Music is better than medicine. This physician-musician gives you 10 reasons why.

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1. You don’t have to make an appointment with your doctor, or sit in a crowded waiting room for hours, to get music — you can just download it instantly from iTunes or pick up an instrument and play it.

2. Music costs far less than a medical office co-pay or out-of-pocket fee-for-service charge. And for many acute conditions, outcomes are probably pretty similar.

3. Music stimulates many of the same areas in your brain as opiates and other controlled substances, but you don’t get addicted to it and can lower its volume or stop it entirely without withdrawal symptoms such nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, diarrhea, or seizures.

4. Music can foster feelings of social connection and interpersonal trust and bonding by increasing oxytocin levels in your body. Strong interpersonal relationships and regular social interaction have been shown to be beneficial to your health.

5. If a police officer stops you while you are listening to music in your car, you won’t get busted for it. (Unless you are wearing actual studio headphones on your head and totally oblivious to traffic conditions, sirens, etc. But most people exercise greater caution than this when they drive, thankfully.)

6. Music soothes the savage beast. Not all doctors can claim a talent for this. In fact, many doctors exhibit behavior at times that pisses patients off and gets them all riled up.

7. Music is available to anyone and everyone at any time .  You don’t need to be on this or that PPO, HMO, or EPO, to have Medicare, Medicare part B, Medicaid, or belong to a community health plan. You don’t need any health insurance card or photo ID to enjoy your music.

8. You’re not dependent on your employer to provide music to you. And if you leave or lose your job, you can take your music with you and pay no higher premiums. No COBRA continuation coverage required.

9. You can pick the music that works best for you without interference from the federal government, the state, or your health insurance plan. Prior authorization is not required. You never have to settle for sub-standard music just because it’s not covered by your insurance.

10. While listening to music at high decibel levels may damage your hearing over time, music is inherently benign and non-toxic. There are no adverse medical side effects associated with music except perhaps making you want to get up and dance and shake your booty — a form of exercise that’s undoubtedly good for your health and spirit.

Joel R. Cooper is a family physician who blogs at his self-titled site, Dr. Joel Cooper.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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