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Medical Soothing effect

  1. Jun 15, 2010 #1
    Why is it that a rocking motion gives a soothing effect? I guess it has to do something with brain fluids, but no clear answer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2010 #2

    I've read everything from rocking being a mild form of repetitive exercise:

    To it being a kind of "pre-programmed" preference because as an infant it helps to build balance. http://www.lifespan.org/services/mentalhealth/articles/stress/rocking_chairs.htm [Broken]

    Really, I don't think it has to do with one reason, but movement of the brain or CSF would seem to be the LEAST likely culprit.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jun 15, 2010 #3
    I would suspect it's not the rocking, per se, that has a soothing effect, but the rhythm. Oliver Sacks gives numerous examples of the power of rhythm in his book Musicophilia. The most remarkable one being the effect of the right musical rhythm on Parkinson's patients: although normally "frozen", unable to initiate movement, they can suddenly dance with fluid motion when music of the right tempo is played. Rhythm, he reasons, seems to directly effect motor control centers in the brain stem, bypassing other motor controls i.e. the motor cortex.

    So, I would examine the rhythmic aspect of rocking as the most likely source of it's ability to sooth.
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