Finding Your Musical Pain Control Method

Music is well known to help with pain relief, but the reasons why are complex and not fully understood. Both formal studies and people’s experiences suggest that there is more than one way in which music can improve pain tolerance.

A 2012 University of Oxford study at the Department of Experimental Psychology suggests that passively listening to music does not have the same effect on pain tolerance as physically participating in music by singing, drumming, or dancing.

This study points to the release of endorphins as the main cause for greater pain tolerance. Other studies have shown that passively listening to music can provide pain relief through relaxation, with various neurochemical reactions acting on the opioid system of the brain.

By this logic, can you improve your pain tolerance and seek pain relief by “actively listening” to your favorite music? Perhaps.

The neurochemical reactions in your brain from active participation or passive listening may be different. It may be that the reactions complement each other or interfere with each other – and different people may not have the same reactions in their brain chemistry.

Throw in other variables such as the type of pain you are experiencing, and it becomes increasingly likely that there is no single method of incorporating music into pain control that works for everybody.

In the end, it is still important to try different methods of incorporating music into your pain control. You know your body better than anybody else – and if a method works for you, it doesn’t matter how many studies and surveys tell you it shouldn’t work.

Thank you for reading


Empowering People With Music


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