Smiling muscular man using elliptical machine at gym

Jymmin- a new way to feel less pain

Don’t you feel uplifted by music?

It’s a great feeling – when your listen to your favourite tunes – and all your stresses take a back seat.

The same is true when you exercise. Listening to music when you participate in intense work-outs always helps and you feel like you can breeze through those sessions easily.

Now music has been found to help with pain relief.

Researchers found that the participants on Jymmin machines also showed an increased tolerance for pain and they were able to tolerate 10 percent more pain from just 10 minutes of exercise.

Pain is often the consequence of disease, injury of physical demands. An approximate of 20 percent of adults suffers from chronic pain in Australia.
Pain can be debilitating and one can feel very constrained by it.

There are several ways to manage the pain – through painkillers, heat therapy and physical therapy amongst other methods.

A new alternative discovered by scientists in Germany is Jymmin (gym + jamming), which is a mixture of using machines at the gym, free musical improvisation and jamming.

Developed by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig, scientists conducted a cross-over design study on 22 healthy participants with no self-reported chronic pain, history of cardiovascular disease or mental and motor disorders.

The fitness machines – a cable lat pulldown machine and an abdominal trainer – were modified in a way that exercise movements created a range of sounds. Software for the music composition was developed by MPI CBS and a related sensor machine enabled the user to produce a unique accompaniment from each fitness machine.

The participants were randomly assigned to work in pairs and each pair participated in two experimental conditions. Both conditions involved listening to music while exercising on the machines followed by a cold pressor test (CPT).

In the agency condition, exercise movements controlled the music while in the no-agency condition exercise movements did not control music. Instead the music was a recording of the agency condition of another pair.

Participants then placed their non-dominant hand and lower arm into cold water for as long as they could tolerate it. The time until withdrawal was used as a measure of pain tolerance.

The participants also filled out a Pain-Sensitivity-Questionnaire (PSQ) which helped scientists assess participant’s individual sensitivity to pain in everyday life.

The participants on Jymmin machines were able to immerse their forearm into cold water of one degree Celsius for five seconds longer compared to participants in a no-agency exercise session.

Researchers found that the participants on Jymmin machines also showed an increased tolerance for pain and they were able to tolerate 10 percent more pain from just 10 minutes of exercise – while some showed even a 50 percent increase in pain threshold.

Previous studies have shown that sports generally increases pain threshold but using a Jymmin machine showed these effects to be stronger.

The size of this effect depends on individual experience of pain. It was found that participants who already had a higher tolerance of pain benefitted the most from Jymmin.

The scientists believe that the main reason for the increase in pain tolerance in participants using Jymmin machines may be due to the release of endorphins which seems to be very efficient when the combination of exercise and making music is used in a session.

The higher the level of endorphins the more the threshold of pain tolerance is – and this explains why participants with already higher pain threshold benefit the most from Jymmin as they already effectively release endorphins in comparison to those who are sensitive to pain.

The study shows that Jymmin has great potential in the alleviation of chronic pain and can be effectively used by rehabilitation centres by delivering an efficient system for increasing and improvinga the tolerance of pain.

A previous study has indicated that integrating music with exercise in this way stimulates improvement in mood, reduces perceived effort and stimulates muscular efficiency compared to control conditions where participants engage in the same exercises but cannot affect the music based on their movements.

As you know, listening to music and dancing evokes a sense of euphoria rather than exhaustion suggesting that powerful neurophysiological mechanisms are responsible for modulating physical pain leading to greater tolerance and endurance.

Jymmin technology can be successfully used to enhance training of athletes including in clinical rehabilitation therapy to help people improve endurance, increase pain tolerance and enhance their wellbeing.

Source: Frontiers in Psychology

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

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