Studies: playing and listening to music help immune-system health

Posted on: April 24, 2020

“To boost your immune system, doctors recommend a healthy diet that embraces fruits and veggies and has no vitamin deficiencies. But how about a little Prokofiev?” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Monday’s (4/20) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Numerous studies, including a 2019 review in the journal Annual Research & Review in Biology, have found that both performing and listening to music can have a significant impact on the immune system.… ‘Certainly music has an impact on the brain, and anxiety and stress impact the immune system,’ said Andrew Levin, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh [and] an amateur trumpet player…. According to a 2013 review in the journal Brain Behavior and Immunity, the emotional and psychological effects of listening to music have direct impact on biomarkers and hormone levels. Immunoglobulin A, which plays a crucial role in immune functions, was cited as being ‘particularly responsive to music.’ There is also general consensus among researchers that listening to music reduces cortisol levels…. ‘When I first heard of the mind-body connection I thought it was new-age woo-woo,’ Dr. Levin said. ‘However, the more I learned about … neurophysiology and neurology, I became increasingly convinced that we actually underestimate how profound this connection is.’ ”