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Legal-Ease/ An Attorney’s Perspective: Music for the Brain

By June 21, 2024July 3rd, 2024No Comments

Judd Matsunaga

I grew up watching “Star Trek” (the original series with George Takei playing Sulu, helmsman of the starship USS Enterprise). You might remember, practically every episode had Dr. McCoy, “Bones,” waving an electrical device that made a sound pitch at various frequencies over the patient’s body to heal it.

Music is so powerful, and doing something as simple as listening to it can boost your memory and heal your body. According to an article called “The Sound of Healing: Sound Used as a Therapeutic Treatment” (Dec. 29, 2023), the use of sound as opposed to chemotherapy and more invasive surgery would truly be a paradigm shift in cancer treatment.

Dr. Anthony Holland, in his TEDx talk called “Shattering Cancer With Resonant Frequencies,” said, “I believe the future of children’s cancer hospitals will be a different place. They will be a place where children gather and make new friends, they probably won’t even know they are sick. They’ll play with their toys, all the while unaware that above them a beautiful blue plasma light is emanating healing, pulsing fields shattering their cancer painlessly, and non-toxically, one cell at a time.”

“But Judd, that’s too far into the future. Can music help me now?” YES. It turns out that listening to music can also be considered an exercise for the mind. Music is actually one of the most powerful stimulants to the brain. If you play instruments, even better! By playing an instrument, you’re exercising not only the brain but also the body.

Music is even more important if you want to prevent premature aging of the brain. Listening to music can help prevent memory problems and improve your hearing. Good news since we know hearing loss can happen as we age.

Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist and author of the best-selling book “The Hidden Messages in Water,” discovered that water can be encoded with vibrational information. Dr. Emoto pointed out that the human body is mainly water, and apparently, water loves beautiful, harmonious frequencies.

“I believe that music was created to bring our vibration back to its intrinsic state. It’s human nature to create music that readjusts the vibrations distorted by history. That’s why I’m so certain that music is a form of healing before it is an art,” Dr. Emoto said. “It can become a matter of life and death if we allow our ‘life force’ to become compromised by the chaotic noise and toxicity of the modern world.”

In one of his studies, called the “Wisdom of Water,” it demonstrated how different types of sound produce different crystalline patterns in water. When exposed to Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40,” distilled water samples produced ornate and geometrically symmetrical crystals. On the other hand, distilled water that had been exposed to heavy metal music produced distorted formations.

The “Mozart effect” truly exists, said Dr. Kiminobu Sugaya, head of neuroscience at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. In experiments with local community residents, he found that when this type of classical music was played, “We saw a 50 percent increase in brain function” (source: The Epoch Times, “Classical Music Alters the Brain,” May 8, 2024).

Music promotes the brain’s secretion of endorphins, enkephalins, dopamine and serotonin. Sugaya mentioned that attending a classical music concert is ideal because dopamine released in the brain can make you appear more charming to your partner. Also, beautiful music can also increase oxytocin, a love hormone.

Sound waves can be both good and bad for you. A recent Harvard-led study found that noise exposure may raise risks of cardiovascular problems. Long-term exposure to transportation noise from cars, trucks, trains and planes may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease (source:, Dec. 4, 2023). Earlier studies also linked noise exposure to short-term changes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood vessel narrowing.

You can also use music to reduce stress. Stress is one of the main causes of memory loss! When people are stressed and frustrated, they tend to have difficulty creating short-term memories, which will then damage the ability to create long-term memories. Just like music helps reduce stress levels, it can also improve your mood.

Neuroscientists used to believe that music only impacts the right hemisphere of the brain. However, recent findings show that music affects regions throughout the entire brain. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and pain, as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory.

When you listen to music you enjoy, a state of excitement and pleasure is triggered because of this dopamine release. When listening to your favorite part of a song, you experience around the same pleasure as you would from eating food, doing drugs or having sex. Listening to music also produces oxytocin, increasing your emotional understanding and creating peak emotions.

Music can affect our exercise because as our body becomes tired and wants to stop exercising, it sends signals to the brain to stop. Listening to music competes for the brain’s attention and can help us overcome those feelings of fatigue. Not only does music help us exercise longer and harder by helping us push through the pain, it can actually help us use our energy more efficiently. A 2012 study showed cyclists who listened to music required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work as those who cycled in silence.

Music is actually one of the most powerful stimulants to the brain, and when you’re listening to music, your brain is highly engaged in the sound. If you play instruments, even better! By playing an instrument, you’re exercising not only the brain but also the body. It is a stimulator for both your visual and motor functioning and can improve your brain’s ability to adapt.

If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. A stereo system puts out vibrations that travel through the air and somehow get inside the ear canal. These vibrations tickle the eardrum and are transmitted into an electrical signal that travels through the auditory nerve to the brain stem, where it is reassembled into something we perceive as music.

Scientific research shows that Solfeggio frequencies (based on the white keys of a piano), will calm people, and one will heal better and faster when they are relaxed and calm. Some studies have found that 432 and 528 Hz have a de-stressing effect on the brain, possibly reducing cortisol levels and raising oxytocin, and 174 Hz, aka the healing frequency, has been found to have the greatest effect on the physical body and could alleviate pain and stress and improve concentration.

Judd Matsunaga is the founding attorney of Elder Law Services of California, a law firm that specializes in Medi-Cal Planning, Estate Planning and Probate. He can be contacted at (310) 348-2995 or The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Pacific Citizen or constitute legal or tax advice and should not be treated as such.