The Power of Reading

and the positive effects on your brain and body


Reading is a highly enjoyable pastime for so many people and the benefits are numerous, not only providing relaxation and escapism but also providing health benefits for the brain, mood and mental health.


Three consultants at Re:Cognition Health were recently featured in Byrdie magazine, sharing their  insight into the powers of reading for people of all ages.


Dr Emer MacSweeney, Consultant Neuroradoligist at Re:Cognition Health enlightened readers with how reading can help keep the brain young as it deciphers, stores and retains information, giving a great mental workout, helping to protect the brain against cognitive decline and developing diseases such as dementia.


Reading ” helps the brain process information more effectively both verbally and visually,” says Dr MacSweeney explains. Reading is also highly relaxing, helping the mind and body reduce stress, thus contributing to improved mental and physical health. it is a great night time ritual to help unwind and prepare the mind and body for sleep, but readers should opt for paper versions rather than devices which can interfere with our sleeping patterns.


With currently living in lockdown, sales of books have enjoyed a huge increase as Britons take to the books to pass the time and escape from the negativity surrounding Covid-19 with many enjoying historical fiction and books from their youth. Dr Maite Ferrin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist comments, “Reading books from childhood serves as a reminder that things will get back to “normal” or the way we used to like them.”


There is a plethora of different genres of books spanning fiction and non-fiction ranging from biography, crime, fantasy and romance through to thriller, suspense, self-help and science. There is a book for every mood and occasion but can different genres do different things to the brain?


Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Dimitrios Paschos explains the jargon of the genres: “Reading can be a virtual experience for the brain, so the genre of books we choose to read can have a serious impact on our mood and emotions, giving different virtual experiences,” he says.


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