The power of music as therapy in MS

♪ Ethereal uplifting music.

♪ Patty: When I play the drums, I come into the room limping, my knee hurts, I have a very bad knee.

My hands hurt sometimes because of arthritis.

It takes me 15 minutes to get off my scooter and onto the drum set and we start playing, you know, and it's like “kshhh, ” we're playing rock and roll, we’re doing some blues, and within a few minutes, I'm not thinking about my MS.

♪ Ethereal uplifting music.

♪ Phil: Neuroplasticity, I like to call it a superpower that we all have access to.

Our brains are really dynamic, and bodies for that matter.

And uh, it's amazing what we can do.

I mean, it's like the old saying, you can do anything you set your mind to do.

♪ Ethereal uplifting music.

♪ “Natural sound effects of outside.

” “Natural sound effects of inside, then drumming (apparently coming from adjacent music room).

” ♪ Drumming sounds of group.

♪ ♪ Drumming sounds intensifies ♪ Betsy: Give it everything you got.

for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 Group: Whooo.

Betsy: Whooooo.

Betsy: I often explain what music does in the brain to patients.

And so I want to, I want to explain it in a way that makes sense.

And the way that makes sense in my brain is, when you have a neuro disease, your brain has gaps in it, your neuropathways have gaps in it.

And music is that tool that comes in and bridges those gaps.

One more breath in, 2, 3, 4, and out.

Nice 2 Let’s just try one more, a little bit of laughing.

♪ ha ha ha ♪ You want to feel this in your belly.

♪ ha ha ha ♪ A little bit louder.

♪ ha ha ha ♪ Drop that jaw.

♪ ha ha ha ♪ Raise your eyebrows.

♪ ha ha ha ♪ 3, 4, ♪ Ha ha ha.

Da daaaah.

♪ ♪ ha ha ha ♪James: I think it's very important for us to deal with pharmacology and treat the underlying science of their disease.

James: I think it's very important for us to deal with pharmacology and treat the underlying science of their disease.

But um, that's not what is going to make your patient whole.

If you have a chronic disease like MS, that you cannot outright cure, it's finding out who the patient is and trying to rebuild that part of them, that will do far more than your medical therapy Axon Band: ♪ Hey Mr.

Tambourine man, play a song for me.

♪ Phil: When I was diagnosed in 2002, I lost my ability to play any musical instruments anymore, because my left arm and hand went, you know, weak on me, so I couldn't even put on socks.

But uh, just by continuing to try with willpower and persistence, I was able to get that ability back.

♪♪ I didn't know about neuroplasticity then, but apparently my brain rewired itself and allowed me to get that ability back again.

Patty: Phil and I are big believers in neuroplasticity.

Learning to train the mind to be able to help heal itself, because we have all this incredible potential power in our brains.

We can’t afford to just lie back and give up.

Betsy: Music therapy isn’t an alternative therapy, it is therapy.

There's enough research, enough data to prove that the work that we're doing, and the sounds that we’re creating… ♪ (sound of guitar strumming a stead beat) ♪ …these fundamental components of music is really getting into the person's brain to help them, live a better life.

James: We work with our physical therapist to try to design exercise programs.

Playing a musical instrument is sort of like a form of physical therapy.

And the best exercise is one that you enjoy doing because otherwise you won’t do it.

Angeli: The other part of MS care that I think is really important is self-efficacy.

That patients with a chronic disease can actually make themselves better in the long run by doing something.

Phil: This center here is trying to get people back to uh, a quality of life that they had before they were diagnosed.

And that's what their programs are designed to do.

Erin: It turns into their own mini communities that they come to every week.

It’s a support group hidden within a musical group.

♪ Celtic harp music ♪ Betsy: My goal at the end of our group is to hopefully equip someone with, some type of, encouragement or inspiration or motivation or just the knowledge that they're not alone And that music helps people realize.

that they're still human.

♪ Celtic harp music ♪ Phil: I want the world to know that, no matter who you are, you are empowered naturally the natural process, you are empowered to get back lost function with just willpower and persistence.

You just have to think, I'm going to do this and I'm going to keep trying.

♪ Celtic harp music ♪ ♪ Ethereal uplifting music.

♪ Patty: Not just drums, but music in general.

I don't think I could have survived the things that I went through earlier in life without music.

it's been a continuous thread throughout my life and at a couple of points, um, there was a chance that I might not be sitting here today, but I always had the drums to go back to and I would sit down on the drums and play and everything was okay.

♪ Ethereal uplifting music.


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