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10 amazing health benefits of music

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musicOver 120 countries and 700 cities around the world celebrated the 34th World Music Day on June 21, 2016 (Tuesday).

The International Music Day, also known as Make Music Day, was originally called Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music).

The all-day music celebration during summer solstice originated in France in 1982 and was the brainchild of the then French Minister of Culture Jack Lang.

The event is meant to promote and celebrate music in its different forms and manifestations.

Well, facts apart, we really don’t need a particular day to celebrate music as there is hardly an individual who doesn’t love and listen to music, even if on radio, at least once a day.

English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin once said, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”

Not only music rejuvenates the mind, scientists have found music has some amazing health benefits as well.

Here are 10 interesting health benefits of music:

1. Makes you happy:

Research shows that when you listen to your favourite music, your brain releases a large amount of dopamine, a “feel happy” neurotransmitter that helps regulate the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.

Neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, Valorie Salimpoor, said, while experimenting with eight music lovers, she found when they listened to their favourite music they also started anticipating what’s next and whether it will surprise them or confirm to their line of thought.

These cognitive nuances led to intense emotional arousal, including changes in heart rate, pulse, breathing rate and other measurements, as a result of which there was an increased blood flow in brain regions involved in dopamine release.

2. Helps you enhance your running performance:

No doubt while most people put on their earphones while running, on a treadmill or at joggers’ park, and even while biking or cycling!

In a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, two groups of people were asked to run an 800-meter track.

It was found that the group that listened to fast or slow motivational music ran faster than the second group who ran while listening to calm or no music.

3. Lowers stress:

According to American Institute of Stress, 60% of all our diseases are related to stress. While people empty their wallet getting anti-depressants and anti-stress pills, the simple remedy is music.

A research published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows while we listen to music, the level of stress hormone cortisol decreases significantly and thus help us fight chronic stress and its ill effects.

4. Helps you sleep better:

German-Jewish poet and author Berthold Auerbach once remarked: “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

A research by NCBI found listening to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before bedtime helps you sleep better.

5. Helps you reduce weight:

Yes, you read it right. Listen to soft music and dim the lights while eating. You will end up consuming fewer calories, yet, enjoy the meal. Well, that’s what researchers at Georgia Tech University are claiming!

6. Strengthens memory:

According to American author Jodi Picoult, “Music is the language of memory.”

Another NCBI research claims if you like music or are a musician, you are likely to memorize or learn new things faster and better than non-musicians or non-music lovers.

This is practically possible as American non-profit organization Music & Memory help Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia patients remember their identities by making them listen to their favourite/contemporary songs.

7. Reduces pain:

Music soothes away pain and now various researches have corroborated it.

A research conducted at Drexel University in Philadelphia found pain in cancer patients reduced more when they were made to listen to music versus standard treatments.

There are several studies  which show how classical, meditative or music of the patient’s choice reduces the pain of intensive care and geriatric care patients.

8. Speeds up recovery of stroke patients:

A research conducted by the University of Helsinki found stroke patients who listened to music for two hours a day recovered faster than those who listened to audio books or did not listen to any audio material.

9. Helps relax pre/post-surgery:

According to wiseGEEK, worldwide 234 million major surgeries are performed every year.

A study published by NCBI showed when a patient listened to relaxing music before surgery his anxiety level dropped significantly. Music proved to work better than orally administered sedative Midazolam, that has side effects like coughing and vomiting.

Another research by when a patient listened to soothing music post his open-heart surgery, his oxytocin level increased and helped him relax better.

10. Improves immunity:
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Researchers at Wilkes University have found that listening to soothing music significantly increases Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels.

IgA is an antibody responsible for immune function in the mucous membranes.

Big Wire

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