The Health Benefits of Music-Did you ever wonder why music is so important to God? So many Biblical references tell us to sing to the Lord, sing praises to His Name, sing for joy to the Lord. In fact, we are commanded in both Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to “sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God” – to sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord constantly.
What I would like to draw your attention to is that science has been researching music’s health benefits. Here are some fascinating facts borne out by scientific studies as you listen to music:
Listening to “joyful” music improved blood vessel function! Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland studied heart health and documented the positive effects of laughter. He then used the same research method to study the effects of music on cardiovascular health.
In his study he asked ten subjects to bring music they enjoyed most. The music in that group ranged from country and rap to jazz and classical rock. He emphasized that everyone responds to music differently and what is joyful to one may not be to another.
He hooked each person up to a blood pressure monitor and played their favorite music. Then he measured their blood pressure. Nine out of the ten had very positive results. The findings were very consistent. He concluded that the effects of listening to music you really enjoy are comparable to taking some types of heart medications or even of doing exercise. Of course, it doesn’t replace the need to watch your diet. His research found that it improves blood vessel function, and can become a pleasurable addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
His suggestion for getting the best response is not listening to the same song day after day. If, for example, you listen to one song on Monday, don’t listen again for a week or two – choose another of your favorites otherwise you become desensitized to the emotional effect. I think we can even see that from scripture.
In 1 Samuel 16:23 it says: “Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better and the evil spirit would leave him.”
At first, each time King Saul became agitated, David would play the harp and he would calm down. When you read further in 1 Samuel (18:10 and 19:9, 10) you see that even though David was playing the soothing music as before, Saul was not calmed and in fact tried to kill David.
Another fascinating fact is that music actually by-passes the conscious mind, directly stimulating the portion of the brain that controls emotions. The right music can actually be more effective than a tranquilizer!
So, put that CD or tape in, charge up your ipod and make joyful music that you really love part of a healthy lifestyle. That’s a command straight from the Father and you know He always really does know best!