Health, The Good Life

Music and Pain

Here’s more evidence that music is even more than the food of love. It may be the analgesic of the art world.

A recent study done at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people who were listening to their favourite music felt less pain and could stand pain for a longer period.

Researchers measured how people respond to pain with various forms of distractions, including relaxing music, listening to humorous audio tapes, doing math puzzles and looking at art.

They used a test that involves asking people to dunk their hand in frigid water, and keep it there as long as they could stand it. The subjects reported their ability to distract themselves from pain more than doubled if they were listening to their favourite music, while their perception of the amount of pain they felt fell significantly.

The scientists say it’s the emotional associations of music that lessen human perception of pain -that when the music engages you emotionally it can actually take the pain away. That’s why this doesn’t work with just any music, it has to be your own personal favourite.

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