How Hip-Hop Music Alleviates Clinical Depression

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Mental health professionals say that hip-hop music can help with mild to moderate cases of clinical depression and other forms of mental illness. The conclusion was made after several psychiatric studies found that the visual and melodic narrative style of hip-hop improves patients’ self-image and creates more positive images of themselves, their current challenges, and the future. As such, therapies supplemented with hip-hop music are often more profound.

Clinical depression is considered by the World Health Organization as the most debilitating diseases today. Millions of people suffer from it, although many professionals believe that this number may be more due to the social stigma still attached to the illness. The most noticeable signs of depression are a feeling of worthlessness and lack of joy in any activity. These feelings can reach such a point that some people may attempt suicide. Depression is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

One of the goals of therapy is to allow patients to have a hopeful and positive outlook of their life, which inspires planning for the future. How this is achieved varies by the school of thinking the mental health professional aligns to.

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Modern psychiatrists are seeing the dramatic impact music has on therapy sessions. Interestingly enough, it is not the calming, relaxing music that offers help. Rather it is the vibrant and often realistic tone of hip-hop music that encourages introspection and promotes self-healing.

The connection is still being evaluated. Further studies are deemed necessary.

Radha Singh loves hip-hop music and listens to as much of it as she can. Learn more about her passion when you follow her on Facebook.


How Science Helps Swimmers Swim Faster

Science says competitive swimmers can go even faster. New scientific studies have shown that basic swimming techniques can be adjusted for professional swimming. The key, researchers note, is in the finger distance. Studies show that by spreading one’s fingers slightly apart, water is raked more efficiently – pulling the swimmer further than if fingers were kept together.

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Initial studies found that freestyle swimmers could improve their technique by holding their fingers an equidistant measure apart. However, the exact mechanics were not studied nor was there empirical data on how far fingers should be spread out. To answer this question, new research by fluid dynamicists created virtual simulations on human arms in wind-tunnel experiments. Researchers made five kinds of spreads, where the first type is where all fingers are pressed together tightly. Each level is then adjusted by five-degree intervals until the fingers are about 20 degrees apart from one another.

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It was found that fingers that are within 10 degrees of each other perform best both in simulations and in real life. Scientists say that this is the maximum distance, or the “Goldilocks” model, as having too wide fingers causes water to escape too quickly whereas too little distance achieves no flow whatsoever.

It must be noted that the effects of these changes are incredibly subtle; so much so that it only creates a difference of seconds. Regardless, these precious seconds can spell the difference between winning and losing for those who compete on a professional level.

Radha Singh is a big swimming enthusiast. Learn more by following her on Twitter.