The effect of selected classical music and spontaneous imagery on plasma beta-endorphin

J Behav Med. 1997 Feb;20(1):85-99. doi: 10.1023/a:1025543330939.


This study explored the effect of music and imagery on plasma beta-endorphin in 78 undergraduates. Subjects screened for relevant psychological and health criteria were assigned to music imaging, silent imaging, music listening, and control conditions. Subjects donated 15 ml of blood prior to and following the 2-hr intervention period. There were no group differences in potential confounding variables. Split-plot factorial analysis controlling for individual differences in pretest level of beta-endorphin revealed that those in the music imaging group experienced a significant pre-post decline in beta-endorphin, while no other group demonstrated any significant pre-post difference. These data suggest that music imaging may lower peripheral beta-endorphin levels in healthy subjects. Further exploration of the effects of music and imagery interventions on physiology and health may be warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy*
  • Music Therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • beta-Endorphin / blood*


  • beta-Endorphin