Dr. Miriam Stoppard is a businesswoman, journalist, broadcaster, writer, and most important, a medical doctor. In 1998 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London.
Stoppard has been at the forefront of the revolution in health information since she began her writing and broadcasting career in the early 1970s. She writes a column for the Daily Mirror in London. One of her columns was about how music has the power to heal. I found it interesting. I hope you do too.
10 Facts That Show Music Is Good For Your Health
Increased lung capacity
Dr Stoppard reveals research done by Professor Graham Welch of The University of London who, not surprisingly, found that we use more lung volume when we sing. This means our bodies get more oxygen.
Lower blood pressure
According to a study at the Harvard Medical School, the hearts of people listening to music worked less hard when they were listening to music while running on treadmills. This reduced their blood pressure.
A California obstetrician has tracked the breathing of a 33-week fetus to the beat of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. He feels classical music can produce calmer babies.
Improved recovery from stroke
Listening to music following a stroke can help patients recover from brain damage, a study done by Helsinki University reveals.
Research into adults suffering seizures has found that listening to Mozart, especially bursts of Sonata K448, decreased epileptic attacks. (We have also found out that that this piece of music can improve people’s spatial IQ.)
University of California researchers discovered that the levels of a protein that helps the body fight infections rose by 150 per cent during rehearsals of a Beethoven choral work and 240 per cent in the concert performance. This sounds like a great reason to join a local choir.
Dr Stoppard quotes a number of studies that show that listening to music can reduce the feeling of pain. This includes research by a German doctor who has studied 100,000 patients. The doctor believes tailor-made music can reduce the quantity of painkillers needed by patients by 50 per cent.
Miami University’s School of Medicine discovered that blood levels of mood-enhancing chemicals rose significantly in Alzheimer’s patients exposed to music. These patients then slept better and became more active and co-operative.
Studies, says Dr Stoppard, show that music therapy makes a significant difference to the quality of life of those with Parkinson’s disease. The study states it helps reduce depression, anxiety and social isolation.
Music has always been an important part of my life. Both my parents were musicians and both my sister and I became professional musicians.
I don’t have to be convinced that music soothes the soul so I can imagine that it helps our bodies too…especially if you listen to some beautiful music by my favorite singer, Clay Aiken.
Now….don’t you feel better already?
Do you believe that music is important to your health?