Music Therapy May Offer a Simple Way to Ease Pain Symptoms Without Medications


Looking for a simple way to ease pain symptoms that doesn’t involve taking any medications? Listening to your favorite song may be a simple yet effective way to feel better, according to a new study published on October 25 in Frontiers in Pain Research.

Pain is a complex and subjective experience that involves sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial processes, according to the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapy can diminish that sensation in different ways: It can divert attention away from pain, reduce pain intensity, ease stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of control.

Music May Help Disrupt Pain Stimuli Before It Starts Hurting

Several studies have demonstrated that music is quite effective at reducing pain, says coauthor Mathieu Roy, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at McGill University in Montreal. The decreased sensitivity to pain (also known as hypoalgesia) can occur when the sensation of pain is disrupted between where it begins (the stimuli) and where it is recognized as pain by the conscious mind.

“The effects generally range between a 10 to 20 percent reduction, so similar to anti-inflammatory drugs, for instance. The mechanism of how it works is different, but the amplitude of the effects appears to be comparable,” says Dr. Roy.


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