Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that is evidence-based and uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves quality of life and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities and illnesses.
Promote wellness, Manage stress, Alleviate pain, Express feelings, Enhance memory, Improve communication, Promote physical rehabilitation, Connect with spiritual resources, and much more. Read the following article to understand what benefits are attainable.
Music: A Powerful Tool for Health and Well-being
Music has a profound impact on our emotions and can offer numerous benefits that often go unnoticed. Whether actively listening to music or encountering it passively in our daily surroundings, we tend to overlook its positive effects on stress relief, mood alteration, and relaxation. However, incorporating music into our lives, either by listening or playing a musical instrument, can have significant positive effects on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“Music therapy is the use of music to gain physical and emotional healing and wellness”.
In our busy routines, we often fail to acknowledge the presence of music unless it's a familiar tune that catches our attention, leading us to hum or sing along. When we consciously choose to listen to music, we select genres that we are familiar with or enjoy, seeking a specific desired effect. But how often do we truly notice how music affects us? Do we realize that the sounds of music, whether passive or intentional, actually impact our emotions?
Let's explore the powerful influence of music therapy on a daily basis.
Music therapy, defined as the use of music to promote physical and emotional healing and wellness, encompasses both listening to music and actively making music. It has become a recognized mode of treatment integrated into various aspects of daily life, from workplaces and malls to restaurants, spas, and hospitals. With its low cost and safe nature, music therapy is suitable for medical settings as well as personal daily routines, serving as a means to reduce the negative effects of everyday pressures on both healthy individuals and those with mental or physical illnesses.
“Imagine any part of your life or any aspect of our culture without music. Now put music back in.
It's important to note that music therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It takes on different forms based on individual preferences and needs. Since music is a deeply personal preference, the response it evokes varies from person to person. Therefore, proper research is crucial to identify the most suitable selection of music for achieving the desired positive benefits and intended response. Studies have shown that both stimulative and sedative music can induce emotional and physiological changes, generating feelings of joy, elation, energy, calmness, and relaxation.
Imagine a life or a culture without music. Now imagine restoring music back into the picture. Music therapy can be therapeutic not only for those with physical and mental illnesses but also for healthy individuals seeking non-conventional treatment to alleviate stress, alter mood, and facilitate relaxation.
The positive effects of music therapy have been evident for decades. In the 20th century, amateur and professional musicians visited Veteran's Hospitals across the country, playing for veterans suffering from the physical and mental trauma of World War I and II. The notable positive responses observed in these patients showcased the effectiveness of music therapy.
Additional evidence of music's positive effects comes from a touching example involving a young man who had been in a coma for 14 years. When Patti LaBelle, one of his favorite recording artists, performed the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in his hospital room, he responded by opening his eyes. His mother firmly believed that her son felt and heard the beauty of the music. This remarkable response highlights the immense power of music and voice to stimulate and arouse the senses of seemingly unresponsive individuals. Such examples demonstrate how music therapy can be integrated into any healing process, providing a diversion that reduces stress, promotes relaxation, and enables the enjoyment of music and voices.
Board-certified music therapists can develop personalized programs in clinical settings to alleviate stress, anxiety, and pain, as well as aid in rehabilitation, cognitive improvement, and other aspects of the healing process. Music therapy is also beneficial for healthy individuals, as active music-making activities like drumming can effectively reduce stress. However, it's important to note that not everyone has the same taste in music, and forcing oneself to listen to music that is disliked can cause additional stress rather than alleviate it.
Music therapy offers both physical and mental benefits, impacting blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and tension levels. It has been proven to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress, and aid in pain management. The therapeutic power of music extends beyond the mind, affecting the body's physiological responses. When individuals engage with music, whether by listening or actively participating, their physical well-being can be positively influenced.
“It has been suggested that music may be used as a resource for creating and sustaining mood, well-being and physiological balance”.
Studies have shown that listening to soothing music can lead to a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. As the melodic notes and rhythmic patterns flow through the ears, they have a calming effect on the nervous system, promoting a state of relaxation and tranquility. This relaxation response can help alleviate tension and contribute to overall cardiovascular health.
Additionally, music therapy has the ability to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body. By activating the brain's reward system, music can help reduce the perception of pain and enhance feelings of comfort and well-being.
Furthermore, music therapy can have a profound impact on mental and emotional states, indirectly influencing physical health. By improving mood and reducing stress levels, it can enhance immune function and support the body's ability to heal. When individuals are in a positive and relaxed state, their immune system functions more efficiently, allowing for better overall health and well-being.
In summary, music therapy is a holistic approach that not only nurtures the mind and emotions but also has tangible effects on the body. Its ability to regulate blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and tension, combined with its potential to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and aid in pain management, makes it a valuable tool in maintaining physical and mental wellness. Embracing the therapeutic power of music can contribute to a healthier and more balanced life.