Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Classical Music Soothes the Mind and Body

Sing researchers and music therapists believe classical music can soothe aching limbs and decrease stress. A recent study found that Mozart and Bach, slow-tempo music, decreased chronic osteoarthritis pain. Study researchers from the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing, Boca Raton, found that pain levels decreased from participants because the music distracted them. They also found that heart muscles synchronize to the beat of music, as does breathing. Classical music rhythms mimic the average resting heart. Therefore, listening t soothing sounds actually help to slow fast-beating hearts. Joanne Loewy, PhD, director of music therapy for Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, uses music to slow hr patients’ breathing and to help promote relaxation.
But not all music is the same. Some faster compositions can actually rev up the nervous system, maing people more sensitive to pain.
Steven Halpern, PhD, composes music for healing and relaxation and offers tips to finding music that can decrease stress and keep your mind off of pain. He says to pay attention to your breathing and heart rate. If it slows down while you’re listening, the music is soothing you. Music that makes your heart race should be used for exercising. He also suggests making your own compilations. Store bought compilations are often a mix of soothing and rousing music.
Finally, if you really don’t care for classical, you can try jazz of new age genres. Loewy states that any type of music that makes you feel good when listening to it can be effective.

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