'Lithium' Rock for mental health!


Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and the Beatles are not playing gigs in Hertfordshire... but Lithium are. Lithium are a mental health service users' Rock 'n' Roll band: Zak on drums and Bob Houlston on guitar/vocals. We met whilst patients in Albany Lodge NHS psychiatric hospital. Many enjoyable hours spent together in the music room established our friendship as we played rhythm and blues that could be heard throughout the ward. Occasionally some patients and nurses would join in and sing their favourite songs with us.
More information via URL: http://www.houlston.freeserve.co.uk/mental-health-lithium.htm
Reverse Stress - It is possible to reverse stress by playing a musical instrument. A groundbreaking study published in the February 2005 issue of the international research journal Medical Science Monitor shows for the first time that playing a musical instrument can reverse multiple components of the human stress response on the genomic level. "In simple terms, using a unique combination of the latest genomic technologies, we showed for the very first time that we could turn off the DNA-based switches that literally turn on components of human stress response," said Muhammad A. Sharaf, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist at Applied Biosystems. The study's principal investigator, Barry Bittman, M.D. of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, PA, USA, says; "These unique findings not only shed new light on the value of active music participation, but also extend our understanding of individualised human biological stress responses on an unprecedented level. One possible explanation relates to the degree of active engagement in a calming expressive activity in contrast to merely settling down to relax and read. With ongoing research, recreational music making could potentially serve as a rational stress reduction activity along with other lifestyle strategies that include healthy nutrition and exercise."

We would be pleased to hear from other musical mental health service users. Music therapy is now an important part of some clinicians strategy of treatment. Does it work for you?
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ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA

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Hello Bob,

I'm afraid I'm not in the neck of the woods, otherwise I'd gladly come. "Lithium" is an excellent name for the circs of your outfit, BTW. I'd have to look up the research that you've flagged, but I am 100% anecdotally certain that the combination of creativity and structure in learning an instrument is beneficial. My own boy is energetic/a handful/ insert euphemism here...

Yet, he's taken to the trumpet like the proverbial. He enjoys the discipline and finds the results rewarding. He's actually showing an aptitude for it. There is a welter of research out there on music tuition and mental health benefits. There's plenty of evidence of music training increasing verbal skills. Same part of the brain, apparently.

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