Music Enhances Our Lives

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I can’t remember a time in my life without music. Where it hasn’t played some big role in whatever phase I was going though at the time. It went from Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Jody Watley cassette tapes, to Mariah Carey, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys & the Spice Girls cd’s , to my highschool angry at the world phase which consisted of a lot of System of A down, Slipknot, & whatever little rock punk groups were cool at the time, to being of age to get into clubs & getting really into rap and house music. Now I’m 24, and my musical taste is all over the place. I can find a deep appreciation for any song that moves me regardless of it’s genre. I rarely listen to slow music, though, it makes me cry really easily (yes I’m a softy!).

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Would you agree that music has power? Each song is like a spell on our emotions. The lyrics flow through our head, touch our heart and come out our mouths like we were reading our diary aloud or having a conversation with somebody we wouldn’t necessarily have in reality but wish we could. There’s nothing like a good song that makes you feel something. It can be a fast song that makes you want to shake your hips, a sexy song that makes you feel frisky or a slow song that pulls on your heart strings. When you’re in love, every song makes you think of your partner and when you’re pissed, every song is your anthem! It makes any party a good time & every heartache understood. Nothing feels better (ok, I’ll probably say that statement about a lot of things!) than completely losing yourself in the music. 

“Certain kinds of music have the power to pull an inner curtain aside, so to speak, so that we become temporarily aware of parts of ourselves which are usually inaccessible. What is experienced in these moments is rather like a message or a movie from me to me – a non-conscious film clip made conscious through the music.”

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Music has healing properties, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced personally. It can lower stress levels and steady heart rate. It can help us find closure in situations and maybe even find the courage to make certain life decisions. The powerful connection a song can create between people is nothing short of magical. It has the ability to pull you closer to a person or the thought of a person more than anything else in life.

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Here are 10 benefits  of listening to music from http://english.eastday.com/e/top10/u1a5573540.html

1- Effective therapy for pain
Overall, music does have positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.

Listening to music can reduce chronic pain from a range of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis, by up to 21% and depression by up to 25%, according to a paper in the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth, to decrease postoperative pain and complement the use of anesthesia during surgery.

There are several theories about how music positively affects perceived pain:

– Music serves as a distractor
– Music may give the patient a sense of control
– Music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain
– Slow music relaxes person by slowing their breathing and heartbeat

2- Reducing blood pressure
By playing recordings of relaxing music every morning and evening, people with high blood pressure can train themselves to lower their blood pressure – and keep it low. According to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans, listening to just 30 minutes of classical, Celtic or raga music every day may significantly reduce high blood pressure.

3- Medicine for the heart
Music is good for your heart. Research shows that it is musical tempo, rather than style. Italian and British researchers32 recruited young men and women, half of whom were trained musicians. The participants slipped on head phones and listened to six styles of music, including rap and classical pieces, with random two-minute pauses. As the participants kicked back and listened, the researchers monitored their breathing, heart rates and blood pressure. The participants had faster heart and breathing rates when they listened to lively music. When the musical slowed, so did their heart and breathing rates. Some results were surprising. During the musical pauses, heart and breathing rates normalized or reached more optimal levels. Whether or not a person liked the style of music did not matter. The tempo, or pace, of the music had the greatest effect on relaxation. 

4- Speeds Post-Stroke Recovery
A daily dose of one’s favorite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes, according to the latest research. When stroke patients in Finland listened to music for a couple of hours each day, verbal memory and attention span improved significantly compared to patients who received no musical stimulation, or who listened only to stories read out loud, the study reports.

5- Chronic headaches & migraine remedy
Music can help migraine and chronic headache sufferers reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of the headaches.

6- Music boosts immunity
Music can boost the immune function. Scientists explain that a particular type of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience, which leads to secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing can also decrease levels of stress-related hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol can lead to a decreased immune response.

7- Music enhances intelligence, learning and IQ
The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this. 

8- Music improves memory performance
The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.

9- Music improves concentration and attention
Easy listening music or relaxing classics improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. It’s not clear what type of music is better, or what kind of musical structure is necessary to help, but many studies have shown significant effects.

10- Music improves body movement and coordination
Music reduces muscle tension and improves body movement and coordination. Music may play an important role in developing, maintaining and restoring physical functioning in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. 

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In short, music enhances our quality of life.
I hope it touches you daily. xox

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