Music as a healing “device”

A recent post on Kimberly’s excellent blog and precursor to a book in the making reminded me of other discussions I had online about the healing qualities of music. In my reply I intended to drop a link to sources that document the neurologically manifested effects music has on the brain, with particular regard to patients suffering from mental illness and/or trauma. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them at hand, so for starters I did a quick Google search and these two sounded promising.

This is Your Brain on Music and The Brain. Its Music and its Emotion. The Neurology of Trauma.

update: OK, I found the video I had in mind before posting this. It comes with a little warning re: emotional impact this might have on some. It’s pretty intense…

In addition to the above links, I’ve come across a number of articles that suggest that music can have a lasting beneficial effect on patients suffering from pathological neuronal processes of some kind. As far as I remember, researchers trace this back to what they call neuroplasticity, which – in a nutshell – is the brain’s ability to change physical shape based on neuronal activity in its various areas and hemispheres. Interestingly, another article I also happened upon not too long ago, seems to give evidence of this by reporting, how Albert C. Einstein’s brain was shaped considerably different than those of most people. In particular the folding of grey matter in his brain was of much higher complexity than with regular people.

As my own approach to self-healing didn’t start out in as organized a manner as Kimberly’s and as I have been hesitating whether or not my own research might amount to something worthy of sharing, I haven’t stored them all in one, easy to recover place. Shame on me, and here’s a New Year’s resolution: Get organized even some more 🙂