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Researchers Discover The Benefits of Music and Singing

But there’s another reason why we should sing.

Music changes us. It transforms us.

Singing isn’t just a declaration of our joy… it has the power to MAKE us joyful.

ILLUS: Back in 1998, researchers found that music stimulates the auditory nerves and creates brain messages that ripple through the body, influencing muscle tone equilibrium and joint flexibility.

The human heartbeat is especially attuned to sound. As music changes in tempo and volume, it acts as a natural pacemaker. Our breathing slows down or speeds up along with the music.

A study at Michigan State University found that just 15 minutes of listening to music increases levels of immune chemicals that are vital to protect us against disease.

The release of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) dropped by up to 25%.

In addtion, they found that music has a direct effect on the function of the brain. It can slow down and equalize brain waves to create a meditative state or it can energize brain waves, quickening the thinking process and enhancing creativity

(Don Campbell, founder of Institute for Music, Health and Education “Bottom Line –Tomorrow” Sept 1998 p. 9)

ILLUS: Then in 2001, scientists were amazed to find that music is able to help heal the body.

• Burn victims, encouraged to sing while having their dressing changed, experienced less pain.

• Cancer patients who listened to - and practiced with - musical instruments, saw their levels of stress hormones drop and their immune systems get stronger.

Professor Richard Fratianne observed: "By helping patients relax, music eases pain and may even speed recovery," (Peter Jaret Reader’s Digest 9/01)

From a sermon by Jeff Strite, B Joyful, 11/15/2009

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