Music on your brain

Music stimulates regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. This is scientific fact.

Music stimulates regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. This is scientific fact.

by Jill Mattson — 

Music as entertainment is just the tip of the iceberg. Music is a hidden giant with far-ranging impacts on our health and learning. It is easily accessible and inexpensive. So, what is wrong with this solution and why is it not used more?

Music stimulates regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. This is scientific fact. It should be a staple in schools, rehabilitation centers and hospitals. It was required in ancient Egypt and Greece for its benefits on learning and behavior. Music has been used to clear negative emotions and stimulate virtues in both ancient and modern times.

Researchers investigated the effect of music on brain neurotrophin production, which is associated with the swelling of neurons. Young adult mice exposed to music with a slow rhythm for 21 consecutive days were tested in passive-avoidance learning (how quickly they could avoid negative stimuli). The music-exposed mice showed increased neurotrophins in the brain and significantly improved their learning performance. The researchers concluded that music helps several central nervous system problems.

Studies are frequently popping up that prove the positive impacts of music. Music can replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to research published in Medical Hypotheses. The study also found that music is helpful with neuropsychiatric disorders. From emotional issues to helping seniors, music is a free, accessible and easy tool to use.

Researchers observing the zebra finch found that birds’ singing doubles the number of their neurons. In other studies, singing improved the plasticity of nerves in birds — the more they sang, the healthier they became.

Music affects steroid levels such as cortisone, testosterone and estrogen, and it is believed that music also affects related receptor genes. Unlike supplementing the brain with hormone replacement drugs, which can have devastating side effects, music is noninvasive and its existence is universal and earthly.

Music can increase motor functioning in Parkinson’s patients, as documented in Behavioral Pharmacology. In ancient times, music was used extensively for healing disabilities — we are now rediscovering this use.

We have been surrounded by music our entire lives, yet are chiefly unaware that music exchanges our energy on every level of our being. Listening and participating in music enhances learning, behavior and health, and it is enjoyable as well. It takes just a spoonful of music to make the medicine go down.

 

Jill Mattson has spent 20 years researching vibratory sound energy for healing. She composes and produces CDs, employing sound-healing techniques and energies. 814-657-0134, www.jillswingsoflight.com or www.jillshealingmusic.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 5, October/November 2013.

 

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