Want to Heal Your Brain? Get the Music On!

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We all have favourite songs right?  Ones that make us smile, sing, dance, play air drums and have the kids rolling their eyes??  The happiness surge we feel when a certain ‘tune’ comes on is caused by our wonderful brains releasing Oxytocin and Dopamine – the ‘love’ and ‘pleasure’ hormones.

Now unless you are listening to music that evokes certain negative feelings or anxiety; or you suffer from an extremely rare form of seizures known as Musicogenic Epilepsy, then music can be one of the BEST forms of ‘medicine’ for the brain!

In Germany for example, music therapy is used as an integral part of the rehabilitation process for people who have had strokes, brain surgery or traumatic brain injuries, by allowing the brain to form new pathways to help restore memories.  Music is also becoming more prominent in helping those with Alzheimer’s and dementia to reconnect with the world around them.

The beneficial use of music is further supported by The American Music Therapy Association who report patients using it to effectively manage stress.  Whilst a study published in The Lancet found that “people who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety, compared to patients who did not.”  The music listeners also didn’t even need as much pain medication.  Pretty amazing stuff ‘eh!

Dr. Jonathan Burdette expands this further by saying, “In some cases, you might not even like the particular song, but you like the memories or feelings that you associate with it.”

So what songs evoke fond memories for you?  Here are a few of mine!

 

 

 

Amy Griffiths, Well Being Freedom Services Ltd ©

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