Listening to your favorite song may do good not just to your mind, but playing it can benefit your body too, writes Saliha Nasline
One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain…“ This excerpt from legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley’s song titled `Trenchtown Rock’ isn’t just about the heart or lifting spirits.
Studies show that music not only helps in coping with pain but also benefits one’s physical and mental health.
Music as a healer
Dr V Vandana, clinical psychologist at Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru said, “Music does have a positive effect on one’s health. It helps reduce the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and post surgery pain.“
Music is known to reduce stress, help deal with depression (classical meditative sounds seem to be particularly uplifting) and elevate mood. Music also helps people perform better in controlling their high blood pressure and in reducing anxiety, she said.
“Listening to music can have a real effect on various parts of the brain, as it works on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the control of one’s blood pressure, brain function and heart beat,“ said Dr Sajeev, a general physician at Sanjeevani Clinic, Bengaluru. Music can actually have a crucial positive impact on patients with long-term illnesses such as cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease. “It helps patients fight the dis ease as listening to music leads to physiological changes that eventually lead to stress reduction and direct immune enhancement,“ Vandana said.
Music is a mood booster. It doesn’t matter what song you listen to, music has the capability to change your mood from bad to good.
“Listening to your favorite music triggers the brain to release the feel good chemical called dopamine that could help fade away a bad mood,“ Sajeev said.
Interestingly , there’s a link between productivity and music. “Listening to music that we like and music that has no words may impact productivity positively. Taking breaks from work to listen to music is beneficial too,“ Vandana said.
Fitness expert Wanitha Ashok of Moving Body , said, “Music is life for many . It can enhance creativity , cure people of ailments and increase productivity as music is food for soul and mind.“
While listening to your favorite fast-track song, you may feel like dancing. “Yes, music motivates you to move. When you play songs that are familiar or the one you like, they further motivate you to work out,“ said Ashok.
“Also, we tend to forget time and one can enjoy the workout session,“ she said.
Daniel Vaz, head coach at Nike+ Run Club, said music and exercise have been connected since very early times. Music has the potential to make someone more efficient. It is with this intrinsic understanding that Step Aerobic and other forms of exercise, like Zumba, use music to create a tempo, provide excitement and bring co-ordination in group exercise.
Music is known to improve the wellbeing of a person. Music has been shown to affect the heart rate, blood pressure, metabolic rate and reduce fatigue and stress, Vaz said.
“Depending on the music tempo, the pulses and vibrations that travel from the ears to the nervous system would subconsciously activate body movements such as finger or foot tapping. If the music is of a sufficiently slower tempo, it will serve to relax the mind and bring about a state of well-being. In yoga, such slower-paced music serves to practice balance, calm the body and move with ease,“ Vaz said.
Some people listen to music to beat a tough day at work, while others play music in their cars while they drive to stay alert. But, in fact, music can do more than just lift the spirits.
While there are certain trends in music like fast, upbeat music for exercising or dancing, and slow-paced music for relaxing the type of song one picks is a personal choice.
“If you grew up listening to rock music, you may not feel good listening to classical music. On the other hand, those who like to listen to classical music may not tolerate rock music,“ said Sajeev.
Growing up with music
Vikram Hospital’s Vandana said listening to music at an early age stimulates a child’s brain in many ways that help in improving verbal skills, communication skills and visual skills.
Philosopher Plato believed that a healthy body and mind can be got through music. Florence Nightingale used the healing powers of music as part of nursing the sick. So, what’s stopping you from jiving to your favorite music to destress and stay healthy?
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