We have such a profound attachment to music due to the fact that it’s hardwired into our brains and bodies,” said Barbara Else, senior advisor of policy and research at the American Music Therapy Association. “The ingredients of music – rhythm, melody, etc. – are mirrored in our physiology, activities and way of living.”

Given the deep connection we have with music, it is perhaps unsurprising that numerous studies have shown it can benefit our mental health. A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.

And earlier this year, MNT reported on a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry that suggested listening to hip-hop music – particularly that from Kendrick Lamar – may help individuals to understand mental health disorders.

But increasingly, researchers are finding that the health benefits of music may go beyond mental health, and as a result, some health experts are calling for music therapy to be more widely incorporated into health care settings.

In this Spotlight, we take a closer look at some of the potential health benefits of music and look at whether, for some conditions, music could be used to improve – or even replace – current treatment strategies.

Original sources: http://www.musictherapy.org/

                             http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00090/full