Have you ever noticed that music can have a healing effect on your soul?
It can improve your mood, concentration, and ability to relax.
Seriously who doesn’t love music? Music has been a part of human life for about long as we have existed. Plato (way back in 400BC) is known for saying that “music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”.
A recently published study that had my attention was titled “The effect of music therapy on menopausal symptoms and depression”
Many women transiting into menopause experience mood changes, depression in particular. Music was found to stimulate the production of our feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin while reducing stress hormones like cortisol.
The study used the Beck Depression Inventory to assess behavioral symptoms of depression. The music group had a significant improvement in mood after treatment but the control group had worsening results but this wasn’t found to be statistically relevant.
Music can be a powerful and enjoyable way to lift a women's mood especially at this time of life.
But what about the other menopausal symptoms? In the study they used the Menopause Rating Scale, this self-assessment guide divides menopausal symptoms into being either somatic, psychological, or urogenital. The somatic symptoms included hot flushes, heart discomfort, joint or muscular discomfort, and sleep issues. The psychological symptoms included feeling unhappy, nervous, anxious, or fatigued and the Urogenital symptoms included sexual problems, urinary issues, vaginal dryness.
The higher the score the worse the symptoms. The average pre-test score for Somatic symptoms was 9 and in the music group this had dropped to 5 post-test, the average pre-test psychological score was 9 this dropped to 4 in the music group post-test and finally, the urogenital score pre-test averaged 3 and dropped to 2 post-test in the music group. The control group had no significant changes. It’s these last results that impress me the most, that music has the ability to reduce urogenital symptoms!!!
Now I guess you all want to know what they were listening to? This study took place in Turkey and they were listening to Turkish Classical Music. This was chosen as a separate pilot study that played 3 different types of music to menopausal Turkish women and 100% said they preferred this type of music.
They were asked to sit alone, in silence wearing a headset and listen to classical music for 15 minutes a day for 6 weeks.
Could you find 15 minutes in your day to listen to music? To be fully present and experience the full benefits of music. What I think is key here, is the music needs to be a genre you enjoy, no it doesn’t need to be Turkish classical music, it can be anything you find relaxing. Switch off all distractions and really listen.
The study also acknowledges the benefits of other lifestyle interventions at this time of life such as yoga, breathwork, prayer, hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation, aromatherapy, reflexology, massage, and acupuncture.
There are so many ways to reduce menopausal symptoms and I personally love interventions that are cheap, safe, and effective. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Think of this as your self-care time. You may even find 15 minutes isn’t enough. Why not try to yourself and see if you notice the difference.
If you could like to learn about more lifestyle factors that can help you improve your menopausal transition, consider joining our Menopause Makeover Program - Starting 1st of May 2023.
The effect of music therapy on menopausal symptoms and depression a randomized-controlled study Koçak, Derya Yüksel Ph.D.; Varışoğlu, Yeliz Ph.D. Menopause: January 24, 2022 - Volume - Issue - DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001941