Functional Medicine Physician, Meridians & Marathons

Music and Acupuncture

Music and acupuncture are used together in order to elicit a salubrious effect on the patient.

Why Listen to Music?

If you ever attend one of our acupuncture sessions, you’re likely to hear soothing, ambient, and environmental music. Here’s why!

Music & Acupuncture

Music has become intertwined with the spa experience. One of the first EKG studies [6] found that different tempos affected patients’ pulse and blood pressure. Music actually changes our physiological state.

Today, music is used as a non-pharmacological pain management tool in modern medicine. People actually recovered faster after surgeries, and had less complications if they listened to their favorite piece of soothing music. [7]

Question: “Why are acupuncture and music used together?”
Answer: Each are good by themselves, but together they are even better.

Acupuncturists use music in order to lower their patients physiological response, and create a space that is conducive to healing. Literature surrounding Harmonic Medicine finds that music can heal. The harmonic generation and the electronic excitation or low-excitation status of an acupuncture point may be considered as a resonance mechanism. By this kind of acupuncture stimulation, a symphony may act and play a healer role.” [8]

Another study, [9] which looked at patients with Fibromyalgia, found that the combined effects of 1) music, 2) vibration, and 3) acupuncture aided symptoms. This study finds that the unified effects of all three modalities are healthier than the effects of the 1) music alone, 3) acupuncture alone, or 3) vibration alone. The healthiest Fibromyalgia patients received an experimental condition of all three!

Yet another study [10] found that music increased the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about how acupuncture helps Alzheimer’s click here.

Studies show that the healthy effects of music touch just about every domain of our lives. Which begs the question: “As humans, why are we wired to enjoy music?”

Music Shown to Change the Body’s Physiological State

According to one violinist, [5] music lights up humans’ reward circuitry because of its similarity to language. In the same way we evolved language to cooperate together, is the same way that biologically, we are hard-wired to enjoy a melody.

Music has been shown to positively affect:

  • Running performance & accelerated muscle recovery [1]
  • Happiness through dopamine release [2]
  • Sleep quality & aid with insomnia [3]
  • Memory and learning ability [4]

Tips for Athletes & Music Listeners

“Does a slow tempo relax you?”

Yes. A slow tempo music of 50-60 beats per minute (bpm) slows respiration and heart rate. This includes classical music, and soothing, ambient, pan flute music - the kind you’re likely to find at a spa or spiritual retreat. Contrastingly, a fast tempo [think rap, rock, or techno] of 120-130 bpm increases anxiety and blood pressure, which is why you see this type of music being played in gyms. [11]

“Should you exercise to a fast tempo?”

That all depends on the effect you are trying to elicit from your body.

Athletes show greater physiological arousal to faster, than to slower tempo music. [12] If you’re a short distance sprinter or crossfitter, then get your heart pumping with a high tempo heavy metal song.

Alternatively, if you’re doing an exercise like yoga, you’ll want to dial down the tempo and find a pace that is less anxiety-provoking, and more chill. Similarly, long distance runners may want to slow down their body’s physiological arousal and let a slow, consistent steady pace match their gait.

Meridians and Marathons offers acupuncture

Playlists for Pros

We recommend these playlists for a soothing spa, cupping, or acupuncture experience.

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