After a brain injury many of us have an assortment of issues with sounds and music. For some of us, sound becomes intolerable. Even the sound of water splashing when a car drives over wet pavement or the sound of birds tweeting can be overwhelming. Music may be unbearable. Others have no problem with this and can listen to just about anything. I could not tolerate most sounds or most music. I did find, however, that there was certain music or sounds that worked like “brain massage” for me. Since then I have learned that there is actually a recognized health profession that provides music therapy for that purpose or to treat cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions.
It seems that music as therapy is still in its early stages in the traditional medical world. According to Michael H. Thaut, Ph.D., and Gerald C. McIntosh, M.D., “The role of music in therapy has gone through some dramatic shifts in the past 15 years, driven by new insights from research into music and brain function. These shifts have not been reflected in public awareness, though, or even among some professionals.” Their entire article is available (as a PDF download) in the March 2010 article, “How Music Helps to Heal the Injured Brain”, that appeared in the Dana Foundation’s publication, Cerebrum.
I’ve spent more time recently learning about music as therapy for brain injuries and for brain wellness in general. Gabriella Giffords participated in music therapy as part of...(READ MORE)