Psychological Benefits of Music Therapy
Do you ever notice how a particular song you here just seem to uplift you in the lowest of lows – or transcend you to somewhere else within your imagination? Have you ever felt you could think more clearly when music is playing? It is no surprise then that music has a powerful affect upon your brain improving many aspects of the organs functioning and power. Brains which are regularly exposed to musical stimulation grow larger and excel in activity in areas responsible for motor control, auditory processing (making sense of sound) and spatial coordination (depth perception, etc). Regular music lovers also develop an enlarged ‘corpus callosum’ – a band of neural nerve fibres then when enlarged in capacity allows for rapid and efficient communication between the logical and creative sides of your brain.
This means that the more music you listen to the smarter you get!
Exposure of music through music therapy also improves your mood! Listening to music increases the production of a certain neural chemical, ‘neurotransmitter dopamine’, which not only stimulates your senses into feeling an overwhelming sense of pleasure, but also provides your mind with the reward of a motivation and eagerness to fulfil challenges ahead. Just to show how amazing that is Neurotransmitter dopamine is the same brain chemical released when you eat chocolate, receive a good compliment, finished a good work out or ….had an orgasm!
Involving yourself in music making and listening to music also increases the release of another brain chemical ‘Oxytocin’. This brain chemical is often called the ‘trust’ or ‘moral’ molecule as incites feelings of compassion, empathy and inspires a person to bond with another individual. Through the course of music making it is often noted that people who join together in a close-knit environment to make music feel a closer sense of belonging to each other as they perform. So, if your Hero is a musician then it might be a great chance for you and them to grow closer and have a bonding moment through the mysterious magic of music. And if you play an instrument all the better to ask a musical Hero to pick up their own guit-box, drum, sax, flute or bazooka and jig along with you!
Music therapy is currently being used to help a variety of neural and mental illnesses including; anxiety, depression, alzheimer’s, dementia and schitzophrenia. Within depression patients exposed to music were found to exhibit massive reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and in depressive mood swings.
So break out some old records, CDs or an instrument, have a play and transform your life!
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