Music is a wonderful thing. Beyond tapping our toes and moving our feet, the healing power of a pleasant tune has been known to improve learning, increase cognitive response, and combat the symptoms of some diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. But what are some of the other hidden benefits of music? How can your favorite songs be used to effectively combat pain? A random study conducted in Germany and published in the Deutsches Arzteblatt International holds the answer.
Researchers randomly selected 84 patients undergoing palliative care, or care to manage excessive levels of pain. One group was given music therapy to help treat their pain, whereas the other group conducted verbal relaxation exercises. The music therapy group was treated to two sessions of live music performed on classical wood and string instruments. The discovery the researchers made surpassed even their expectations.
All the patients that took part in the music therapy reported less pain and discomfort, along with decreased levels of stress. Astonishingly, the effects go deeper than their own responses. The scientists found that the patients exposed to music therapy were showing signs of decreased fatigue, and increased peripheral blood flow. Medical jargon aside, these results mean patients were more alert and in less pain.
Patients that experienced this treatment were not only treated to regular concerts of relaxing music, but relieved of their pain. A result that anyone in their shoes would be happy for, music has proven yet again to be one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Whether fighting chronic pain or stemming a tide of symptoms brought on by a virulent disease, music can make a difference. For more on the subject, click here.