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How Music Affects the Body

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									                  How Music Affects the Body


                                            Many scientists have undertaken studies to show how
                                            music affects a person’s body, whether via his
                                            emotions or through the effects on his brain. The
                                            most-widely researched aspect deals with the way
                                            they believe classical music positively impacts a
                                            baby’s intellect. This has led to the widespread
                                            popularity of albums that turn classical music into
                                            baby versions, such as Baby Mozart, Baby
                                            Beethoven, and many other albums. But how does
                                            music have any “real” effect on the adult human
                                            body?

1. Music influences a person’s mood. Obviously, a person who is down or heartbroken will relate
well with music with a melancholy theme. However, there is also the other side of the coin, in
which the choice of music is not the result of a mood but a driver of mood. When a person is
depressed, his brain activity is reduced, and the mind loses the ability to plan tasks or execute
them. Scientifically, this depressed mood is caused by the deficiency of a neurotransmitter called
serotonin. Soothing music has actually been shown to cause an increase in levels of serotonin,
which explains how soothing music can help fight against depression.

2. Music improves memory, learning and thinking. Not only do serotonin levels improve with
music, the quiet and soothing notes also help assist the person’s thinking and analyzing skills.
Music also aids the learning process by improving memory, attributed largely to the silence
between two musical notes triggering brain cells and neurons. Strong beats are also found to
cause one’s brain waves to resonate in sync with the beat, which results in higher levels of
alertness and concentration. All in all, this results in a sharper memory, higher concentration, and
improved learning.

3. Music actually aids physical healing. How is this possible? There is nothing magical or
mystical as some might present it to be when they say that music has “healing powers.” What
really happens is that music helps the person release endorphins. These hormones, known in
work-out circles as the happy hormone, catalyze the healing process. Not only does music take
one’s mind away from the pain, it actually brings about the chemical processes needed by the
brain to aid healing. This is the reason why many patients who have undergone surgery are
recommended to undergo music therapy.

4. Music can help repair brain damage. In line with helping in the healing process, music has
been found to improve the condition of patients who have suffered from stroke, a lesion, or other
brain-damaging incidents. Studies have shown that patients who have lost partial ability of
seeing or speaking have found significant improvement when exposed to music. Patients whose
left brains have been damaged and lost the ability to speak find that they can sing words without
even being trained to do so; from there, speaking comes with practice. Using music to trigger
language, which is a left brain function, makes use of the fact that it uses both sides of the brain:
the left for language, the right for music. When language is associated with the music, it trains
the brain o move the functions of language to the right side of the brain by associating the music
with the words. Also, listening to pleasurable music helps release dopamine, a hormone that
makes sure the parts of the brain function in an improved way.

5. Music also helps boost the immune system. The main reason why music is able to do this is
that it reduces cortisol levels, a chemical that causes a person to feel stressed. This means that
music helps alleviate stress. This alone improves your immune system. But more than that,
music is actually shown to raise immune markers in the person’s system, which in turn creates
more antibodies to fight against disease.

								
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