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Health Benefits of Listening to Jazz

By Paul Rothbart

There are few people who don't enjoy music. Almost everyone you will ever meet listens to some kind of music. It's also fairly well-known that listening to music is good for you. I listen to music constantly. I like many genres but my favorite is jazz, which I consider America's greatest contribution to the world of fine art. Jazz has not been popular music in a long time, but research has found that this particular style of music has all the health benefits of any other type and a couple of its own. Here are some ways that listening to jazz can boost your health.

Stress Relief

Music is every bit as effective as reducing anxiety as a massage. Science has found that listening to a relaxing piece of music, such as a ballad, causes the brain waves to match the tempo of the music. This has a relaxing, stress-reducing effect on the listener. Jazz can also help induce sleep. Studies found that listening to a relaxing piece of jazz improves sleep throughout the entire night. A specific jazz album that is great for relaxation is "Kind of Blue" by the Miles Davis Sextet.

Headache Relief

Research has found that listening to jazz can reduce both the intensity and duration of tension and migraine headaches. One study of subjects with chronic pain found that those who listened to jazz for an hour a day experienced a 21 percent reduction in pain while the non-listening group experienced just a 2 percent reduction. Some hospitals are now using music therapy to reduce the pain of childbirth and postoperative pain, as well as using it in conjunction with anesthesia. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that listening to jazz can expand blood vessels by as much as 30 percent, thus lowering blood pressure. Lower blood pressure greatly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. These results are the same one could expect from adopting a low-salt diet, dropping 10 pounds, or taking blood pressure medication. That's pretty impressive.

Immune System Boost

Listening to jazz has also been shown to boost the immune system. A 30-minute session of listening increases immunoglobulin, an antibody that protects against bacteria, viruses, and infection. This boost lasts for an additional 30 minutes after the music stops.

There is no question that listening to music is helpful to overall health. Science proves it. Relaxing music does the job best, and if you like jazz, it is particularly well-suited to the task. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rosemead, Calif.

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