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Does Music Boost Your Immune System?
The researchers even discovered that listening to music was more effective than medications at reducing stress in patients before surgery. And with regard to surgery, it seems that music might even help surgeons do their jobs better too! A survey in the UK found that 90 percent of surgeons played music while they performed their operations, reporting that it helped them concentrate and relax while they worked. A study conducted in 1994 and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association was conducted to determine the effects of music on surgeon’s blood pressure, heart rate, electro dermal automatic responses, task speed, and accuracy. It found that surgeons who listened to music achieved better scores then than those in a non-music control group.
Music can even have a positive effect on people coping with more serious illnesses like cancer. A study conducted by Tenovus Cancer Care and the Royal College of Music found a link between improved symptoms in cancer patients and singing in church choirs.
Saliva samples were taken from participants in the study one hour before, and again right after an hour of choral singing. The purpose was to determine whether or not engaging in the act of singing led to any changes in hormonal levels, neuropeptides, immune proteins, and receptors.
The researchers found that it did indeed lead to a significant drop in stress hormones like cortisol, and a spike in immune proteins called cytokines, which help fight off disease.
Clearly, music can have a powerful effect, not just on our emotional well-being, but on our physical health, and even on our job performance. There is a near-endless variety of genres and subgenres of music to choose from, and everyone has a specific style that speaks to them. Find a way to incorporate music into your own life, and it may just lead to a stronger immune system, increased performance, and a longer and happier life.