How Music Affects Your Health

Music and your Health

Sisters at Frank Turner Show

Sisters at a Frank Turner Show

How music affects your health has always been fascinating to me. With concert season in full swing, I thought I would take the time to look a little more into how music affects your health. My sister is my favorite music buddy. We like the same music and we LOVE to see live music.  We are always talking about music events, new music and our favorite musicians. I’m sure everyone has a memorable moment where they can recall what music was playing or maybe a fond memory that was created by music. I have even gone as far as giving my cats music related names (Soolaimon and Meshach). While researching how music affects your health, I learned to appreciate music even more.

Music affects your health (science says so)!

Much research has been conducted about how music affects your health. USA Today recently published an article titled “20 Surprising, Science-Backed Health Benefits of Music” outlining the positive benefits of music. I will list some of them here, but I recommend reading the full article for more detail.

  1. Music eases pain.

    Sisters at an all day music festival.

    Sisters at an all day music festival.

  2. Music reduces stress.
  3. Music can help induce a meditative state.
  4. Music can help relieve symptoms of depression.
  5. Music elevates your mood (even while driving).
  6. Music increases workout endurance.
  7. Music helps people eat less.
  8. Music helps you sleep.
  9. Music reduces anxiety as much as a massage.
  10. Music helps cancer patients manage stress and anxiety

Music and the Elderly

How music affects your health has been studied in many different populations including the elderly.  Research has shown the benefits of music therapy in Alzheimer’s patients. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has published a useful list of beneficial ways to use music in all stages of the disease process. It’s a must read for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia caregivers.

Music therapy isn’t only beneficial for confused elders but has been proven beneficial for alert and oriented older adults as well. Music has been show to strengthen neural connections, improve memory, and increase social interactions.  This year the movie “Alive Inside”  was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Audience Award. It’s a documentary about the powerful effects of music on the elderly. The movie is showing in limited release, so look for it coming to your area!

Music and Occupational Training Solutions

young@heart chorus

Young@Heart

young@heart group

OTS outing to see Young@Heart

Being music fans and grateful to the good friends helping us start Occupational Training Solutions, Sarah and I took our support group to see the Young@Heart Chorus when they came to town.  This chorus is made up of elderly men and woman that tour the world singing contemporary music. It was an incredible concert and gave us an up-close look at the power of music on all ages. According to the Young@Heart website;

“The mission of the Young@Heart Chorus is to present a unique and positive image of aging through the creation of originally staged musical and theater performances that incorporate songs not commonly sung by older Americans.”

There is an excellent documentary called Young@Heart that I highly recommend. I happened upon it during a flight from Africa and have been showing it to my nursing students ever since.

Music is Necessary!

Music affects your health on so many levels.  When we finished filming our video series, we danced.  We danced for joy, for release, for relief, for gratitude and to friendship. We danced with our friends, we laughed and we got silly.  This part of our filming was just as important as the rest of it, so we decided to keep it in our videos.  When watching our video series, you will see the credits begin to roll and you will see all of us dance. This is the very last thing you will see on our complete package and at the end of the Transfers and Ambulation Video Set.

For all you caregivers out there- Check out our posting about the benefits of exercise for caregivers… and add some music!

For everyone… no matter how old you are… wear earplugs at concerts! Advice I wish I had taken years ago!

Sisters at a music festival with friends.

Sisters at a music festival with friends.

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