You’ve probably heard the term food as medicine, but did you know that music offers healing powers too? It’s been proven by science to ease pain, relieve stress and improve overall well-being, inspiring a program known as “Musicians on Call.”
Their mission is to bring music to the bedsides of patients that are too sick to get out of their hospital beds and is currently found in a number of health care facilities in six major cities: New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Nashville.
Their performances bring physiological and emotional benefits to the patients including:
• Pain control
• Lowered blood pressure
• Decreased stress
• A boost of morale in patients as well as their families, hospital staff and the volunteer performers
How can music benefit your health?
Many people have experienced the uplifting powers of music, but you may not realize that it’s also benefiting your health.
Studies have found that music has the ability to influence the immune system, including reducing rejection of heart transplants.
Listening to music also tends to significantly decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and increase levels of the immune system’s first line of defense: the antibody immunoglobin A.
Stress reduction and weight loss
The stress reducing benefits that come from listening to music not only makes you feel more relaxed, it lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormone levels. A lower level of cortisol can prevent weight gain and even assist in weight loss. Getting up and dancing to the music provides a double whammy!
Those who listen to music when working out have been found to work harder and longer, while feeling lower levels of perceived exertion.
Studies have found that one of the best ways to manage pain naturally is by diverting attention elsewhere, including listening to music. It’s been used to manage pain that is associated with surgery, childbirth, cancer and even burn treatments.
What are your favorite stress-relieving mood transforming tunes?