Music: Mind Medicine and More

Music has long been recognized for its ability to trigger memories. Dr. Anne Fabiny says, “Some people, who had seemed unable to speak, proceed to sing and dance to the music, and others are able to recount when and where they had listened to that music. The music seems to open doors to the residents’ memory vaults” (Source: Music can boost memory and mood, Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Mar2015, Vol. 22 Issue 7, p7-7. 2/3p.).

Alive Inside: Music Reawakens Souls

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

View the trailer here:

To view the full video, click here: Alive Inside (RRC network log in required)

Music for Motor Skills and Pain

Music and dance have been used to improve movements and motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s for years. One such patient, Larry Jennings, would be debilitated by Parkinson’s at one moment, and dancing and singing to music at the next. View the transformation on CTV News here: ‘Instantaneous results’: How music transformed a man with Parkinson’s.

Not only does music trigger memories and improve motor skills, “Listening to music is known to raise people’s pain thresholds, so much so that in some cases, it can be used to reduce the need for morphine-like painkillers,” says Penny Sarchet in Brain on music kills pain of workouts (New Scientist. 8/8/2015, Vol. 227 Issue 3033, p10-10. 1p. 1). Listening to music can also reduce the perceived amount of effort in exercise, can enhance mood and impact our immune system.

An Investigation by The Nature of Things

I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song (RRC network log in required) is an episode of The Nature of Things which investigates the effects of music on human beings: “Why do we sing? Are we hardwired for melodies? Scientists and musicians explore the many ways that music profoundly affects the human body, the brain and human emotions. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication, and like language, music seems an essential tool employed by humans for multiple needs.” (Source: Curio.ca)

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