The Health Benefits of Natural Sounds

Scientific study exploring the benefits of natural sounds. It demonstrates an overall positive result for most people, both when hearing the sounds inside or outside. Some sounds worked better for soothing nerves, such as water.

The overall mean effect size for health and positive affect outcomes was 1.63 (95% CI = 0.09, 3.16), corresponding to a 184% overall improvement in groups exposed to natural sounds relative to comparison groups (Fig. 1). The large variance in effect sizes was due to one study with particularly large effect sizes (28). The overall mean effect size for stress and annoyance outcomes was −0.60 (95% CI = −0.97, −0.23), corresponding to a 28% overall decrease in groups exposed to natural sounds relative to comparisons (Fig. 1).

3-Hz Binaural Beats Effect on Delta Sleep

“These findings suggested that the 3-Hz binaural beat on a 250-Hz carrier tone can be used to modulate sleep stage by decreasing the latency to the N3 stage, extending the N3 duration, and reducing the N2 duration without sleep disturbance and sleep fragmentation, while increasing the quality of sleep in this study is also associated slow wave sleep in which is related to memory consolidation and other regulation of the body; and the 3-Hz binaural beat can enhance power of delta activity during sleep. ”

Custom Tailored Music Demonstrated to Ease Tinnitus

Abstract : Maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization may contribute to the generation and maintenance of tinnitus. Because cortical organization can be modified by behavioral training, we attempted to reduce tinnitus loudness by exposing chronic tinnitus patients to self-chosen, enjoyable music, which was modified (“notched”) to contain no energy in the frequency range surrounding the individual tinnitus frequency. After 12 months of regular listening, the target patient group (n = 8) showed significantly reduced subjective tinnitus loudness and concomitantly exhibited reduced evoked activity in auditory cortex areas corresponding to the tinnitus frequency compared to patients who had received an analogous placebo notched music treatment (n = 8). These findings indicate that tinnitus loudness can be significantly diminished by an enjoyable, low-cost, custom-tailored notched music treatment, potentially via reversing maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization.

The Neurochemistry of Music

“Music is used to regulate mood and arousal in everyday
life and to promote physical and psychological health
and well-being in clinical settings. However, scientific
inquiry into the neurochemical effects of music is still
in its infancy. In this review, we evaluate the evidence
that music improves health and well-being through the
engagement of neurochemical systems for (i) reward,
motivation, and pleasure; (ii) stress and arousal;
(iii) immunity; and (iv) social affiliation. We discuss
the limitations of these studies and outline novel
approaches for integration of conceptual and technological advances from the fields of music cognition and
social neuroscience into studies of the neurochemistry
of music.”

Brain Connectivity and Human Response to Musical Aesthetics

In Summary, Musicians have more neurons in the emotional and social processing areas of their brains … music = emotional intelligence.

“Using a combination of survey data, behavioral and psychophysiological measures and diffusion tensor imaging, we found that white matter connectivity between sensory processing areas in the superior temporal gyrus and emotional and social processing areas in the insula and medial prefrontal cortex explains individual differences in reward sensitivity to music.

Our findings provide the first evidence for a neural basis of individual differences in sensory access to the reward system, and suggest that social–emotional communication through the auditory channel may offer an evolutionary basis for music making as an aesthetically rewarding function in humans.”

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Effects of Rosary Prayer and Mantra on the Heart

To test whether rhythmic formulas such as the rosary and yoga mantras can synchronise and reinforce inherent cardiovascular rhythms and modify baroreflex sensitivity.

Comparison of effects of recitation of the Ave Maria (in Latin) or of a mantra, during spontaneous and metronome controlled breathing, on breathing rate and on spontaneous oscillations in RR interval, and on blood pressure and cerebral circulation.

Both prayer and mantra caused striking, powerful, and synchronous increases in existing cardiovascular rhythms when recited six times a minute. Baroreflex sensitivity also increased significantly, from 9.5 (SD 4.6) to 11.5 (4.9) ms/mm Hg, P<0.05. Conclusion Rhythm formulas that involve breathing at six breaths per minute induce favourable psychological and possibly physiological effects. What is already known on this topic Reduced heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity are powerful and independent predictors of poor prognosis in heart disease Slow breathing enhances heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity by synchronising inherent cardiovascular rhythms What this study adds Recitation of the rosary, and also of yoga mantras, slowed respiration to almost exactly 6/min, and enhanced heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity The rosary might be viewed as a health practice as well as a religious practice." Source :

Musical Thanatology – Music for Transforming the Dying Experience

“During a music vigil, the music thanatologist offers music in a prescriptive way. With careful attention to the patient’s vital signs and physiological needs, he or she adjusts the elements of music — such as melody, phrasing and rhythm — to provide an individually-tailored response. The goal of a music vigil is to relieve suffering and to bring beauty and comfort to the dying process.”

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A Neuroscientist Explores the “Sanskrit Effect” – How Mantra Increases Cognitive Function

“We studied a group of verbal memory specialists to determine whether intensive oral text memory is associated with structural features of hippocampal and lateral-temporal regions implicated in language processing. Professional Vedic Sanskrit Pandits in India train from childhood for around 10years in an ancient, formalized tradition of oral Sanskrit text memorization and recitation, mastering the exact pronunciation and invariant content of multiple 40,000-100,000 word oral texts. We conducted structural analysis of gray matter density, cortical thickness, local gyrification, and white matter structure, relative to matched controls. We found massive gray matter density and cortical thickness increases in Pandit brains in language, memory and visual systems, including i) bilateral lateral temporal cortices and ii) the anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus, regions associated with long and short-term memory. Differences in hippocampal morphometry matched those previously documented for expert spatial navigators and individuals with good verbal working memory. The findings provide unique insight into the brain organization implementing formalized oral knowledge systems.”

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Improvisational Music and Depression Study

“Improvisational music therapy is suitable for basically all client groups without the need for specific musical training, and can be successfully applied even when one’s ability for verbal expression is limited [13, 14]. Any adult with normally developed cognitive skills and abstract thinking is able to connect symbolic and experience-based mental contents to their musical expression in clinical improvisations. They are also able to verbalise, in other words to further process, their music-based experiences and to interpret these experiences in the light of their current life situation [15].”

“The special potential of music to facilitate the processing of complex negative emotions is supported by music psychology research. Music listening has been shown to induce complex emotional experiences [22, 23], and to support elaborate self-regulatory processing of sometimes difficult, personal emotional states in everyday life [24]. Furthermore, music is often characterised—somewhat paradoxically—by pleasurable experiences of difficult emotions, such as sadness [25]. It has been argued that the enjoyment of sadness in music is explained by the capacity of music to allow simultaneous absorption, yet dissociation, from the affective content [26, 27]. Music characteristically allows access to various degrees of emotional nuances and intensities with simultaneous self-reflection, detachment, and elaborative awareness of these emotional nuances [28], supporting both experience and conceptual awareness of feelings [29]. Overall, the findings support the idea that music holds special potential for the self-reflective processing of complex, difficult, and even painful emotions.”