Music May Magically Boost Your Immune System:
Many times, because it’s always there just laying around like a lazy basset hound, we can take our minds for granted.
And perhaps underestimate them; until they cause a problem.
But on the benefit-side, our minds can also help in more ways than we might think.
If you’ve ever had a favorite workout-song that you always thought got you supernaturally pumped-up, you may not have been imagining things.
And researchers at McGill University and the Max Planck Institute are finding out it doesn’t just make you more active, it may even make you healthier…
The Actual Healing Power Of Music:
So in a variety of different studies, some conducted directly,
And others reviewed en-masse after the fact,
Dr. Ronny Enk, and Daniel Levitin are finding that music of different types,
Usually uplifiting, uptempo dance music,
Absolutely strengthens your immune system in a scientifically measurable way by increasing levels of disease-fighting antibodies,
And also significantly reducing our old nemesis, Stress, also in a scientifically measurable way.
So yes, Music absolutely does make you healthier. Read on to find out more…
Happy Music Makes Healthy People:
So in 2008 Dr. Enk’s team surveyed 300 subjects and got a baseline for their body-chemicals and immune-factors.
He then had some of them listen to 50 minutes of uptempo dance music, and as an opposite-control, the others heard a random bunch of test-tones.
In the group that heard the dance music, the Stress-hormone Cortisol was shown to decrease significantly.
Still more-weirdly than that, an actual disease-fighting antibody your body puts-out called, Ig-A was affected, too.
After the same amount of music, subjects also saw a significant-increase in this pro-immune biological-factor.
As Long As It Works For You, Even If It’s Kenny-G:
Now other work that was bizarrely-aligned with a well-known elevator-music company has also shown some preliminary results for Smooth Jazz,
So the results may not be restricted to just one type of music, but it’s probably the one that works the best for the particular individual in-question.
So for anyone thinking about something like Dr. Mike Evan’s ways to get through a tough week, you can officially add music to that list.
This Is How Music Boosts Your Immune-System & Your Health:
But wait, it gets even better.
The work continues with Dr. Daniel Levitin of McGill University.
He didn’t just do 1 small study. He surveyed 400 of them!
And his pioneering large-scale work confirms Dr. Enk’s and better.
1) Either Listening-to or Playing Music lowers Stress and it’s chief-hormone Cortisol.
2) It also increases the strength of your immune-system.
3) It even reduces Anxiety more-effectively than even prescription-drugs prior to surgery.
4) It helps all your physical germ-barriers, and raises the level of killer-cells that go after germs and bacteria.
5) It reduces post-surgery pain and accelerates healing.
Because Stress Hurts Your Immune-System:
This is particularly-useful, as many things that are a part of life can tend to depress the immune-system.
This includes not just incidental large-stresses, but long-term unresolvable-stress as shown in the Whitehall study.
So Enya really can actually help you to Sail Away…
What Music May Also Affect:
But Daniel’s work even reinforces something further.
Positive music may be implicated in at least a few more good effects:
1) Pain Reduction
2) Social Bonding through the “Love Hormone”, Oxytocin
2a) Singing together has been known to bond people together in a group.
3) Emotional-Relaxation through circuits similar to the ones that Opiates or eating great food target, in the brain’s reward-center (called the Nucleus Accumens).
But those are among the points Levitin and Chandra would like to research further.
Why Would You Want To Reduce Stress With Music?:
This is particularly-important. Because Stress isn’t just some momentary-tension.
It is implicated in a minimum of the following health-issues:
1) Bad Diet
3) Substance Abuse
4) Social Isolation
5) Reduced Exercise
6) Increase in Colds, Flu, & Infectious Disease
7) High Blood-Pressure
8) Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
9) Accelerated Aging
10) Sleep Problems
11) Autoimmune Disease
One Bad Habit Can Lead To Another:
So a single life-factor we all have to deal with may sound trivial,
And a recreational leisure-activity may seem at-times a bit silly to people if they were to consider anything serious about their health.
But one thing really can lead to another.
And if you read the post on how to recover from a bad week, many of the activities recommended seem to do at least a little-bit of the same thing.
They are also among the largest factors on any list of things to do to live to 100, so don’t dismiss them out-of-hand.
Stress Can Become That Habit:
The problem with stress is that it can feed off itself.
Getting obsessively PO’d at something just seems to invite getting even more PO’d as the solution to the problem. -At least until the current crisis is fixed.
And that can set up a vicious-cycle that is really hard to come down from.
Anyone who’s had a real Cortisol stress-dump knows that the day is pretty-much finished at that point.
A prior-study by OSU showed just how bad that is, and how many otherwise great health-factors like Diet, Stress can really invalidate.
That neurochemical-chain really was found to send your body’s inflammation into overdrive.
So it can be a crucial health-factor to build back in some good habits, especially seemingly-trivial and subconscious ones like positive music.
Because if you take that bad habit further down the road, another study shows people with a greater tendency to smile, especially in group-photos, lived an average of 7 years longer than those who didn’t.
So the positive-effects that music has on your mind and your immune-system may also affect your actual, freaking Lifespan if it can help keep you happy.
Photo Credits: “action concert”, by scartmyart
• Sources: McGill | Telegraph
• Source Studies: Cell, Trends In CogSci. – The Neurochemistry Of Music | Int.J.Psy.NeuroPhys. – Music and the immune system