Dr. KaNisha Says Music is Medicine

Dr. KaNisha L. Hall received a Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) from Howard University. She later completed her residency at Louisiana State University and is a board certified Anesthesiologist. Also, Dr.KaNisha Hall currently serves as the Chief Medical Correspondent for Kluster Radio Media Group. Dr. KaNisha practices perioperative medicine, telemedicine and addiction counseling in multiple states includingTexas, Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan. Photo Credit: D. Lacy Photography

Can music affect your mood?

Research shows that music can boost happiness and reduce anxiety. Moreover new studies suggest that even sad music can uplift your mood. From the drumbeats of our ancient ancestors to today’s unlimited streaming services, music is an integral part of the human experience. Researchers have pondered the possible therapeutic and mood boosting benefits of music for centuries. 

Can music relieve stress?

Music can affect the body in many health-promoting ways, which is the basis for a growing field known as music therapy. However, you can use music in your daily life and achieve many stress relief benefits on your own. One of the great benefits of music as a stress reliever is that it can be used while you conduct your regular activities so it really doesn’t take time away from your busy schedule. Music provides a wonderful backdrop for your life and you can find increased enjoyment from what you’re doing while reducing stress from your day.

Put together a custom playlist for each of these activities and you may soon notice a significant decrease in stress.

Can music relieve pain? Music is medicine. The American Music Therapy Association reports that music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain. It might seem surprising that music can help people cope with physical pain, but research has shown a clear link. A 2015 review in The Lancet found that people who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety, compared to patients who did not listen to music. The music listeners didn’t even need as much pain medication.

Dr. KaNisha’s prescription: Add a little more music to your day…

When getting ready in the morning: You can wake yourself up with music and start your day feeling great. By selecting the right music, you can set the tone for a lower-stress day. Classical or instrumental music can help you wake up while keeping you calm and focused. If you have a big, busy day ahead that requires extra energy, try something that’s upbeat and makes you want to dance and smile.

During Cooking: Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and it can actually keep your stress level down. Eating at home is a great way to ensure healthy meals and less expensive, but many people find themselves too tired to cook once they get home. If you put on some smooth jazz or a similar genre of music that you enjoy, cooking becomes a fun activity rather than a chore. You will likely find yourself relaxed and in a better frame of mind once dinner starts, which can enable you to savor your dinner and your company as you eat.

During a Commute: Put an end to road rage by playing your favorite music in the car. The right song can relieve some of the tension you feel from the commute itself and the day so far. Your favorite sing-along can help you feel less like you’re wasting time in traffic and more like you’re having some nice time to yourself. Music can take your mind off of all that you need to get done once you reach the destination. You will arrive less stressed and more prepared to take on what awaits you

While eating: Music can also be a helper as you’re eating your meal. Soothing music can trigger the relaxation response, which can lower cortisol levels, making it easier to digest food. Studies have shown that classical music, in particular, can help you eat less, digest better and enjoy your food more. 

Cleaning: Keeping a simple, organized home can really help to cut down on your stress level, but cleaning itself is a chore that many busy people don’t have the energy to face after a long day. However, if you throw on some energetic music for example, hip hop can raise your energy level and have fun as you clean.

Before bed: Getting enough sleep is important for proper functioning, and getting enough sleep can help you handle stress better. Unfortunately, stress can also interfere with sleep in several ways. Playing music as you drift off is one way to counteract the effects of stress by taking your mind off what’s stressing you. Music can help slow down your breathing and soothing your mind.

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