Spa Wellness: Sound Advice

Exposure to certain types of music can affect us in ways that surprise even wellness professionals.

Photo courtesy Wake Up Festival

In years past, "Turn that noise down!" was a familiar cry from the parent of a child blasting her favorite tunes. But times have changed; these days, we're as likely to spot Mom head-banging to a heavy metal song as she maneuvers her car through rush-hour traffic as we are to witness a sleep-deprived teenager haul himself out of bed with the help of a hip-hop beat. The ability of music to raise us - or deflate us - seems as individual as it is powerful.

And yet… the effects of music on the human mind and body have been carefully studied, and certain tendencies have emerged. For instance, did you know that the generic strains of "muzak" piped through the speaker of that store elevator have been carefully chosen to calm your nervous system - so perhaps you'll be able to focus and buy more on floor three? And that the rock 'n' roll turned up so loud at a restaurant that it renders conversation with your dining companions impossible has been found to make you order more cocktails yet leave sooner, so the table can be filled again with more paying customers?

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