Music and Your Health
Music affects your body and mental health.
Music is the live sound of the universe. The drum provides the heartbeat while the harmony adds the song. As the music flows, it influences everything it comes in contact with. Different types of music affect people in very distinct ways.
Soft music can relax and soothe even the most frazzled nerves. It can lift a person’s mood, or remind them of someone from their distant past. Heavy metal music can excite and, in some cases, provoke feelings of anger or unrest. Uplifting music can raise a person’s mood and has been known to hasten a person’s healing time.
Over the years, music has been studied in many scientific trials to determine exactly how music affects the body and mind. One study known as the Mozart Effect set out to determine if music increases a child’s ability to learn and retain information. The research proved that children who were exposed to music during their study time retained more information for longer periods of time. Even though skeptics believe music will not raise a child’s IQ, most will admit that it does have a positive effect on the learning process and the child’s ability to associate and retrieve information.
Other studies have set out to prove the direct effects of music on the body and a person’s overall health. Studies performed by Len Kravitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico show that music affects many of the body’s functions and systems. Music has a direct effect on a person’s heart rate and respiration. It can increase endurance and improve cardiac function. Studies have shown that the longer a person listens to a piece of music, the more the body becomes attuned to it. The heart attempts mimicking the rhythm and beat of the music. Moods begin to be influenced as the music soothes the nerves and relaxes respiration. Exercise becomes easier as the body moves to the rhythm of the music.
Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan has performed several studies concerning the effects of various types of music on magnetized water. His findings are unique. He has shown music has a very distinct effect on water crystals. Positive words and music altered the water crystals to form beautiful symmetrical patterns, while negative or hateful words and music created fractured and broke crystals that were distorted or lacked form.
Music has, within it, the ability to perform many tasks. It can lift a person’s spirits and make them smile. It can even make a person want to dance and have fun. But it also has healing benefits. Its ability to affect a person’s heart rate and improve the body’s immune system are positive benefits. The type of music determines its effectiveness and the benefits it offers.
Close your eyes and listen to the strains of a melody. This generation’s music tells the story of the human experience. The first note of a song takes us by the hand and leads us to places unknown, places in the heart, and in the mind that we have not dared (yet) to fully explore. The sounds echo in the rhythm of ordinary life.
Music has been defined as feeling with the mind and thinking with the heart. The human soul speaks in the heart of it. It is us, and yet, it is beyond us. It is us, but in a different light, a revealing light. In the moment that it moves us to where it resides, the scars begin to heal. A single note may haunt us, take us to face our deepest fears in an instant, in the next, take us to a place of our wildest dreams, and then in the next, produce a tear that trickles down like healing waters. It seems that at the end of a song there is a sense of resolution, as if the heart and mind have been on a journey that resolves to bring some understanding of what it means to be human. All the stretched emotions and thoughts across the whole gamut come together and form a new understanding, with the last note of the song confirming it.
Popular music is so prevalent and so relative to culture, and entire ethnic groups in past human history would beat on pots and pans, the beating of drums is the rhythm of the heartbeat. They created a rhythm that would hide the fact that they were expressing their discontent with the oppression that they were under. It gave people a voice and bound them together, even in the most challenging times. The partial origins of today’s popular music, especially the blues, began with field holler, which was in fact, one black slave shouting to another, communicating across the field, in rhythmic tones. Today’s music is originated from a blend of country, folk, and blues. Rock, in fact, is mostly these three combined, played a little faster, creating a more aggressive edge to the sound. Field holler created the direction that popular music was primarily to take, and today it still illustrates the soul’s desire to be free, released from each and any oppressive influence.
Can popular music actually change the times? Or is this just an observation that Bob Dylan saw and related when he wrote, "The Times They Are A Changing." The conscious efforts through some of the world’s biggest music stars have unfortunately had the very little real effect on changing poverty in the poorest nations. The latest figures have proven poverty is more prevalent than ever—in Africa and other poor countries—because they are so burdened with debt. When positive change does come through, music can and does act as a cheerleader on the sidelines, encouraging society to keep changing with the changing times.
Keep listening to the heart within the pounding drums and the echoing rhythms of popular music because they are the essence of the soul’s journey, and it is possible the most beautiful melody is likely to be the one that has yet been unheard.
About the Author
Joseline Burns is a teacher and PhD writer at an educational centre with over nine years of experience in the educational field. She has been writing and editing content for a dissertation writing service while also leading her own travel blog for five years. She is a big fan of music, Marvel movies, politics, science, and psychology. Her main goal: To help people with self-development, and to teach them to look at the situation from different sides.