“Among the reasons for the existence of music in virtually every culture is its ability to elicit and maintain human health and well-being,” says the book Principles and Practice of Stress Management. When we are singing, notes another reference, our entire body resounds and vibrates. In turn, gentle vibrations help tissues relax and dilate, which may help to reduce pain. Accordingly, some therapists encourage patients suffering from stress to listen to soothing music, which can also improve one’s mood. Some hospitals even pipe music into intensive care units. Premature babies as well as surgery patients often respond well to pleasant music. According to Principles and Practice of Stress Management, studies suggest that listening to relaxing music “produces significant reductions in stress hormone levels during surgery.” Music may also reduce anxiety in pregnant women by promoting relaxation during labor and delivery. And dentists sometimes play soothing music to create a more relaxed atmosphere for tense patients.
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