Not all diseases are visible. Illnesses of the brain are just as lethal, if not more since they are not easily detected. Music is powerful; it has the power to influence, the power to draw emotions, the power to express, but in honor of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be focusing on music's power to heal.

I posted a small graphic last week on our social media accounts to help spread awareness, but I wanted to do a little more. Since the month of May is still present, let me drop some knowledge on all you peasants (just kidding, I was really desperate for a rhyme. don't hate me).

Did you know?

1. Congresswoman makes dramatic recovery from music therapy

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, and suffered from a serious brain injury. When she returned, it was clear that she made a dramatic recovery, and her family primary credits music therapy. Scientists say that listening to music creates new pathways around damaged areas in your brain.

2. Exercises your brain

I made a post about this, but did you know that playing an instrument while listening to music provides enough exercise for your brain to reduce mental illness? There are a lot of studies showing how listening to music helps strengthen the connection between both hemispheres. Scientists have looked at professional musicians' brains and noticed that they have a thicker corpus callosum than others (it's a thick band of nerve fibers that connect the two hemispheres of your brain). It's also said that listening to music has helped students improve their test scores...I don't know about that one, I'm still pretty bad at taking tests.

3. Reduces Stress

Whether or not you're a musician, listening to music has been shown to enhance work performance, especially if it's music of your choice. It reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, making you a much happier employee. Maybe that's why I love working here so much.

Attached are some of the links I found online about the power of music, if you want to read them.
http://bebrainfit.com/music-affects-brain/
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/student-blogger/influence-music-neurons
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health-jan-june12-musictherapy_02-27/
http://www.livescience.com/2953-amazing-power-music-revealed.html

Want to help out?

If you believe in the power of music, and want to help out, there are actually opportunities where you can play and instrument, or sing, in hospitals/care facilities. With great power comes great responsibility. Try looking up Musicians on Call.