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How Music Brings Relief to the Young and the Old

By Sandy Schroeder

When I am in a dark mood, I can tone down the negative vibes by turning on a classic rock favorite. Within minutes I am moving on. If music works that way for you, too, you might be interested in Suzanne Kane’s look at music’s many amazing gifts for all ages in psychcentral.com

Aging adults with early memory loss get help - A 2017 research study found music and meditation helped older adults with preclinical memory loss improve memory skills and enjoy better sleep and less stress. I watched this play out with an aging couple. She was losing her memory and withdrawing, but when her husband played a song from their youth she suddenly began singing. She remembered every verse and beamed as she sang.

Babies’ brains get a boost - Researchers from McMaster University found 1-year-old babies who did interactive music lessons with their parents smiled more, were more easily comforted and wailed less when they did not get what they wanted. They also pointed at things they wanted and waved goodbye. When nothing else seems to work, music may be a good refuge for new parents coping with fussy babies.

Music classes help kids in speech and reading - Northwestern University researchers said children who were in music classes learning to play instruments had better speech and reading scores than their peers who did not attend music classes. I know a family where the mom, dad, and all three kids, play instruments. As you might imagine, they are all flourishing and their house is full of music.

Music therapy reduces anxiety in breast biopsies - A two-year clinical trial on live and recorded music therapy during breast biopsy procedures found patients reported a significant reduction in anxiety levels. A music therapist was added to the surgical setting and researchers believe it helped reduce patients’ anxiety as they learned more about the procedure and managed their pain.  

Music brings comfort to palliative care patients - Music therapy for palliative-care patients dealing with terminal conditions was provided by a university and musicians from a symphony orchestra. Researchers found music intervention therapy improved pain relief, mood, resilience, well-being, and relaxation.

Music helps cancer patients find relief – A 2016 overall review of studies on music therapy and interventions found cancer patients benefit with less pain, anxiety and fatigue and an overall boost in quality of life. I watched this play out in a local hospital where resident physicians, who also played instruments in their leisure time, brought their music to a cancer treatment center for children. The response was amazing as those visits became the high point of the day, changing tears to smiles and helping all of them fight back.

Wherever you are, when in doubt, see if music might help.

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

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