Saliva Pilot Study
through the Scientific Arts Foundation


Effect of Music on Psychoneuroimmunological Responses

Conducted by David Kossor, RPh, PhD and Abdul Waheed, PhD

CLICK HERE for Research Publication

Music induces emotional and psychoneuroimmunological responses in humans (1, 2).

Relaxation techniques have been reported to induce enhanced immunocompetence in elderly people (3) and interestingly, in cancer patients (4) by improving their immune system.  To study the immune parameters in psychoneuroimmunological responses of music, we chose to measure secretory IgA (5) and IgG (6) levels in saliva.  We also measured salivary ?-amylase which has been used as a biomarker for physiological and psychological stress (7).  Carbonic anhydrase VI (CAVI) a secretory Zn++ containing glycoprotein has been reported to show a correlation between dental conditions and CAVI levels in saliva (8); we therefore measured CAVI levels before and after music.

In the first pilot studies with eight normal individuals, before and after music, “Magic Mirror”, we found that secretory IgA, IgG, and CAVI were increased in saliva of people.  The increased level of these biomarkers remained high til 24 hours after music, suggesting that “Magic Mirror” has relaxation effect on individuals by improving their immune parameters and function of salivary gland (Fig.).  Effect of music on ?-amylase secretion was not robust, but there was reproducible decrease in ?-amylase after music (Fig).  These results are in accordance with literature where psychological stress has been found to increase ?-amylase secretion (9).  Therefore, relaxation effect of “Magic Mirror” might have decreased the ?-amylase synthesis and secretion in saliva.  It should be noted that few individuals responded better than others with “Magic Mirror.”  This result could be due to variation among individuals to respond to a specific music.

In the second pilot study, involving seven healthy individuals and two guest patients, we studied the duration of “Magic Mirror” music effect on biomarkers.  Similar to the first pilot study, levels of secretory IgA, IgG, ?-amylase, and CAVI in saliva samples were increased post music and stayed high for 2-3 days (Fig).  Our two guest patients were also responsive to the music.  Their response of IgA and IgG towards music was relatively unstable than the other individuals.  There were few normal individuals with poor response; however, response of music was sustained.  


These results suggested that the effect of “The Magic Mirror” listening is very effective and could be used in combination with other therapy for cancer or physiologically stressed patients to minimize the effect of their disease.




1.  Hasegawa, H., Uozumi, T., and Ono, K.
     Psychological and Physiological Evaluation of Music Listening for Mental Stress

     Effect of Immune System Imagery on Secretory IgA.

     Hokkaido Igaku Zasshi 79, (3) 225-235 (2004)


2.  Rider, M.S., Achaerberg, J., Lawlis, G.F., Govern, A., Toledo, R., and Butler, J.R.

     Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 15, (4) 317-33 (1990)


3.  Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Glaser, R., Williger, D., Stout, J. et al

     Psychosocial Enhancement of Immunocompetence in a Geriatric Population.

     Health Psychology 4, 25-44 (1985)


4.  Achterberg, J. and Lawlis, G.F. (1984)

     Imagery and Disease.  Champaign, IL, I.P.A.T.


5.  McClelland, D.C., Ross, G., and Patel, V.

     The Effect of an Academic Examination on Salivary Norepinephrine and

     Immunoglobulin Levels.

     Journal of Human Stress 52-59 (1985)


6.  Glaser, R., Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Speicher, C.E., and Holliday, J.E.

     Stress, Loneliness, and Changes in Herpes Virus Latency.

     Journal of Behavioral Medicine 8, 249-260 (1985)


7.  Takai, N. Yamaguchi, M., Aragaki, T., Eto, K., Uchihashi, K., and Nishikawa, Y.

     Effect of Psychological Stress on the Salivary Cortisol and Amylase Levels in Healthy

     Young Adults.

     Arch. Oral Biol. 49, 963-968 (2004)


8.  Leinonen, J., Kivela, J., Parkkila, S., Parkkila, A.K., and Rajaniemi, H.

     Salivary Carbonic Anhydrase Isozyme VI is Located in Human Enamel.

     Caries Res. 33, (3) 185-190 (1999)


9.  Van Stegeren, A., Rohleder, N., Everaerd, W., and Wolf, O.T.

     Salivary Alpha Amylase as Marker for Adrenergic Activity During Stress:

     Effect of Beta Blockade.

     Psychoneuroendocrinology 31, 137-141 (2006)

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