Music makes you feel more at ease. Or content. Or, let’s confront it, utterly depressing. I’m sure we all can certainly relate to the power of music.
Since the early history of humankind, music has been used to help treat the body and the soul and express what is hard to put into words. Likewise, ancient philosophers used music for therapeutic purposes.
What is Music Therapy?
Musical therapy is the application of music for addressing a group or individual’s physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral needs. It uses various activities such as tunes, instrument plays, drums, music and guided images. this is appropriate for people of every age group, whether they are virtuosos or sordid, unwell or in good health.
It is a psychological approach that aims to improve people’s mental health and overall wellbeing by utilizing the inherent mood-lifting properties of music. It is a goal-oriented procedure that contributes to improving the wellbeing of an individual with physical health issues and those with anxiety and depression. Anyone can participate in music therapy; you don’t need a background in music to benefit from it.
The skilled and experienced music therapist develops therapeutic music exercises to promote responsive non-musical outcomes, such as training and retraining abilities in brain function, language development, motor skills, academic success, self-development, and social competence. There is significant proof that music is a valuable tool in therapy that promotes behavioral learning and change.
How does Music therapy work?
Your music therapist will inquire about any musical background you may have as well as your musical choices. They will collaborate with you to pinpoint session objectives and develop effective music therapy experiences. They will consider the following factors while doing so:
- Your musical tastes and interests
- Your age and stage of development.
- Your physical abilities.
- Your mental abilities.
- Your trauma is a trigger.
Following an initial evaluation, a therapist will customize techniques to meet the specific requirements of the patients. For example, one method is to make music by humming a nostalgic melody from one’s early life, singing in a choir, or experimenting on instruments like the drums, piano, guitar, or chimes.
The interaction of melody, harmony, and rhythm stimulates a person’s senses and promotes a sense of calm by trying to slow the breath, heart rate, and other bodily activities.
Musical therapy is an excellent option for children and adolescents who are battling illness in the hospital. Music is used clinically by a certified professional to achieve individual goals. Music relieves pain, allows patients to express themselves without using words, and helps them relax by singing, playing instruments, composing, and performing music.
Benefits of Music Therapy
Music relaxation contributes to fatigue reduction and muscular endurance when repetitive tasks are performed. Experts believe that music has been found to enhance physical activities like exercising, and now a recent study has uncovered a possible mechanism explaining this effect. Researchers at the Brunel University in London claim that intense auditory stimuli trigger a brain region that curtails tiredness. Music therapy sessions also reduce fatigue in cancer patients and elevate the fatigue threshold in people undergoing strenuous neuromuscular training. It is said that the masterpieces of Chopin have particularly good benefits on cortisol reduction and body and mind relaxation.
Improves heart health :
Music can transform your neurochemistry, and these changes may well have cardiovascular benefits, according to a handful of studies. As per the studies,
- It allows people to exercise for more extended periods on a treadmill or exercise bike during cardiovascular testing.
- It improves blood flow to the brain by relaxing arteries.
- It aids in the return of blood pressure levels and heart rate to baseline after physical exertion.
- It helps people recovering from heart surgery feel less pain and anxiety.
This music therapy is beneficial for a variety of mental health problems, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia (to name a few). Music acts as a stabilizing or soothing agent for anxiety or dysregulation and a medium for emotional regulation, stressful events, and grieving. In addition, there is proof of increased white matter connectivity between the auditory and emotional areas of individuals who consistently react to aesthetic musical stimuli, meaning that the communications of both areas are much better.
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, music therapy helps to alleviate some of its symptoms. For example, music therapy can help agitated patients loosen up, improve their mood, and open up. In addition, music stimulates the part of the brain responsible for memory retention. This means that music can help people recall happy memories from their past.
According to recent research, even sad music can improve your mood. It brings pleasure and comfort to the listeners. Music activates the area of the brain that produces dopamine. This hormone has an impact on emotional behavior and mood. It also impacts both behavioral and neural processes. That is to say, music influences not just our mood but also our inability to control our emotions.
Music induces strong action impulses to move in time with the music (e.g., dancing, foot-tapping). It speeds up or slows down our inbuilt rhythms (e.g., heart rate). With the music, we glide and move.
This therapy usually results well, but it is not advised for severe medical and psychiatric problems as an independent therapy. While music can contribute to alleviating certain symptoms, other kinds of therapies, such as medication, physical therapy and psychotherapy, may also be required.
This article should have given you a good overview of music therapy and its benefits. What are your thoughts on music therapy? What benefits do you believe it provides clients in addition to traditional therapies? Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas. Also, drop in your comments on this article in the comment box below.