Music, an intricate blend of sounds and rhythms, has a profound influence on the human brain, surpassing any other experience. This article delves into the enigmatic powers of music and its multifaceted effects on our bodies and minds.
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Music’s Therapeutic Effects on Preterm Infants
Recent studies suggest that music can alleviate pain and enhance feeding in preterm infants. A comprehensive analysis of nine clinical trials led by Dr. Manoj Kumar from the University of Alberta, Canada, revealed that music significantly reduced pain in preterm infants undergoing painful procedures such as heel prick blood tests. It also seemed to benefit full-term babies during surgeries.
Premature infants often require extended medical supervision to gain weight and strength. Many hospitals use soothing music to expedite this process. Canadian researchers found that music decreases pain sensitivity and improves the sucking reflex in these babies, contributing to weight gain. Music also serves as an effective sleep aid for newborns.
Music’s Role in Neurological Recovery
Individuals with cerebral damage often struggle with speech and movement-related issues. Doctors frequently recommend music as an alternative and effective treatment to stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for these functions. For patients with neurological disorders caused by stroke or Parkinson’s disease, a musical beat can help restore a symmetrical walk and balance.
Music’s Protective Effect on Hearing
While music cannot cure deafness, it can indeed prevent hearing loss. A study involving 163 participants, including 74 musicians, found that musicians had better auditory perception than non-musicians, a difference that becomes more pronounced with age. This implies that a 70-year-old musician has better hearing than a 50-year-old non-musician, even in noisy environments.
Music’s Healing Power for Cardiovascular Health
This is not about mending a broken heart in the romantic sense, but rather about recovery from a heart attack. Music can aid recovery from a heart attack or cardiac surgery by reducing blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, and alleviating anxiety. Listening to quality music induces positive emotions, improves circulation, expands blood vessels, thereby promoting rapid rehabilitation of the cardiovascular system.
Leverage the power of upbeat songs associated with positive memories from your past when you felt safe, successful, and happy. Avoid songs that trigger emotions related to your breakup. Regularly listening to such music with intent can help train your brain out of its funk.
Music has profound effects on our bodies and minds. It alleviates pain and enhances feeding in preterm infants, aids in neurological recovery, prevents hearing loss, and aids in cardiovascular health recovery. Music stimulates parts of the brain responsible for speech and movement, improves auditory perception, and induces positive emotions that aid in cardiovascular rehabilitation. It’s a powerful therapeutic tool with wide-ranging benefits.