25 August 2010

One of FACT's projects exploring the connections between arts and health hit the headlines yesterday. BAFTA winner Chris Watson's recording of dawn bird chorus is thought to relieve anxiety and needle phobia in patients and is proving to be a success with the children treated at Alder Hey hospital. 

Now for the science bit!
Calming sounds work by soothing the amygdaloid region of the brain linked with a person's mental and emotional state. It is in essence a distraction technique and medical experts at the hospital think that Bird Song has had such a powerful healing effect which could even result in patients needing less pain relief – so less drugs used means money saved and even quicker recovery times. Scientific research will start this year to collate medical evidence on how Bird Song alleviates patient distress

Telegraph.co.uk: Bird song 'may calm' children receiving injections
Guardian.co.uk: Birdsong: The cure for all ills?