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Music may be the brain's best medicine

Music may be the brain's best medicine
Music may be the brain's best medicine
Brain Health Today

Music has been used for centuries by practitioners of the healing arts because of its ability to soothe patients and also allow them to heal faster. From fussy babies to people suffering the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease, music is used to soothe, calm and heal in cultures all over the world. In fact, besides spoken words, music is one of the biggest forms of communication that humans use, and can transcend language in its ability to bring people together in peace and literal harmony.

Music brought her memory back

For Taylor McPherson, the healing powers of music was one of the major factors that helped her to recover from a ruptured blood vessel in her brain, a problem that forced doctors to put her into a medically induced coma, USA Today reports.

When constant headaches drove her to seek medical help, McPherson was told that a blood vessel in her brain had burst and was leaking blood into her skull, causing dangerous pressure to build and also her constant headaches. She was informed by doctors that a medically induced coma was necessary to first perform an operation and then give her brain time to heal.

When McPherson was finally allowed to regain consciousness, instead of returning to her normal life she was shocked to find that her memory, as well as her ability to speak, had been severely compromised. The problem was so bad that she didn’t even recognize her own parents

That’s when, thanks to a music therapist Erin Wegener, she was introduced to music therapy and its healing effects. Wegener came and played guitar in McPherson’s room and, slowly but surely, her memory and speech started to return.

Even more, when Taylor started to write her own song about her healing journey, the results were phenomenal. Her memory made significant strides as well as her breathing and her ability to speak. She finished her song and today still listens to it often to remind herself just how powerful the healing effects of music truly are.

The music-brain connection

Neuroscientists have discovered that there is a very strong link between the human brain and music, and that humans have an innate sense and attraction to musical rhythm because of the healing effect that it has on the brain and body.

What they are finding is indeed remarkable, including music’s ability to help manage pain, reduce stress, increase focus and increase the speed of healing.

On the vanguard of this research is Advanced Brain Technologies, where a multidisciplinary team of experts have, over a 5 year timespan, developed a personalized program of learning that incorporates music and rhythm and greatly increases the healing properties music offers.

Their program, named inTime, blends selected rhythms and a variety of musical instruments to help people of all ages bring music to life and their brains with it. The program, now being used by professional therapists around the world, is a testament to the healing power of music. And the groundbreaking impact of inTime is serving as the impetus for more focus and research into the healing and empowering effects of music.

As scientists continue to explore the connection that humans have with music, the secrets behind this powerful healing alternative will no doubt be discovered.

For people like Taylor McPherson however, that discovery, and revelation, has already been made.

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