“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.”
Your feet (and other body parts) already know it: hearing a favorite song results in an urge to dance, sing, smile. The power of music on our health and emotional state is undisputed. Yet new science proves that music is exceptionally powerful for brain health – even to the point of helping prevent or lessen serious or age-related conditions.
Music is being used in cutting-edge ways to help those with autism, schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Therapists find that singing along to certain rhythms can help restore speech to those with brain injuries, such as stroke.
Some Tuneful Trivia:
- Music as a healing force dates to ancient Greece. But the “music therapy” we currently recognize originated during World War I when local musicians played for traumatized veterans. Noting the positive impact it had, doctors and nurses asked hospitals to start hiring musicians.
- Remember the craze around “The Mozart Effect” awhile back? The idea was that listening to classical music (Mozart in particular) helped with stress, anxiety, concentration. Yet for brain health, no genre of music is any more effective in “healing” over another. It really depends on the musical preferences of the patient.
- Playing – or learning to play – a musical instrument lowers the risk of developing dementia. The skills required help keep the brain “plastic.” Never too late to get that guitar out of the attic – or start lessons. Even if you don’t play like Clapton, your brain won’t care (your ears might, though).
We thought we’d share this video from our friends at Healing Quest TV with our fellow music geeks. Have a look – then fire up that playlist.
-The NwP Team
Photo: Wikimedia Commons