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Dr Daniel and Tana Amen talk with music producer Barry Goldstein about the healing power of music on the human brain and the calming effect it can have on animals as well.
Daniel Amen, MD:
Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel. Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com. Welcome back. We are on segment two this week, talking about music in the brain with our good friend, Barry Goldstein. And yeah, so interesting how music can really change your state. I love talking about this.
Well we’re also talking about the release of our brand new album Your Brain Is Always Listening, which I love the title of our album because your brain is always listening. You can purposefully direct your brain, which creates your mind by listening to music that heals people.
Well and as we often say, what is good for your brain is good for your heart is good for the rest of your body. And so, when you’re picking music that’s affecting your brain, it’s actually affecting your body as well. And I think that’s really interesting.
Absolutely. Yeah and the other way around as well when you’re effecting your body, your brain is listening to literally everything that’s going on in your body. So, I love the distinction and this is one of my favorite things to do is give people a slightly new perception of how they think about music. Because I think of music as something that doesn’t happen just to us, but it’s something that happens in us as well. So, we have an inner symphony that’s going on within our bodies, our physical bodies, that our brain is listening to. It’s listening to our heartbeat, it’s listening to our breath and it’s being affected by what’s going on in the physical body as well. So, our states, our emotional states that are going on have an effect on our brain, such things as connecting with gratitude, which I know that Daniel, you’ve done studies on this on gratitude and how that can affect our brain in beneficial ways. So, and when I was looking up because I wanted to include a piece of music on this CD about gratitude, I was researching and I found one of your studies.
I love that. I mean just going back to you get to choose how you feel by choosing the inputs into your brain and your body, whether it’s food or music or the type of conversations or the type of podcasts or television programs you’re listening to-
Absolutely. And it’s being intentional.
Right. It’s being intentional. So, Brain Warriors we often say they’re armed, they’re prepared, and they’re aware of directing their environment. My new book, Your Brain is Always Listening, I talk about the bad habit dragons. And one of them is the oblivious bad habit dragon, where you just not thinking about what you’re listening to or what you’re eating or who you’re hanging out with. And warriors aren’t like that, you’re not going to win the war if you take a scattered approach to your health. So, I know you’ve been involved with music for a lot of different healing things, whether it’s sleep or MS or Parkinson’s, with children, tell us some of your experience to inspire people to really take the music they listened to seriously.
There are so many things going on in the world today that bring people into states of stress, states of anxiety, and sleeping challenges as well. I think these are like the three major things that are not just specific to a disease per se, that affects a lot of people. When we’re talking about stress, anxiety and sleeping challenges, I think there’s 75 million people with insomnia that are going on. And obviously with the conditions that are going on in the world today, it’s even more important. So again, as you said, warriors have to stay very focused and navigating that energy. If you want to start with stress, anxiety, and sleep, it’s a great place to create healing in your life because there are precursors to most every illness that is regarded in health is geared towards these three things being precursors. So, for sleep I like to play a piece of music about an hour before bedtime and really start a ritual with it.
Sorry. Somebody walked by and he gets-
Sorry. Down. Down.
Somebody walked by and he gets-
If he sees a dog outside. Down. He sounds ferocious and he’s like the biggest baby.
I got to send you guys some Pet Waves. It’s music I’ve created for pets.
Did you really do that?
That’s really cool.
So, music not only affects human brains, it actually affects animal brains.
That’s really interesting.
Yeah. And there’s more and more studies and science behind it of music being used to calm dogs down in kennels. My music’s being used for that as well for pets. And I created Pet Waves when we adopted our dog Woody, who’s a rescue and I wanted to welcome him into our home and people would tell me I use your music all the time. My dog loves it. People are sending pictures of their cats. Like literally like laid out, belly up from listening to my music and saying, “he won’t listen to anything else but your Ambiology Series.” So I said, :I really need to create something for pets”. And I did some research on dogs, what their relaxed heart state was also, how they hear things, using your lower and more muted tones for them. And when we brought Woody home and we played the music for him, he was literally went belly up and a position of safety just playing that-
Do you want to go belly up?
Yeah, that’s like submission. Yeah. It’s insane.
Yeah. And we were able to condition him as well with this. So, we would play it for him and rub him and love on him. And then if we had to leave the house, we would play the music for him. And he began to associate that music with being loved and being taken care of.
Aww, I like that.
So, he always comes in here when I’m composing, just lay on the ground. And I know what he likes and doesn’t like. And he has his own musical tastes as well.
That’s so great.
That’s hysterical. So, healing, that’s what this episode is about is music can be healing to your partners and it can be healing to your past.
Yeah. I think people can probably hear him breathing though.
That’s a good sign.
He’s breathing so loud into the speaker.
But he’s breathing. What other conditions have you seen music help?
Yeah, I mean in the world of memory and Alzheimer’s and dementia, music has had a really powerful impact for utilizing it for a specific playlist of songs that that person used to enjoy before pre Alzheimer’s or pre dementia, has been shown that it can actually connect them to those memories where traditional language failed. The language of music helped them to reconnect to specific memories. And if you look on YouTube, if you type in Alzheimer’s and Henry you’ll see an amazing video of a man that was actually pretty much non-aware before listening to the music. And when they put together a specific playlist of us preferred music, he literally came back to life and had an awakening of sorts. And as well as relaxing music and music that similar to what we’re doing Daniel has been shown to decrease agitated behaviors and Alzheimer’s patients. I’ve also had testimonials for people who were using my music for going to sleep at night. It’s also that’s a challenge for people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia, insomnia, and utilizing it before sleep helped create a calming and safe environment for them to get better sleep in the evening. So,-
Music could boost self confidence. When we come back, let’s talk about music and emotional states and I want to talk about this new idea I have on self-confidence. Stay with us.
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