Therapy Association has stated that music “provokes responses because of the familiarity, predictability, and feelings of safety associated with it.”

It is therefore extremely recommended to integrate music into daily activities, the important thing is that the decibel level is maintained within a safe range.

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