Lifewatch: Music Therapy

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

MARYLAND (WECT) - How can Beyonce, Kenny Chesney, or the Jonas Brothers keep you healthy?

Research has shown that music has a profound effect on your body and psyche.  In fact, there's a growing field of health care known as music therapy.

Those who practice music therapy are finding a benefit in using music to help a range of patients, healing everything from cancer to ADD.

Doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found that listening to music we enjoy actually caused tissues in the inner lining of the blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow.

In a small study of just 10 people, participants were asked to listen to different forms of music.

After each session, an ultrasound device was used to measure the lining of their vessels.

Researchers found when patients listened to music they enjoyed, their blood vessels expanded by 26%.

Listening to music participants said made them feel "anxious" caused their vessels to shrink.

Doctors aren't sure why this happens, but they say the results are similar to an earlier study that found laughter had a similar effect on blood flow through the body.

Music has also been found to bring many other benefits such as: lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, and easing muscle tension.

With such profound physical effects, it's no surprise that so many are seeing music as an important tool to help the body in staying, or becoming, health.

Music can also be used to bring a more positive state of mind which keeps depression and anxiety at bay.