Actually, Last Night A DJ May Have Saved Your Life

Feeling sound - music (and dancing) are brilliant for health and wellbeing. Picture by David Munn Photography
Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers
Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers
IT’S always hard to escape music in Liverpool. Recently there have been loads of festivals from LIMF to Pride to Liverpool Loves and everything in-between, our city is always buzzing with great sound. With this in mind, I think it’s welcome news that music has a scientifically proven positive impact on our health. It’s a treatment with no side-effects! (Unless it’s Robbie Williams – sorry, Robbie!) The power of music is a great thing. Up-tempo beats actually make us feel happy, while softer sounds can help with relaxation. Here’s a few quick facts; * Kids who are learning a musical instrument or singing do better in school at other subjects, such as science, maths and technology. It also helps improve visual and verbal skills. * Listening to music can bring back memories and slow the aging of the brain. This is really useful in patients living with dementia. * Music can improve your mood and decrease anxiety, particularly up-tempo music. * Listening to calming music can lower blood pressure and improve sleep. * Some studies show that music can help with pain control. And it doesn’t stop there – dancing is a form of exercise. The NHS and city council are currently working hard to get Scousers to increase their physical activity and dancing is a great way to do this. Turn up the volume and dance around while getting ready for work, or cooking tea or even doing general chores around the house. Plug in your earphones if it makes it easier. There’s no better escape than hearing great music, it’s possibly one of the most mindful things you can do even if it’s hard-rock music you enjoy. Have a look at your local community centre noticeboard, there are loads of free or really cheap dance classes going on in different areas of Liverpool. You don’t even have to buy a fancy stereo or a musical instrument – singing in the shower (or anywhere!) increases oxygen in the blood and exercises major muscle groups – even if you’re sitting down. Liverpool has an official City of Music status – and it’s easy to see why. Here’s a cheer-up top-ten playlist for you which is from our region’s home grown talent and each one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face; Dr Simon’s playlist: 1) There She Goes – The La’s 2) Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles 3) You to me are Everything – The real thing 4) And your bird can sing – The Beatles 5) Dreaming of You – The Coral 6) Wake up Boo! – the Boo Radleys 7) Just Like Starting Over – John Lennon 8) Cheer Down – George Harrison 9) Change – The lightening seeds 10) Enola Gay – OMD Myth buster You need to get eight hours sleep every night It depends on your age. Once you’re over 60 you only need four hours of deep sleep (It’s a lot more complicated than that – but true). Going too close to the TV or watching too much TV is bad for your eyesight Nonsense.