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The psychological disorder known as anxiety has been well-documented in the annals of medical history. Hippocrates addressed anxiety in the age of antiquity, and the disorder was first psychologised by Sigmund Freud in 1926. In today’s world, diagnoses of anxiety are becoming more and more common, especially amongst young people. This upsurge in diagnosis tends to be attributed to the rise of technology, over-protective parenting, ‘exam-factory’ schooling and the ‘luxury’ of too much choice, according to Rachael Dove in Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y.
Specially Written Music Might Be A Breakthrough Treatment For Anxiety
For whatever reason, scores of young people across the western world are receiving diagnoses of anxiety in the doctor’s office. The disorder, which can be tremendously debilitating in the course of everyday life, will be treated with pharmaceutical drugs as treatment. A smaller proportion of patients also receives therapy either alongside medication or as an alternative to it. Anxiety can also be treated, with some success, using holistic methods such as meditation, yoga, massage and other relaxation techniques. Of all of the treatments used to combat anxiety, music therapy has been one of the most fringe therapies. But this all be about to change owing to a new piece of research about the efficacy of this form of therapy. The research was producer by Mindlab International in the United Kingdom who were interested in discovered what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation in subjects. The experimented by having participants try to solve difficult puzzles which would cause them varying levels of stress while they were connected to sensors.
At the same time, they would listen to a range of different songs. Their brain activity, heart rates, blood pressure and the rate of their breathing was constantly monitored in the course of the study. The song which proved the most effective was named ‘Weightless’ and was created by Marconi Union with the intention of inducing relaxation in the listeners. Astonishingly, the song was found to cause a 65% reduction in the symptoms of anxiety by the participants in the study. Not only did the song slow the heart rate and blood pressure but it also appears to inhibit the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Despite the extreme efficacy of this remarkable song, the lead researcher on the study, Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson did advise that it comes with a health warning. He said that the music proved to be so effective at relaxing some of the participants that they began to experience feelings of drowsiness. For that reason, he said that it is probably advisable not to listen to the music while driving.