Music is an amazingly complex artform, yet also one that transcends language and many of the other barriers that we manage to put up around us. Now it appears that not only can music improve our mood and bring us together, but now music is actively used to help heal us as well, in what’s called Melodic Intonation Therapy.
The left hemisphere of the brain is the area which is responsible for primary language, however music has an impact on both hemispheres. This is why Melodic Intonation Therapy is so exciting. Using music therapists are working to repair, and in some cases reactivate, the language section of the brain. And in some cases, they are teaching us to retrain the right hemisphere of our brains to accomplish this.
You might be surprised to find that something as simple as tapping your finger at the same time as the Music is flowing through your speakers can flip the switch on your brain’s movement centers. These areas control the tongue and lips – thus promoting speech. From brain injury to aging to cystic fibrosis, there are now many cases where music has played a positive role in recovery.
Here are just a few cases where Melodic Intonation Therapy is making an impact:
- Carey Gordon who has been using music since 2004 to fight malformed blood vessels which had been triggering headaches and seizures.
- Gabrielle Giffords, a Representative of Arizona was shot through the left side of her brain, however therapists have used music to help her learn to speak and to walk again.