Music is in my life every day. How about yours? Listening to music affects many areas of the brain: from the nerve that allows your ears to hear the music, to the release of the chemical dopamine in the brain which helps us to feel happy, to the memory of the music processed in the hippocampus of your brain. The hippocampus is located in the bottom middle part of the brain and it’s about the size of your pinky finger. It is curved and resembles a Seahorse, so it was named after the Greek word for Seahorse or Sea monster: hippocampus. This Seahorse shaped structure in your brain has the job of giving us emotion, memory, and the ability to navigate through our surroundings and know our environment. You can thank your hippocampus because it helps you to get to and from work without having to map it out day after day.
Music, memory and emotion are connected. I can hear Bob Marley’s song, “I shot the Sheriff” sung by Eric Clapton and I am brought right back to 1974 when I was 6 years old, sitting in the back seat of my family’s Volkswagen, stopped at a stoplight and I am singing the lyrics of the song on the radio and I am loving it. That song makes me happy because of the feeling of the memory I have with it.
When Cannabis is used, it slows down the perception of time. This slowing down of time can help musicians or music lovers to experience a more fine-tuned musical experience, where every note can be felt and the silence between notes is experienced fully. When listening to music, the different musical instruments can be picked out from the song and easily focused upon. Cannabis can add a richness to the music where beats become more physical, developing texture or even colors. Music makes us want to tap our feet, move our bodies and dance, dance, dance.
Whether you two-step to country music, salsa dance to Latin music, head bang with heavy metal, listen to blues on Sunday night, sing hymns or gospel at church, play Scrabble while listening to Mozart, sing nursery rhymes with your children or grandchildren, drum on your steering wheel when classic rock is playing in your car, see a live opera, or if you attended Arizona’s Hip- Hop festival in Phoenix this month, then music is part of your life. Have yourself a musical experience. It is food for the soul.
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Kimberly Landino is currently practicing at
All Greens Clinic in Surprise, AZ where she certifies qualifying patients to receive their Medical Marijuana card and experience the therapeutic benefit from using medical marijuana to treat their health conditions. Before this, she practiced family medicine for 16 years in Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City on the Navajo reservation.