Find health and harmony by listening

An important requirement for obtaining good health and a feeling of well-being is to continuously strive for an inner balance, both physically and mentally. There are a lot of things that can help us coming closer to this state. Eating carefully composed meals, physical activity and spending time in nature have been mentioned in previous health tips as being important tools for obtaining and keeping a good balance in life. Listening to or performing beautiful music can be another way.

Musicians on stage at the Summer Course cabaret

Music as a balancing force

An increasing number of studies indicate that music can reduce the effects of stress and enhance a person's well-being. Slow and quiet music can make us calm down, whereas music with a faster rhythm and pace can activate us. However, it is not always easy to choose what we need most at a certain point of time, as different sounds can affect us in different ways. But the right music or the right sound in the right situation can act as a balancing force in our lives.

Less pain and anxiety

The idea that music can have a positive effect on us starts to spread within the health care sector. Research shows that patients who listen to music before, under and after an operation suffer less from pain and anxiety. As a consequence, their need for pain-killers is also reduced. Frequently listening to music we like also seems to have a positive effect on our cognitive functions.

Increased levels of oxytocin

One reason why it is good for us to listen to music we like is that it increases levels of a hormone called oxytocin, which makes us feel calm and gives us a feeling of well being. Oxytocin counteracts the effects of a stress hormone called cortisole and may result in both lower blood pressure and less beats per minute. The immune system is also affected in a positive way.

Concentration and mental relaxation

Obviously the positive effects of music are not only confined to persons who listen to music but also by those perform music. A person who sings or plays an instrument uses his or her body in an active way while at the same time focusing on this very activity, thereby making it less likely for disturbing thoughts to pop up and enable us to relax mentally in a deeper way than before.

Training Zhineng Qigong is another way of finding physical and mental calm. By concentrating on a certain training method and following the flow of the movements we try to obtain a balance in our mind and in our body. Sometimes we also use sounds as a part of our training.

 

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