Does electronic music have certain "healing" qualities for those suffering from acute aches and pains?
That was a question the team at Nurofen, a developer of over-the-counter, fast-acting pain relief medications, set out to answer. The company commissioned Dr. Claire Howlin, a psychology researcher at the University College Dublin, to analyze the relationship between music and pain relief.
While Howlin had the blueprint for a track that she believed might assist in delivering natural pain relief for patients suffering from headaches, backaches, and other acute ailments, she needed a music producer to execute on the vision. Enter Anatole, a classically trained musician who had the talent to bring the resulting work, "All Of Us," to life.
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As MusicRadar notes, "All Of Me" met the threshold for demonstrating statistical significance in reducing common bodily pains. The song is, of course, easy on the ears. After listening to the ambient blend of delicate bells, languid strings, and voluminous soundscapes, subjects anecdotally reported feeling "transported" to a serene mental state, where they could escape the unwavering focus on their pain.
"Music has the ability to give people a big burst of dopamine in their neural reward network," Dr. Howlin said. "This track reduced both pain intensity and unpleasantness, and to achieve an effect of this size for a completely unfamiliar track really underscores the potential of creating specific pieces of music for pain management."
As it turns out, however, many of the 286 test subjects would have the opportunity to enjoy relief even after the song was over, with many reporting a decrease in their pain after having listened to the song in full.