Interactive music as medicine for the brain
29 March, 2021
Written by InmuTouch
Several studies have shown that music can heal an injured brain. It may sound strange, but it is because music and rhythm are deeply rooted in us. Just think about how we can show our emotions through music.
The brain is an extremely complex organ that reflects and organises all the information it gets through our entire life. The brain has the ability to use music to build new connections in the brain—also if it has been damaged, and it does this in cooperation with the rest of the body. This is why music is not only nice sounds, but also communication between the brain and the body (movements), and communication between the person and the surroundings (for example emotions).
Listening to music stimulates the brain positively—music that you perform yourself, and thereby using your body as well, involves more parts of the brain and builds more connections—but music that you perform yourself together with others, builds a lot more connections in the brain.
The Danish author and expert in neuropedagogy, Peter Thybo, explains how our brain is affected by music and why music is medicine for the brain. Thybo, who has a background as a physiotherapist, has written numerous books about neuro science and neuropedagogical methods.
The inmu – a mobile therapeutic tool
The inmu’s handy shape and mobility make it a unique tool for therapy. You can use it anywhere you need it and in situations where it is required – only the imagination sets the limits.
The main element to the inmu is music. When you touch it or move it, you will experience that the music interacts with you. You can stroke it gently, tap it, squeeze it, swing it, throw-and-grab it – the music will gently change with your movements. Similarly the vibrations will change with the music. The tactile elements are few but carefully chosen to stimulate the senses.
inmuRELAX and inmuDANCE are different in terms of music styles, the way they interact, fabric, and tactile elements. We cannot tell you which one to choose. It depends on the person/patient, the therapeutic work and goal, and the situation.
As a therapist you can use the music, the vibrations, the tactile elements, the response to movement, the mobility, and the handy shape or either the pocket (inmuRELAX) or the elastic belt (inmuDANCE) in your own way.
Activation and communication
The fact that music plays when you touch it makes the inmu an interesting activationtool. The music makes you want to listen: What will come next? What will happen when I squeeze it? Will the music change when I swing it?
People suffering from cognitive disorders, especially dementia, often experience difficulties when socialising. With the inmuTOUCH on the table or at your side on the sofa you will have a beautiful and dignified tool that is easy to communicate about. A touch (the music starts) is enough to make your neighbour smile, exchange a quick glance, perhaps even some words, and free hidden emotions. The easy handling combined with the music and the tactile elements make the inmu a brilliant tool for nonverbal communication.
Sleep has a powerful influence on your wellbeing and mood, not least on your brain. Indeed, insomnia and irregular sleep can make the brain ‘shrink’. This affects cognitive processes like concentration, memory, learning, your ability to plan, and also the way you experience pain and handle stressful situations and other challenges.
inmuRELAX offers you the possibility of lying down with something nice and soft in your hands and a music universe that you can control yourself. When you fall asleep inmuRELAX will sleep as well and if you wake up in the middle of the night, you just have to touch or cuddle it, and it will help you go back to sleep. There are no buttons to push or cables to mess around with.
You are in control
The music only plays if you touch or move the inmu. When you pick up the inmu or touch it the music starts. When you put it aside or fall asleep it stops automatically.
Having music in your hands
The inmu lets you feel the music when you hold it, hug it or just stroke it. This has an immense effect on the brain and nervous system. The slight changes in the music universe caused by your movements increase the effect.
You can feel the music
When you hold the inmu you can feel the music in your hands and body. Soft vibrations stimulate the body and therefore deaf and blind people can also benefit greatly from the inmu.
The music reflects your movements
As you move and touch the inmu you will experience that the music interacts with you. You can stroke it gently, tap it, squeeze it, swing it, throw-and-grab it, or touch the tactile elements.