The Health Benefits of Music

Patients often ask me what type of music I play in the operating room. Interestingly, they make the assumption that I do indeed play music. Well, they’re right, but it’s not quite like the movies. It provides a low volume backdrop without distraction or interference with communication. I play an eclectic mix in order to please the entire operative team. Providing a nice environment is essential to creating and keeping a good team (in addition to professional respect and engagement).

Lee Greenwood performing at the 7th Annual Blue Ties Luncheon Benefiting ProstAware

But let’s talk about some more obvious health benefits to music. The first thing that comes to mind is listening to music while exercising. Many studies have shown that a higher exercise heart rate is easier to achieve and maintain while listening to music. Music also encourages longer workouts, more enjoyable exercise, and a higher likelihood of sticking with the program.

Music obviously creates a different mood. Health experts have often advocated meditation and dedicated “me time” on a daily basis to relieve the stresses of daily life. In fact, music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used to provide both physical rehabilitation and emotional support following an illness.

Music is a great motivator. Music, lyrics, and the performers themselves can influence healthy behaviors and lifestyles. In fact, the nonprofit ProstAware uses music, technology, and sports to draw the attention of our target audience in order to deliver our prostate cancer awareness message.

So whenever you need a “tune-up,” flip on that music player!

Note about April 2016 newsletter: We received a lot of feedback concerning our article on nutritional supplements. Some people agreed with the comments, and others were adamantly opposed. Those in opposition interpreted my position as being against using nutritional supplements. On the contrary, I believe patients should consider every modality to ensure their health. However, patients should be aware of the pros and cons. Thank you to our readers for their active engagement.