Back to Health!
You’ve heard it said, “music soothes the savage beast.” Researchers believe that we respond to music because it’s rhythmic, like so many of our basic body functions, such as breathing and the beating of our hearts. They’ve even identified something they call the “Mozart Effect,” music that shifts the brain into alpha waves that reduce stress and help with concentration. One particular study conducted in England found that students who listened to Mozart before taking an IQ test scored 10 points higher than those who listened to nothing, white noise or other types of music.
Different types of music affect people in different ways. Religious music tends to make a person more peaceful and reduces physical or emotional pain. Department stores often pump “easy listening” music through their sound systems to calm people down so they are inclined to spend more. Many restaurants use fast-paced music to hurry eaters in and out.
Studies are being conducted to determine the effects of music on memory-impaired individuals, such as those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain injuries. One such study in the UK determined that dementia patients recalled a higher percentage of autobiographical information when they were listening to music. Because of this, the researchers concluded that physicians should play music when questioning those suffering from dementia to obtain more accurate information from them.
Listening to soft music before bedtime also helps the elderly to sleep better and for longer periods. It results in physical changes, such as lowered heart and breathing rates, making it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s easy to understand why there is a growing field in healthcare today known as “music therapy” that is showing profound results using music to help with those with cancer, ADD, chronic pain, depression and muscle tension. When you “bed down” with Bach, you might find yourself waking up ready to “rock and roll”!