Music Can Produce the Same Effects as Ten Milligrams of Valium

Scientists have done the research, music not only soothes your soul, but your chronic pain too! In the words of Bob Marley, ‘one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.’ Does this mean we can medically treat ourselves by administering our favourite songs? Could we really replace a painkiller, like valium, with music?

‘For adult patients, half an hour of music produces the same effects as ten milligrams of valium,’ says the head of the Coronary Care Unit, Raymond Barr, of the St Agnes Hospital, Baltimore. Valium relieves anxiety, muscle spasms, and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol. Could music really do all  this too?

Will it be possible to get medicinal musical prescriptions?

“Would you like the generic band?”

“No, thank you. I’ll take ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, by U2.’”

A study by the University of Maryland Medical Centre, Baltimore, found that music physically affects us. Ever got the chills when Jeff Buckley howls ‘hallelujah’? Well, Maryland uncovered something more chilling: our favourite songs positively affect our cardiovascular system. Our blood vessels relax and open up. ‘Open Your Heart’ sung Madonna and that’s exactly what she was doing for her fans.

When we listen to music, the feel-nice chemical, dopamine, is released into our brains. Dopamine has an important role in the central nervous system. It affects emotions, perceptions, and movement.

A study by Stanford University found that music raises depressed patients’ self-esteem. Music reduces anxiety and  fear, heightens motivation, and helps tackle insomnia. Imagine the doctor recommending R.E.M to improve your REM cycles!

Music is used in paediatrics, surgery, palliative care and anaesthesia. It’s even used to reduce opioid use in postoperative patients. It can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. It lessens pain and blood pressure. So, how can we self musicate?

Joanne V. Lowery, Director of the Music Therapy Program at the Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, says, ‘There’s a belief that music and pain are processed along the same nerve pathways. So if we have a patient playing or focusing with the music, they won’t feel the pain.’

The more you like a song, the stronger your emotional connection to it, and the more engaged and focused you are on it. This means less nerve pathways are processing pain (unless you’re listening to T-pain).

Ever finish work with a sore back? But as soon as you walk through the door, into your fully flaring home Naim audio system, you’re belting out ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown and boogying across the floorboards in your socks?

Loewy says, “There’s just something about music — particularly live music — that excites and activates the body… Music very much has a way of enhancing quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery.”

Music improves life quality. Imagine how good you’d feel with great quality sound! Naim audio systems are like a hug from Bob Marley; ‘Every little thing gonna be alright,’ but with Naim everything is better already!

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