When Michael Schneider's anxiety and PTSD flare up, he reaches for the ukulele he keeps next to his computer. I can't actually play a song. But I can play chords to take my stress level down, said Schneider, who suffered to serious brain injuries during his time in the Marines. He learned the technique through Creative Forces, an arts therapy initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. These treatments haven't undergone rigorous scientific testing; the NeuroArts Blueprint initiative has been launched to change that. Relearning music took away that fight-or-flight, that ingrained piece of how I trained. It was able to open up all these new pathways through my brain, said Schneider. One of the goals of the NeuroArts Blueprint is to scientifically measure how arts therapies change the brains of people like Schneider.

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