New study finds Sound Therapy reduces stress

January 15, 2013 | Ear muscles, General, Stress

Today most people are exposed to levels of stress which affect wellbeing and long term health. Concerns such as the economy, climate change and daily survival affect us all. Added to these are events like bushfires, drought, floods, and then individual family events such as conflict or illness. None of us is exempt from stress.

When it comes to stress management, people will resolve to exercise more, eat better, take more breaks, and be nicer to others. But all of these things are easier said than done. Daily crises, triggers and temptation easily get in the way, and stress compounds.

Apart from taking medication – which may have long term side effects or addictive characteristics – most people could benefit from a simple stress solution which is so easy to do it can even fit into a hectic lifestyle without having to miss a beat.

Just such an option now exists with Sound Therapy, and evidence form a new study shows its value for those experiencing daily stress.

Sound Therapy, a portable listening program using specially filtered classical music through earphones, was tested on stressed individuals to see how it affected them on standard stress measures. Twenty Sound Therapy listeners were compared with a control group of twenty people who listened to normal classical music.

Researchers were intrigued to find that there was an increase in heart rate variability when subjects listened to Sound Therapy in the short term. The same response was not shown by those listening to the normal music. Heart rate variability is a known measurement of vagal regulation, which affects our stress responses and social engagement abilities.

Researchers Lucy Warhurst and Andrew Kemp of the University of Sydney believe that the findings give insight into the link between the middle ear muscles, the cranial nerves and the heart.

Sound Therapy listeners generally report that they feel calmer and more able to deal with life’s demands, and the mechanism of increased heart rate variability now gives a neurophysiological insight into why this may be so. The connection that has been discovered between vagal regulation and the middle ear muscles, is a clue as to why the right sort of music, designed to specifically stimulate these muscles, may have long term and profound effects on stress coping ability for some individuals.

To learn more about the effects of Sound Therapy on a wide array of stress related conditions, also see my book, Sound Therapy Music to Recharge Your Brain


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