Music is widely used by people of all ages as a stimulant and relaxant to manage everyday situations. Whether to motivate us for exercise or to help us unwind after a busy day, we seem to have an intuitive understanding about the influences music has on our bodies. The body’s responses to music are both conscious and unconscious, involving entrainment with rhythm, hormonal and neurological reactions, and changes in mood, emotion, and pain perception. This article explains these physiological responses to music and provides guidelines for consideration when selecting music to evoke desired bodily responses. Applications using music in rehabilitation are also provided to illustrate health-promoting qualities of music.
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