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> Music and Health
 Posted: Aug 26 2010, 08:00 AM
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Interesting articles talking about music in general can be a sort of alternative medicine for different health issues!!

Article 1:

Research has shown that music has a profound effect on your body and psyche. In fact, there’s a growing field of health care known as Music Therapy, which uses music to heal. Those who practice music therapy are finding a benefit in using music to help cancer patients, children with ADD, and others, and even hospitals are beginning to use music and music therapy to help with pain management, to help ward off depression, to promote movement, to calm patients, to ease muscle tension, and for many other benefits that music and music therapy can bring. This is not surprising, as music affects the body and mind in many powerful ways. The following are some of effects of music, which help to explain the effectiveness of music therapy:
Brain Waves: Research has shown that music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to resonate in sync with the beat, with faster beats bringing sharper concentration and more alert thinking, and a slower tempo promoting a calm, meditative state. Also, research has found that the change in brainwave activity levels that music can bring can also enable the brain to shift speeds more easily on its own as needed, which means that music can bring lasting benefits to your state of mind, even after you’ve stopped listening.
Breathing and Heart Rate: With alterations in brainwaves comes changes in other bodily functions. Those governed by the autonomic nervous system, such as breathing and heart rate can also be altered by the changes music can bring. This can mean slower breathing, slower heart rate, and an activation of the relaxation response, among other things. This is why music and music therapy can help counteract or prevent the damaging effects of chronic stress, greatly promoting not only relaxation, but health.
State of Mind: Music can also be used to bring a more positive state of mind, helping to keep depression and anxiety at bay. This can help prevent the stress response from wreaking havoc on the body, and can help keep creativity and optimism levels higher, bringing many other benefits.
Other Benefits: Music has also been found to bring many other benefits, such as lowering blood pressure (which can also reduce the risk of stroke and other health problems over time), boost immunity, ease muscle tension, and more. With so many benefits and such profound physical effects, it’s no surprise that so many are seeing music as an important tool to help the body in staying (or becoming) healthy.
Using Music Therapy:
With all these benefits that music can carry, it's no surprise that music therapy is growing in popularity. For more information on music therapy, visit the American Music Therapy Association's website.
Using Music On Your Own:
While music therapy is an important discipline, you can also achieve benefits from music on your own. This article on music, relaxation and stress management can explain more of how music can be an especially effective tool for stress management, and can be used in dailly life.

Article 2

I Love Music
So what do you do when you are beyond exhausted and laying in bed trying to pass the time? I try to find things to do that take no real energy, but that bring me enjoyment and elevate my mood. Which brings me to MUSIC!

What a wonderful invention the MP3 player is. With it I can download my favorite old-school songs and classify them according to what type of rest objective I am trying to achieve. For example if I have to rest but feel like being more lively, I have my favorite upbeat songs to listen to. If I'm trying to unwind to go to sleep I have more mellow songs to relax me. I seem to be stuck somewhere between the 70's and early 2000 when it comes to my music. I like all types including country, so that gives me plenty to chose from, but I don't find too much modern music that thrills me. Guess I'm getting old.

It was interesting trying to decide on my current MP3, so many choices out there. Of course the Ipod was the best known, seems you aren't cool unless you have one, but since I'm not trying to impress anyone I decided to compare different brands based on what I like to accomplish when I listen to music. I went with Sony's Walkman MP3 4MB since it comes with a FM radio and a great stereo sound. I really love to hear the bass and the Walkman comes with adjustable bass levels to my liking. It is very small compared to the ipod but as long as the sound is BIG I don't mind.

So now I have a collection of CD's, I found Amazon had the best prices on a consistent basis, for on-line CD purchases, and their downloads are comparable in price to itunes, but I get my downloads from another source that I discovered simply by listening to an area newsbroadcast.


The Lala website was featured on my local news channel. It didn't take me long to decide to give them a try when I heard they gave you 50 songs for FREE! After that you only pay .99 cents or less for any downloads you make or any songs you listen to more than once. Since I like old-school songs, I usually only pay .79 for my downloads. The one downside I found is that my favorite Eagles song wasn't available. I assume they will have it soon though since they get new songs on a regular basis.

Thus far, I have had no problems with Lala. I keep a small amount of funds available on their site for download purposes. With CD's and downloads in hand, or should I say, in player, I have such a nice variety of my fav's at my disposal at any time.

Lala is currently one of the contenders for a Best 100 award at Cnet. They now have a library of over 6 million songs at their site.

While I purchased my Walkman from Amazon, later I found that Walmart had it about ten dollars cheaper, which is what made me remember to include Walmart in my price searches after that.

