Relax With Music, Really?

Researchers at Stanford University (2006) concluded that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” ┬áThat’s right, music is officially a “therapeutic modality” – a proven way of changing how you feel.

Most of us know that uptempo (faster) music can get you fired up and make you feel more alert.That same music also helps many concentrate better. Want to relax? Try a down-tempo (slower) track that will help quiet your mind and relax your muscles.

Now medical science has jumped on board and are using music to calm the nerves of patients in dentist and doctor offices, relaxing patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and calming down kids nervous about their visit to their pediatrician.

While the science behind music therapy continues to evolve, there are direct links between the tempo (speed) of music and brain activity and the body changes that shifts in brainwave activity bring to calming (or pumping up) the body.

Choosing the right tunes

So what type of music reduces stress the best? Try searching your favorite music service for Native American and Celtic tunes (particularly instrumentals), along with music featuring Indian stringed-instruments. Natural sounds, like rain, thunder, and “crickets”┬ásounds may be super-relaxing particularly when mixed with other music, such as light jazz, classical, and easy-listening music. Choose a track that you like and tune it toward your mood.

Music and Massage

It you really want to relax with music, get a professional massage. Soothing music, coupled with controlled lighting, a comfortable, heated massage table, and the therapeutic touch of a qualified massage therapist helps you relax faster and more deeply. It’s also an opportunity to disconnect from electronic devices and really give your head a chance to recharge. About 40% of massage clients actually fall asleep during all or part of their session, which, according to massage therapists, is perfectly fine.