Music as Medicine


“Music as Medicine” We’ve been playing music since
back during the Paleolithic era, 40,000 years ago, with music as therapy
documented at least since biblical times. The first such experiment was published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association in 1914. Phonograph in Operating Room “as a means of calming and distracting
patients from the horror of the situation” as they lie awake during surgery. Now that we have anesthesia, music is
used to calm nerves before surgery. Normally we use valium-type drugs
like midazolam, sold as Versed, but it can have a variety of side effects including sometimes making
people even more agitated. So this study was performed
to see if relaxing music has a greater anxiety reducing effect
than a standard dose of the drug. So they whipped out some Kenny G. and the music worked
significantly better than the drug: lower anxiety scores, lower heart
rate, lower blood pressure. Perhaps the first report
of any anti-anxiety therapy working
not just as good as but better then
benzodiazepine drugs. And the difference in the side effects
of relaxing music compared to the drug is obvious:
there were none. Soft jazz causes no
post-operative hangover. So the researchers suggest we should
start using music instead of midazolam. Music may be effective in reducing
anxiety and pain in children as well undergoing minor medical
and dental procedures, helping with blood draws,
getting their shots — even reducing the
pain of spinal taps, though evidently Mozart is powerless
against the pain of circumcision. But it doesn’t take a
randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that listening
to music can be relaxing. Tell me something I don’t know. Ok, this I did not know. If you take someone with a latex allergy
and inject their skin with latex, they get a big red angry bump. But if you repeat the test after they’ve
been listening to Mozart for 30 minutes, they develop a much smaller bump. They had less of an allergic reaction. And if you think that’s wild, Beethoven didn’t work; same
reaction kind of before and after. Right, so it wasn’t just the music. Schubert didn’t work either,
nor did Hayden, or Brahms. Both failed to reduce the
allergic skin response. Thus, the reducing
effect on the allergic responses may be
specific to Mozart. So Mozart’s looking pretty
good — but wait a second, maybe Mozart suppresses
the immune system in general. That wouldn’t be good. So they also injected a chemical
that causes reactions in everyone, not just allergic people, and
Mozart had no effect. So it seems to just suppress
the pathological allergic reaction. And if that isn’t crazy enough for
you, they drew people’s blood after the music, and stuck their white blood
cells in a Petri dish with a little latex and measured the
allergic antibody response. The white blood cells from
the person exposed to Mozart had less of an allergic
response even outside the body compared to cells
taken from Beethoven blood. That is cool. Music may even impact
our metabolism. It all started with this study. They found that the resting
energy expenditure, the resting metabolic rate,
the amount of calories burned just lying around was lower in
preemies when they piped in Mozart, which may explain why infants
exposed to music put on weight faster, so much so they were
able to go home earlier. Now gaining weight faster is
great for premature babies, but not necessarily for adults. Could listening to music
slow our metabolism and contribute to weight gain? No.
This study found no effect on adults. But they used Bach, not Mozart, and
Bach doesn’t work for babies either. A drop in energy expenditure
on Mozart, but not on Bach. This would suggest
that it may be more of a ‘Mozart specific effect’
than a universal ‘music effect.’ What if you just listen
to music of your choice? Does it affect our metabolism or not?
We didn’t know until now. And it turns out that
listening to music appears to actually increase
our metabolic rate, such that we burn an average
of 27.6 more calories a day even just lying in bed, though
that’s only about six M&M’s worth. Better to use music to get up
and start dancing or exercising. Music can not only improve exercise
enjoyment but performance as well — a way to improve athletic
performance that’s legal. Male body builders may be less
enthused by this effect, though. After listening to music
for just 30 minutes, testosterone levels drop
14% in young men and go up 21%
in young women. All kinds of music or just some
some types of music? 30 minutes of silence had no effect: same
testosterone levels before and after. But a half hour of Mozart
suppressed testosterone, as did jazz, as did pop music,
as did Gregorian chants (no relation). What about a half hour of
people’s like personal favorites? Testosterone levels cut in half. Testosterone decreased in
males under all music conditions, whereas testosterone
increased in the females. What is going on? Well, in men, testosterone is related
to libido, dominance, aggressiveness, whereas women get a bigger
boost in testosterone from cuddling than from sex. And so maybe we evolved using music
as a way to ensure we all got along like a melodious cold shower to
keep everyone kind of chilled out.

68 thoughts on “Music as Medicine

  1. As a music therapist myself I can attest to the wonderful things that music can help people with! What a wonderful video to wake up to! I personally think the Mozart effect comes from his driving rhythms, Which makes his music a totally different experience than other composers.

  2. This video was great. The melodious cold shower is a bit off, though, because cold showers actually boot testosterone levels…so the joke doesn't fit really.

    Still, I love this guys message.

  3. Dr. Gregor, this is great….. we need a part 2 and 3 … maybe on going !   

    Turn down the valium, turn up the volume !!!

  4. How's this one?
    Oh, Bach is very good. I recommend.
    And this one?
    Oh, Mozart the boy genius, the best.
    Okay, how about this?
    Oh! Debussy. I love Debussy. Sometimes all I could think about is Debussy. Oh, look at the pianist! The pianist is so good with Debussy.
    So you like his early work?
    Oh yes. When Debussy was young, that's when you want Debussy.
    Okay, I'll take these two.
    Very good, sir. Just make sure you finish on the Bach, never finish on Debussy.

  5. I was always fighting music in gyms. Looks like I felt it intuitively. I even dropped gym exercises because I could not handle music in a gym. It distracted me a lot. It broke my exercise rithm, it changed my mood, etc. And I could feel that i am MUCH more effective when workout without music.