With music that I love now easily at hand, I began investigating audio files I could download as well. Sometimes my fatigue is so bad concentration is difficult, but at other times I'm able to listen to something besides music like audio files or pod casts.

Relaxation and de-stressing are very important to anyone suffering with MS and if you are like 80 percent of MSers who also suffer debilatating fatigue, you especially need to find a way to slip away from the symptoms and just chill out. Music accomplishes that for me, if you haven't found that out for yourself, why not give it a try and see what happens.

Music's Therapeutic Effects
Music has been said to be a "mega-vitamin for the brain". Playing a instrument, listening to music or singing songs have all attributed to recovering and coping with diseases such as

Renown R&B artist, the late, Luther Vandross suffered a severe stroke that eventually took his life. Still his back-up group happily sang with the entertainer, even though he couldn't talk. He could still sing and enjoy the activity even while suffering the effects of a crippling stroke.

Stroke victims taught to play the drums or the piano recovered faster than those given more traditional therapy..

Familiar songs help bring treasured memories back to patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

A small sampling of the latest discoveries of the benefits of music should encourage everyone with a neurological ailment to investigate the potential health benefits of music. If nothing else but relaxation is attained, that surely is enough of a reason to pursue our musical interests with zeal.

Article 3:

Music Therapy: Health Benefits

Studies have found that music therapy is effective at promoting relaxation, relieving anxiety and stress, and treating depression. Music therapy allows people with emotional problems to explore feelings, make positive changes in mood, practice problem solving, and resolve conflicts. It can strengthen communication and physical coordination skills, and improve the physical and mental functioning of those with neurological or developmental disorders.

As far as pain management goes, music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth and to complement the use of anesthesia during surgery. It is also used to help ease the pain of chronic ailments such as headache.

Music therapy can also improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients and enhance the well-being of the elderly, including those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. It has also been used to complement the treatment of AIDS, stroke, Parkinson's, and cancer. Those with learning disabilities and speech and hearing problems may also find music therapy helpfu

Article 4:

Music's Outstanding Benefits to Your Health: Seven Reasons to Listen to Some Music Now
Date Published: 26th December 2005

Author: linda slater dowling

It's no secret that college students love music. Whether on your way to class, heading to the gym or hanging out with friends, music just makes us feel good. And depending on the style you choose, it can do everything from revving up your energy for a night on the town to calming your nerves before a big exam.

Music, though, is much more than a beat to tap your toes to or a tune to sing along with. Increasing numbers of studies are confirming that listening to music can have a real, positive influence on your health. Here are seven of the most significant health reasons to listen to some music today (as if you needed even one more!).

1. Relieve stress. In one study, patients who had just been told they needed surgery listened to a calming piece of music. Their levels of the stress hormone cortisol were 50 percent lower than patients who did not listen to any music, according to Roger W. Wicke, Ph.D, instructor in Chinese herbology and director of the Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute.

2. Increase energy. In some cases, such as during sports events or other high-intensity exercise, high levels of cortisol are desirable. Runners were able to produce high levels of cortisol faster when they listened to energizing music with a fast pace.

3. Learn better. Bulgarian psychologist George Lozanov found that students who listened to Baroque instrumental music (such as J.S. Bach) while learning a foreign language had an increased speed of learning and a greater degree of memory retention than those who did not.

4. Become smarter (at least temporarily). Researcher Frances Rauscher coined the term "The Mozart Effect." It refers to his finding that study participants who listened to 10 minutes of Mozart music performed 48 percent better on a paper-folding task that was part of an intelligence test. The effect lasted about 10 minutes.

5. Relax. Alfred Tomatis, a French ear specialist, found that listening to Baroque or classical music (particularly string instruments like the violin, viola and cello) induced brainwave patterns in humans that correlate with relaxation of muscle tension and calm attentiveness.

6. Sleep better. Adults with sleep problems who listened to 45 minutes of soft music at bedtime reported a 35 percent improvement in their sleep, according to a study published in the February 2005 edition of The Journal of Advanced Nursing. Not only did they sleep better and longer, but they also reported less daytime dysfunction.

7. Protect your heart. A new study in the journal Heart found that listening to fast music sped up participants' circulation and breathing rates while slower music induced calm and led to a fall in heart rate. When the music was paused, the participants' signals of arousal (breathing rates, etc.) fell below where they had been at the start of the study, which researchers say is helpful in protecting against heart disease and stroke.

Want to Know More?

If music and health is a topic that interests you, there are over 70 colleges and universities approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) to offer degrees in professional music therapy.

According to the AMTA, "Music therapy is an established health care profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages." They say a music therapist can help a person to:
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