Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. ~ Plato

 

Music is a universal language of rhythm and emotional connection that can move your body, mind and soul. Whether you crank up the volume on a favorite song and rock out by dancing to it or singing along; listen to evocative music as you participate in a Breathwork session or meditate; or you use classical pieces to keep focused as you write or study, music is a powerful influence on your brain. It can take over your mood and physically alter your body chemistry.

Research has shown that some types of music can:

  • boost the body’s immunity
  • stimulate the production of endorphins (feel good hormones) that increase oxytocin production and makes you feel upbeat, sociable and energized,
  • assist in treatment of depression and reduce stress
  • generate focus and guide you into desired states of mind (Breathwork!)
  • activate dopamine release (a neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, and part of the pleasure/reward feedback in the brain)

factoids:

*dopamine production is thought to be increased when you listen to a shuffled playlist

*dopamine rushes have been witnessed when familiar music is played and favorite parts of a song are about to occur (https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/student-lifestyle/how-does-music-affect-your-brain)

  • promote brain fitness in much the same way that going to the gym tones your body. It can improve auditory acuity, learning and memory functions especially if you learn to play a musical instrument
  • prevent the cognitive decline of the aging process as it stimulates all areas of the brain in an overall workout
  • reduce blood pressure, and pain and improve sleep quality,
  • be used effectively to help treat such conditions as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and even premature birth (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/music-is-medicine-for-premature-infants/)

 

How does Music affect the Brain?

How the brain responds to music is not fully understood and has been the focus of much research. In general, it is known that the vibrations of the musical sounds travel from the source to the ear and into the brain via the auditory nerve system. Like all other inputs to the brain, there is a complex translation process that occurs resulting in responses and recognition of those vibrations as music.

Here is a more complete and fascinating illustration of the process as it has been studied:

https://www.ucf.edu/pegasus/your-brain-on-music/

 

Experiment with your own responses to music.

Try this ->

  • Stretch your brain’s capacity by listening to current music rather than just staying with the music that is familiar to you. New music creates good brain calisthenics.
  • Build a bridge to significant past memories. Let music help you recall the era with which you want to connect.
  • Experiment with music. Become aware of how your body reacts to a variety of music genres and pick the type that suits your desired activity: meditation, work, focus

Music and the Breath

Music is used in Breathwork as a way to synergistically work with the effects of music in the brain and body. It can enhance the outcomes of healing trauma, reducing stress, and releasing of trapped emotions in the body and greater fluidity.

“Music can be evocative and overwhelming and is often described as standing halfway between thought and phenomenon.” ~ psychcentral.com

So – get your groove on, find the music that works for you and prepare to create a healthier you!!!

 

 

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