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COULD THIS ELECTRONIC MUSIC TRACK HELP YOU GET RID OF A HEADACHE?

Using music therapy to improve people’s emotional well-being has been around for a long time, but can a specific piece of music be used to treat acute physical pain as well?

Dr. Claire Howlin, a psychology researcher at the University College Dublin, was commissioned to investigate the relationship between science, pain, and music by the pain relief company Nurofen.

She collaborated with music producer Anatole (Jonathan Baker), who is also a conservatory-trained trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist. The result is All Of Us, a supposedly soothing new track that can be found on Nurofen’s Tune Out Pain playlist.

Nurofen claims that the tune was tested on 286 active acute pain sufferers and that it was “shown to reduce levels of pain intensity and unpleasantness in a way that was clinically and statistically significant.”

Nurofen claims that “participants with different types of acute pain, such as headache, backache, or period pain, reported their levels of pain intensity decreasing while listening to the track during the study.”

Anatole created the track based on “scientific evidence” provided by Dr Howlin, with the goal of making it as interesting, engaging, and enjoyable as possible in order to divert people’s attention away from their discomfort. In order to achieve this, instrumental and orchestral sounds were used to fill the frequency spectrum, “in order to elicit a sense of wonder, empowerment, and inspire mental strength to aid in the dissociation from pain.”

“As a music producer, it was an exciting challenge for me to create music that was inspired by science,” Anatole shared his thoughts. “It is unique because every note, beat, and sound in All Of Us was created with the intent of producing a specific effect on the listener, based on insights provided by Dr Howlin and his team.”

“This project demonstrates how powerful music can be, as well as how it can have a positive impact on our overall health and well-being.”

Dr Claire Howlin had this to say about the study: “Individuals can experience a large burst of dopamine in their neural reward network when they are listening to music. This track reduced both the intensity of pain and the unpleasantness of the experience, and the fact that it was able to achieve such a large effect with a track that was completely unfamiliar highlights the potential of creating specific pieces of music for pain management.”

An academic journal will publish the full results of the Tune Out Pain study after they have been submitted for publication.

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