They say that music soothes the savage beast, but can it also appease the wretched, menopausal women? A recent study found that yes.
From trouble sleeping to aching joints, women can experience a range of symptoms associated with the onset of menopause. These things can make life uncomfortable. ONE Turkish StudiesHowever, Dr Stephanie Faubion, who was not involved in the study, said “music can be helpful. She is the director of Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic and of the North American Menopause Society, published the study last month in the journal Menopause.
The new study involved postmenopausal women aged 40 to 65, meaning the participants had not had a period for at least 12 months. To begin with, all participants rated the extent of their menopausal symptoms, from discomfort to the severity of hot flashes. They also rate their depression: for example, do they feel defeated or cry a lot? About half of the women were then asked to listen to music for the next six weeks — at least 18 15-minute sessions — in a quiet environment. The other half were not instructed. After six weeks, all completed the surveys again.
Women who listen to music do better than those who don’t. After the listening sessions, they rated menopausal symptoms were significantly lower, and their depression levels dropped over the course of the study. The women in the control group did not show the same improvement.
Why does music have such an effect? “It can be calming and help the brain release good chemicals that make you feel good and happy,” such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin, says Faubion. It can also reduce stress hormones like cortisol. All of these affect blood pressure and heart rate and respiration.
Indeed, the study authors note that the Büzürk regime of Turkish classical music The listener “comforts and soothes”.
Faubion says these effects are “hardly surprising”. “Music therapy has been shown to be helpful for mood in other studies.” For example, one study used music along with muscle relaxation exercises to help Psychiatric patients sleep better and control anger. Listening to music has also been shown to be motivating mental health and well-being in pregnant womenand have a positive effect on employees at work.
Faubion says music therapy can be effective for women in perimenopause — the transition years leading up to menopause. And although the study was small, she believes the results would hold for a larger group as well. “I guess it’s surprising that we haven’t thought of this before, because it’s such a simple and easy thing to do,” she said.
However, if you choose to switch to music, don’t expect a session or two to be a lasting fix. Instead, plan to do this therapy on a regular basis. Also, while there’s no harm in trying this method, keep in mind that “music therapy may not be enough to control menopausal symptoms for some women,” says Faubion.
There are additional safe and effective strategy to deal with the symptoms. Faubion notes that hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have both shown promise, possibly because they reduce anxiety associated with certain menopausal symptoms.
As for interventions like yoga or meditation, Faubion says, “There may be some anecdotal evidence that these mind/body therapies may be helpful, but the data are inconsistent.” However, “There is little risk in doing yoga or meditation to help relieve menopausal symptoms.”
And don’t hesitate to turn to your healthcare provider if you continue to suffer. “If symptoms are affecting work or relationships or sleep, or functioning during the day, that’s when people need to seek additional help.”