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7 Compelling Reasons to Listen to Quiet Music
by Barbara E. Lewis

A friend of mine recently wrote to tell me that she was, once again, suffering from insomnia. Of course, this would have a bad effect on her mood and on the amount of work (and play) she could sustain over the day. She was sad and mad and told me that yet another day had been "ruined."

I found myself writing back to ask her if she had ever tried listening to a guided meditation. I had done this myself recently when I felt my mind was racing too fast to make sleep possible. I searched for and discovered a wonderful meditation online, and sitting on the bed that night, I closed my eyes and listened while a man's soft voice took me into more serene world. My body and mind calmed down during those 8 minutes of listening. And sleep came pretty easily after that.

After responding to my friend, I thought I should read about what the latest science had to say about the effects of music on the body. Most of us have experienced strong reactions to music - for good and for bad. But how was it being measured by science?

The 7 reasons listed below are the result of my preliminary reading.

1. You must stay still - Here is the easiest benefit. The simple act of sitting or lying down while you listen to quiet music, slows you down, and reduces muscular tension.

2. Music can have a good effect on your heart - Listening to music that gives you pleasure can improve blood flow and scientists say that it may promote vascular health. "Our findings suggest music listening may be beneficial for heart disease patients," says Joke Bradt, who works at the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center at Temple University in Philadelphia.

3. When are you quiet, words have great power - If the music is a guided meditation - the words can take you far away from your usual worries. Your mind relaxes and you will likely feel fresher and more focussed afterwards.

4. Quiet music has been shown to slow down your brain waves - It is this Alpha state (slower brain waves) that leads to more abundant creative energy. "It is thought that composers deliberately confirm and violate listeners' expectations in order to communicate emotion and aesthetic meaning," said Marcus Pearce, researcher at University of London.

5. Pain control and headache control - In music therapy, quiet music is used to help combat frequent or recurring pain and migraine headaches.

6. Sleep Aid - Many people turn to quiet guided meditations at night when they wake up and cannot return to sleep.

7. Anxiety reduction - Stefan Koelsch, a senior research fellow in neurocognition of music and language at the University of Sussex, states that "Physiologically, it's perfectly plausible that music would affect not only psychiatric conditions but also endocrine, autonomic and autoimmune disorders," he says. "I can't say music is a pill to abolish disease, but my vision is that we can come up with things to help. So many pills have horrible side-effects, both physiological and psychological, but music has none."

A bonus benefit - The pure pleasure of feeling those good emotions coursing through the body.

There is a huge body of literature related to this subject. If you would like to learn about other studies, articles and books that offer an interested reader much more information about this fascinating subject please go to

Barbara Lewis is a singer, songwriter, teacher & writer who has a long-standing interest in finding ways to living a healthier, happier life. Some of her original music explores these themes. Barbara's latest composition, a serenity-enhancing guided meditation called, "Your Inner Voice" - is available FREE on her Web site when you subscribe to her newsletter, Keys to Well Being.

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