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Thursday, 11 September 2008

Healing Music

We all know that music greatly affects our mood. Music that we hear in passing and that which we do not like irritates us. On the other hand, music that we love listening to either makes us rest or energizes us depending on its beat, but nonetheless makes us feel good.
Researchers have taken this cue for their studies and found that there are actually some health benefits to listening to music. Music stimulates brainwaves, with fast beats making the mind more awake, alert and sharp. Slow music, on the other hand, calms the brain and makes it relax. Music also induces the autonomous nervous system to slow down breathing and heart rate, bringing the body to a more relaxed state. And with the body and mind relaxed, feelings of anxiety and depression are lessened.

Because of the healing properties of music, a kind of health care method called music therapy is now growing in popularity. Music therapy is now being used in some hospitals to calm down patients, to speed up healing and to alleviate pain. It is also used to treat people suffering from clinical depression or anxiety, as well as children afflicted with attention deficiency disorder.

A relaxed and well-rested mind and body is an essential ingredient to being beautiful. We do not have to be sick in order to avail of the benefits music can bring to us.

What can we do to bring the healing power of music into our lives? It is just a matter of putting some music into our day-to-day routine, which we already do on most times.

We can start our day with some upbeat music to wake ourselves up and prepare for the day ahead. Listening to music in the morning sets us up to be more ready to face and deal with stress for the duration of the day.

On the commute to work, you can play a CD of your favorite artist or band on your car stereo as you drive. Or you can have your iPod play some cool mp3’s. This will relieve us of possible road rage as we plod through the traffic, as well as take our minds away from the tasks we have to accomplish once we get to the office.

When you do your work or your chores, you can either play some soothing music to aid your concentration or some fast tunes to keep your energy level high, depending on the kind of chore you have to do. In this way, a task becomes less of a chore and more of an activity filled with fun, something you may start to love doing.

On mealtimes, it is held that listening to some soothing music, particularly classical music, helps our bodies digest food better. This is because music induces the body to reduce the levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in our bloodstream. This then makes our bodies relax and able to absorb the nutrients of our food a lot better. It also enables us to enjoy our food more.

Lastly, listening to music as we drift off to sleep ensures that we get the rest that we need from our sleep. Sometimes, the tiredness and the stress from the day keep us awake even though we have lain for a long time in our beds. Soothing music calms the stress and the tiredness from our minds and aids us in falling asleep.

Music is a panacea to the mind, body and soul. A relaxed and rested body and mind, relatively free from the clutches of stress, is essential to beauty. Let the healing power of music give the rest your body and mind deserve.

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