Natural Healing Pain Relief Using Music

After the recent amazing recovery by congresswoman Giffords was helped by music therapy, people seem to be looking a bit more respectfully at the benefits of music. According to the following article by Prevention Magazinenatural healing pain relief using music doesn’t even have to be administered by a registered music therapist:

Natural Healing Pain Relief Using Music

Natural Healing Pain Relief Using Music

Music Helps Ease Pain

The key to using music to reduce pain is active listening. “We had people listen to specific childhood melodies that they knew well, such as ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ and their task was to identify deviations in the songs, such as noting a jump in pitch or octave,” says lead study author David Bradshaw, Ph.D., of the Pain Research Center at the University of Utah. As they received electric shocks and pain levels increased, researchers noted that specific changes in their brain waves also increased. “But we could see that changes in their brain waves actually decreased when they focused on the task while receiving the shocks, meaning that their perception of pain decreased, too.”

How does it actually work you’re asking?

Previous studies have found that listening to music helped people workout longer or keep their hands in ice water for more time than those who didn’t listen to tunes. So how does concentrating on music work to ease pain exactly? Many of the same brain pathways that process music also process pain. Focusing on music engages your mind and triggers emotional responses to compete with pain pathways so you have less resources leftover to process aches.

Researchers speculate that actively listening to music might work best for easing acute pain, such as the kind you feel post-surgery, while getting an endoscopy or shot, or when sitting in the dentist’s chair. “Engaging your mind with music can also help alter your sense of time so you worry less about what’s happening in the moment,” says Dr. Bradshaw. For other types of pain, such as chronic headaches, zoning out to relaxing music rather than focusing on the specific melodies may be more beneficial to help relieve pain.

It goes on to say that the best music for you will be the music that music that moves you the most and keeps you deeply engaged. The big deal is to let yourself truly be absorbed and engaged in the music.

I’d sure like to know – if you were trying to find natural healing pain relief using music, what would be playing on your ipod?

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