    Everything should have its own time. Time to workout, time to listen to music. 

    And this is so good now i can refer to real scientific studies.

    Thank you.

  6. This video is a mind fvck on many levels.
    1. Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Chopin music was composed honestly from their core emotions, they played poetry describing their relationships and views through vibrations our DNA identifies with. Lots of the other composers were just copying each other to appeal the higher societies for profit, and that kind of Classical piano music mostly sounds old and boring to me though, so if its not Romanticism era, I identify more with the digital 80s music from the Yamaha DX7 keyboard which replaced the piano, and the New Age, New Wave music that followed its invention of FM Additive Sine Wave Synthesis. Listening preferably @ 432 Hz Master Tuning.
    2. Testosterone drops during workout is a bummer for those of us who lift to our favorites or meditation music. Though music of all genres is emotional, right brain, yin, heart, so I can see it lowering our testosterone to balance men's aggressive instincts to fight and fvck. I can see music's hormonal response allowing us to communicate to girls without every comment requesting sex, preventing arguments from becoming physical altercations, and preventing the extreme of just jumping on girls and taking it. Maybe domestic and sexual abuse could be prevented with more music in their lives. This is profound research everyone should know.
    3. Allergy effect, crazy.

  7. ..on the other hand, lowered T, means lowered DHT, which prevents Male Pattern Baldness.
    So myself and other music connoisseurs/producers/engineers I look up to, just realized, they all have their hair. Besides occasional thinning from stress or diet deficiencies, no permanent pattern baldness. 
    maybe guys with more physical labor, sports or corporate business lifestyles, environments that are lots of Testosterone and aggressive egos..I look at Jordan Spieth. Lebron James, Joe Rogan, guys with lots of aggression, maybe too much T than needed to perform, so the extra T in their bodies they arent using converts to DHT, and they lose their hair.
    but, emotions and hormone response from music carry over to real life, so Im sensitive, wear my heart on my sleeve with girls, sometimes aloof, nonchalant and passive, would rather calm my temper with music, marijuana, laughs, games than resolute tough actions. procrastinate about serious matters that need aggressive urgent attn. but I come from a bloodline of high T, hot tempered ancestors, war vets, no nonsense forefathers who did have hair loss, so the music response may counteract balding heredity. 
    pros and cons. I need a balance, Yin art creator of emotions and Yang power of my ancestors.

  8. Listening to Kenny G has been known to kill healthy adults so no surprise that his music has a sedative effect on older folks…

  9. To be fair Schubert does sound a LOT like Beethoven  so… hardly surprising that they had a similar result.

  10. "increased testosterone levels in females suppress sexual behaviour."

    So I should NOT play Barry White in the bedroom?

  11. Check out the music therapy journal for more music therapy research! it is a profession that focuses on utilizing music as a therapeutic medium. These individuals are not only very skilled musicians but who's work focuses on music causing,emotional,physiological, mental and behavioral changes. It is a career path that requires college and an internship to do. If you are interested please check out some studies from us!

  12. But we listen to music during sex :O Does that mean I have to stop listening to music because it cuts my test by 50%???? :O Does that mean my test will double if I stop??

  13. Fascinating!! One thing though: The IgE data displayed, (the outside the body immune response) did not show any difference between Mozart and Beethoven, the two groups were exactly the same and did not show the #indicating significant difference, nor brightly highlighted yellow. Was the wrong section pulled from the report or is it an error in the script?

  14. 5:45 why they had lower testosterone overall for the silence, but they had more testestrone befor deciding to listen to music ?!

  15. Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time.

    General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound).

    Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements.

    Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments.

    The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; "art of the Muses").

    In its most general form, the activities describing music as an art form or cultural activity include the creation of works of music (songs, tunes, symphonies, and so on), the criticism of music, the study of the history of music, and the aesthetic examination of music.

    Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies.

    Common sayings such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to.

    However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."

    The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context.

    Indeed, throughout history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as "not being music", including Beethoven's Grosse Fuge string quartet in 1825, early jazz in the beginning of the 1900s, and hardcore punk in the 1980s.

    There are many types of music, including popular music, traditional music, art music, music written for religious ceremonies, and work songs (such as chanteys).

    Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (such as Classical music symphonies from the 1700s and 1800s) through to spontaneously played improvisational music (such as jazz), and avant-garde styles of chance-based contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Music can be divided into genres (e.g., country music) and genres can be further divided into subgenres (e.g., country blues and pop country are two of the many country subgenres), although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to personal interpretation, and occasionally controversial.

    For example, it can be hard to draw the line between some early 1980s hard rock and heavy metal.

    Within the arts, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art or as an auditory art.

    Music may be played or sung and heard live at a rock concert or orchestra performance, heard live as part of a dramatic work (a music theater show or opera), or it may be recorded and listened to on a radio, MP3 player, CD player, smartphone, or as part of a film score or TV show.

    In many cultures, music is an important part of people's way of life, as it plays a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage ceremonies (e.g., graduation and marriage), social activities (e.g., dancing) and cultural activities (ranging from amateur karaoke singing, to playing in an amateur funk band, or singing in a community choir).

    People may make music as a hobby, like a teen playing cello in a youth orchestra, or work as a professional musician or singer.

    The music industry includes the individuals who create new songs and musical pieces (such as songwriters and composers), individuals who perform music (which includes orchestra, jazz band and rock band musicians, singers and conductors), individuals who record music (music producers and sound engineers), individuals who organize concert tours, and individuals who sell recordings, sheet music, and scores to customers.

  16. Its ironic that having sex increases testosterone while music decreases testosterone. Yet many athletes will abstain from sex and use music to get ready for an athletic event.

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