Some time ago having dinner with my friend Edelmiro Arnaltes, pianist of the immortal singer Alfredo Kraus, for more than half his life and with the representative of Mstidlav Rostropovich, considered the best cellist in the world and who died in 2007, they told me that the latter was transformed when going on stage. Close to 80 years old and being an old man, with difficulty moving and with other problems typical of this age, he changed when he picked up a cello. You could appreciate the grace of her movements, the exquisite coordination and even the expression on his face was altered, looking younger.
Neuroscience studies in reference to music and song show that "music has deep effects on emotions … inducing states of relaxation that are particularly useful as an antidote to depression, anxiety and fatigue. "
Furthermore, research by the Royal Society revealed that "group singing can improve physical health and mental, as well as promoting social ties. "An article a few years ago, carried out by researchers from the University of California, refers that participation as a member of a coral" is associated with significant increases in immunoglobulin A ", this phenomenon is known as immune potentiation, increasing our defenses against infections. This could be demonstrated by measuring the levels of cortisol and immunoglobulin in saliva before and after singing in a choir. They also found that singing "leads positive feelings and satisfaction. "Popular wisdom already dictates:" he who sings his evil scares. "
We spend several hours a day in front of a screen, going from the smartphone to the television or from the PC to the tablet, resulting in that at night we are stressed and tired. But it would be enough to spend a few minutes, during the day, listening to music to recover from stress and improve our health. Music therapy is changed, from a alternative method viewed with suspicion by physicians, it is gaining more and more recognition from science with relevant investments in research.
The benefits of music
The US National Institute of Health has allocated $ 20 million for a scientific project, which will last five years, to analyze the effects of sound in several of the most common diseases. Its impact along with motor activities, such as dance, are some of the complementary therapies that are applied in some rehabilitation hospitals to curb the effects of chronic diseases and different forms of long-term disability. There is research on the benefits of musical notes to reduce acute and chronic pain and to restore motor and neurological functions impaired by stroke, senile dementia and Alzheimer's. The sound notes and vibrations could give relief to Parkinson's sufferers. Additionally, musical timbres and rhythms are used in autism and for children with attention deficit or language difficulties.
How long do we have to listen to music to notice its beneficial effects? According to doctors from the British Academy of Sound Therapy: the 'healing' dose of music to listen to every day to feel better is 78 minutes. At the last world congress, the American College of Cardiology, a recipe for musical notes was also recommended for patients with angina or heart attack. Recommending 30 minutes of music a day, to listen relaxed and with your eyes closed. A multinational study, led by Dutch researchers, published that "music therapy brings benefits short-term in subjects suffer from depression and if it is added to traditional therapies, it improves its effects. It also shows good results in reducing anxiety and improving responsiveness to stimuli in depressed people. "
Music is also being studied in the operating rooms, I have never used it but many of my fellow surgeons use it to help them concentrate. Anesthetists at the University of Pennsylvania have investigated its effects in a publication in the British Medical Journal. "Music therapy is practically a non-pharmacological treatment devoid of collateral damage and capable of reducing preoperative anxiety. We compared the effects of music with calming intravenous therapies given before peripheral anesthesia. Music seems to be a valid alternative. "
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