Why Music to Your Ears is Good for Your Heart
PaulineB
June 28, 2024

William Shakespeare once contemplated on the importance and influence of music to the human experience and wrote this:

“Music can minister to minds diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with its sweet oblivious antidote, cleanse the full bosom of all perilous stuff that weighs upon the heart.”

Over 500 years later, science confirms he was right all along.

30 Minutes for the Heart

While many scientific papers report the benefits of music to mental and emotional health, a study points that it’s good for the heart as well.

A seven-year study conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine in Serbia found that patients who suffered chest pain after a heart attack experienced significantly lower levels of anxiety and pain after listening to music for 30 minutes a day.

The study involved a group of participants that listened to their choice of music for 30 minutes a day at a convenient time for them, ideally with their eyes closed and resting.

After seven years, the researchers found that music therapy proved more effective than standard treatment in lowering the patients’ levels of anxiety and pain distress. The patients on music therapy also showed lesser angina symptoms and had lower rates of certain heart conditions, including heart failure and subsequent heart attacks. They also had a lower rate of cardiac death.

In the US, roughly 1 in 9 heart attack survivors experience subsequent episodes of chest pain and anxiety within the first two days. An estimated 700,000 people survive a heart attack annually.

The study’s lead author Predrag Mitrovic, MD, PhD, who is also a professor of cardiology at the said institution remarked that based on their findings, “we believe music therapy can help all patients after a heart attack, not only patients with early post-infarction angina. It’s also very easy and inexpensive to implement.”

Music’s Many Benefits

Many other studies show that listening to music may boost exercise ability, lower anxiety and stress, and improve recovery from strokes.

In an article published on the Harvard Medical School website, certified neurologic music therapist, Brian Harris, sings about the myriad benefits of music.

“There is no other stimulus on earth that simultaneously engages our brains as widely as music does,” he remarked. He added that the sweeping effect of music on the human body and psyche activates when we sing, play an instrument, or just listen to music, whether casually or formally.

Music therapy can also help stroke survivors in recovering their speech and mobility through a process called entrainment. Entrainment deals with simultaneously activating neurons from different parts of the brain.

Harris explains that when a stroke patient hears a steady rhythm, for example, it simultaneously engages their auditory and motor systems.

Other benefits of music therapy include:

  • Relaxing arteries and improving blood vessel function
  • Helps decrease blood pressure and heart rate faster after physical exercise or exertion
  • Triggers the release of dopamine or the “happy hormone,” leading to a feeling of engagement and motivation

At Solano Care Hospice, music therapy is part of the holistic hospice care services that our licensed professionals provide to our patients. To know more about music therapy and the rest of our services, contact us at 707 383 4613.

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January 1, 2022
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January 1, 2022
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January 1, 2022
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January 1, 2022
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