It’s no secret that the right music can evoke positive emotions and relieve stress. Now, research shows that it can also boost your immune system!

Scientists have discovered that if you listen to only 50 minutes of “uplifting” dance music, your antibody levels will increase significantly. They also found that levels of stress hormones that can weaken the immune system decrease after being exposed to music.

Volunteers that played a percussion instrument accompanying music also increased their level of immunity.

Researchers at Sussex University and the Max Planck Institute (Leipzig, Germany) claim that their research demonstrates how music can be used to help patients recover more quickly while they are still in the hospital.

In other separate and unpublished studies, it was found that while a patient is under anesthesia during surgery, the music had an important impact and lowered stress hormones.

According to Dr. Ronny Enk, an expert from the Max Planck Institute, the lead author of the study,

“The joyful state induced by music can lead to changes in the body in terms of reducing stress and enhancing immunity. Concerning music’s ability to relieve stress, it seems that different types of music have different effects.”

Researchers tested 300 people whom they asked to listen to 50 minutes of happy dance music and to the music of other genres. It was found that levels of stress hormones decreased significantly in those who listened to happy music, compared to those in the control group.

Also, in those of the first group, the levels of antibody immunoglobulin A, the first line of defense of the immune system, significantly increased.

It looks like happy dance music has an important role in improving immunity while relaxing music has the ability to relieve stress.  Another important thing to keep in mind is the listener’s taste in music. Music preferred by the patient appears to have a greater impact on their health.

Although music therapy is used often to promote mental and emotional health, it seems to be quite effective to improve the quality of life of those experiencing physical health problems.

It was noted that music therapy can be successfully used in patients suffering from the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Autism
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias
  • Depression

But perhaps the most enjoyable music is the one we found in nature. Singing birds, the sound of the wind, the murmur of the river… Music of nature is what heals and inspires every one of us, regardless of our music preferences. Studies show that the sounds of nature indeed help us relax.

Valerie Soleil, B.A., LL.B.

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