Music is very beneficial for health, especially in the aspect of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Music has been found to have effects on various molecules including neurotransmitters, cytokines, and immunoglobulins (Fancourt et al., 2013). Music may influence the stress pathways and immune functions.
For example, a meta-analysis examined the effects of music listening on pre-procedural anxiety among adult hospital patients (Gillen et al., 2008). Researchers evaluated the influences of music listening on the state anxiety as well as the physiological parameters including respiration rates, blood pressure, and heart rates. The study found that music listening had consistently beneficial effects on the relief of pre-procedural state anxiety (Gillen et al., 2008). However, significant alterations in physiological variables were not observed.
To have a more accurate study of the effects of music and its mechanisms including PNI, it would be necessary to understand not only the psychological influences, but also the neurological and immunological effects. It would be very interesting to evaluate the effects of different types of music on different types of stress, and the underlying mechanisms in psychoneuroimmunology. In addition, it is necessary to measure the effects of music on biomarkers at systems levels, e.g., the interactions among molecular biomarkers, as well as the alterations of the biomarkers in the physiological and metabolic processes (Fancourt et al., 2013).
Fancourt D, Ockelford A, Belai A. The psychoneuroimmunological effects of music: a systematic review and a new model. Brain Behav Immun. 2014 Feb;36:15-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.10.014.
Gillen E, Biley F, Allen D. Effects of music listening on adult patients’ pre-procedural state anxiety in hospital. Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2008 Mar;6(1):24-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-1609.2007.00097.x.