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Music and Healing

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The ReturnI just read an article in my newspaper about the healing power of music. It cited several studies of the effects of music on healing.

One, done at Stanford University, studied brain function of people who listened to a particular obscure classical musical composer vs pseudo-music–sounds containing some elements similar to music, such as rhythm and off-key tones.

“The imaging showed that several auditory structures in the midbrain and thalamus showed significant synchronization with the music, but little or no response to the pseudo-music,” the newspaper reported.

They cited another study, done in Japan, on mice. This study showed that the responses of the immune systems of mice to music could reduce their rejection of heart transplants. Both opera and classical music could increase the time before transplanted organs failed, but “exposing them to single-frequency monotones or New Age music provided no benefit.”

Yet another study was done on people in the ICU who were given either a playlist of their favorite music, noise-cancelling headphones, or nothing.

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