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Anxiety and other mental illnesses are often treated with drugs, which can have negative side effects and long-term consequences. Other patients receive therapy, sometimes in combination with drugs. Alternative treatments use holistic methods like meditation, exercise, massage, and other relaxation techniques.
Of all the treatments used to combat anxiety, music therapy has been one of the most marginal. But all that is about to change thanks to new research into the effectiveness of this form of therapy.
The research was carried out by MindLab International in the UK, which was interested in discovering what kind of music induces a greater state of relaxation in individuals.
The experiment had participants trying to solve difficult puzzles that caused them varying levels of stress while they were connected to the sensors. At the same time, they listened to a variety of types of music. Their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration rate were constantly monitored throughout the study.
The song that proved to be the most effective was called Weightless, created by three musicians from Manchester, England who call themselves Marconi Union.
Surprisingly, the song was able to reduce 65 percent of anxiety symptoms in study participants. The music not only lowered heart rate and blood pressure, but also inhibited the release of stress hormones such as cortisol.
Despite the extreme effectiveness of this remarkable song, the study’s lead investigator, Dr. David Lewis Hodgson, also provide a health warning. He said the music proved to be so effective in relaxing some of the participants that they began experiencing drowsiness. For that reason, Dr. Hodgson advised against listening to it while driving.
This adapted article was originally published in the Spanish Edition of Aleteia.