> Certain types of music can help you feel less pain, new study says
There is no doubt that music can soothe the soul for some, and it turns out that it could also be a temporary balm for physical pain.
Listening to favorite songs can reduce people’s perception of pain, according to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Pain Research.
And the most effective pain relievers were found to be sad songs detailing bittersweet and emotional experiences.
The small study invited 63 young adults to bring two of their favorite songs, and the only requirement was that they needed to be at least 3 minutes and 20 seconds long.
One selection represented their favorite music of all time, and the other was the song they would bring with them on a desert island.
The researchers also had the young adults pick one of seven songs that the team considered relaxing and were unfamiliar to the study participants.
When rating their experiences, people were more likely to report feeling less pain when listening to their favorite songs compared with hearing the unfamiliar relaxing song or silence.
The scrambled songs did not reduce pain either, which the authors suggested was evidence of music being more than a distraction from an unpleasant experience.
After interviewing the participants about the song they brought and their rating of pain, the researchers found people who listened to bittersweet and moving songs felt less pain than when they listened to songs with calming or cheerful themes.
> Inbound tourism recovers fast from pandemic
Visitors to the Bund in Shanghai in April pose for a photograph, with the Pudong financial district in the background. WANG GANG/FOR CHINA DAILY
With more than 10 years' experience in serving inbound travelers to the city, Beijing tour guide Shi Jinjie welcomed some 60 such arrivals from the United States and a total of 12 from Germany and Indonesia.
Since the start of this year, the number of inbound tourists to the Chinese mainland from overseas and regions such as Hong Kong and Macao has risen significantly, boosting Shi's business.
He now leads a team of dozens of tour guides offering services in languages that include English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Korean.
He has even higher expectations for the future thanks to a series of policy support measures.
The Foreign Ministry announced late last month that China will grant unilateral visa-free entry for up to 15 days to travelers holding passports issued by France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia.
The China Tourism Academy said that from 2020 to this year, the number of inbound tourist visits to China is estimated to have fallen by about 370 million, resulting in a loss of about $362 billion in international tourism revenue.
However, inbound tourism is still widely considered to hold great potential in China.
In the first 10 months of this year, the number of foreign visitors to the country reached 26.51 million after it optimized its COVID-19 policies, the National Immigration Administration said.
Data from Trip.com Group suggest that the recovery in inbound tourism is accelerating.
Bookings in the first 10 months of this year grew by 125 percent compared with the same period last year, and reached nearly 80 percent of 2019, the agency reported, adding that its bookings in the third quarter rose by 34 percent from the second quarter.
The most popular destinations for inbound tourists include Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, and Qingdao, Shandong province.
The major source countries are the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and the UK.
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