Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No Pill Can Do This

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how my music was like a personal time machine. I love how a song can take me right back to whatever time and place that imprinted on it. Wouldn't you know, not a week later I saw a documentary on Netflix about that very phenomena. It was called Alive Inside: A story of Music and Memory. If you have a streaming service from Netflix, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, it is the true story of a social worker who attempts to reach people with Alzheimer's disease using music. He would load one of those tiny ipods with music they used to listen to from back in the day and then let them listen to it. The reactions were stunning. These people were moving their bodies, singing or humming along, some cried, all remembered something. You could see how it transformed even the most sedentary people.

Here is a quick trailer:

As much as it was about the research and the transformative power of music as a form of therapy it was also about humanity, aging and dignity. The music seemed to free these people and give them some control even though their circumstances didn't allow them much choice or control over their lives. It seemed to heal their spirits.

Considering how I feel about my music, I guess I can't say that I'm surprised others have such strong reactions to music. But I was surprised by just how big of an impact it had and how much science exists to explain why this is. If I had known this sooner I would have made sure my grandma had an ipod of her favorite tunes to listen to when she was in the nursing home.

You can bet I'm going to plan to have plenty of music around for hubby and I as we age. I can't help but wonder what other applications exist for this kind of "therapy".

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