Friday, March 30, 2012

Music and Chronic Pain

If pain produces a significant amount of anxiety for you, there is a way to combat those feelings and curtail the pain: Listen to music. According to a study in the Journal of Pain, concentrating on music can help lower the amount of pain a person experiences, because the effort competes with the brain’s pain pathways.

Basically, your brain can only process so much information at once, and focusing on music hijacks those areas that would instead be registering pain. For the study, participants were asked to identify notes that stood out in a piece of music. Having a specific task helped the volunteers become more engrossed in the music than they might be otherwise.

Give yourself an assignment when listening to a tune, such as counting the beats or identifying when the tempo switches, so that you can properly distract yourself from the discomfort.

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