Understanding The Health Benefits Of Music When Recovering

2012-03-29 | |
Last updated: 2012-03-29

Relieving Pain With Music

Another area in which music can aid recovery is in the management of pain that can accompany many medical procedures. While there is little evidence that pain itself slows the healing process, pain does affect sleep and poor sleep quality does, in turn, affect healing. As well, some pain medications can slow the rate at which the body heals. Thus, the ability of music to reduce pain is important in increasing the rate of recovery.

In older research, scientists from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that listening to music for an hour per day provided an approximate 20% reduction in the levels of pain experienced by patients. What was not clear to the researchers at the time was whether this reduction in pain was simply as a result of improved mood.

However, research from the University of Utah in late 2011 may have identified why listening to music can help to reduce the levels of pain that patients experience. From their investigation, the researchers believe that the effort required by the brain to process music interferes with the brain’s ability to process pain. The more that patients were encouraged to focus on the music, the less pain they reported. The one point to keep in mind was that this approach to managing pain was most effective in patients who could be become immersed in their music.

Conclusions

While each of us has different musical tastes making the definition of good music difficult, music is never the less an important part of culture that can improve the general quality of life for those who listen to it. However, music also has more specific value to our health in many situations when we are attempting to become well. Its ability to aid recovery is very valuable considering that there is no down side, something that we cannot say for the vast majority of medications that me may have to take.

Related Links

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC58814/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/09/why-we-love-music-research
http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/05/16/us-listening-music-idUSCOL65690420080516
http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/131/3/866.full?sid=01ba177e-2848-43a7-a633-3c628270014c
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_24-3-2009-11-36-23?newsid=61814
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03860.x/abstract
http://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/current/01-06-2012_Study_Pain_Relief.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3728782

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Category: General Health, Medical Research

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