Treating Insomnia With Music Therapy

What is insomnia? Insomnia is a condition where people have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or having a restful night sleep. Often times people who suffer from insomnia will turn to sleeping pills to get relief. Sleeping pills is a bad idea, because it will just create more problems.

What is the problem with sleeping pills? Pills are a bad idea because most sleeping pills are addictive, and basically are just a mask to what the real problem is. It also causes problems when you interact with other medications or alcohol, which can be very serious or even deadly. People who are prescribed medication are usually supposed to be on them for a few days to a few weeks only, but because they can be addictive people tend to take them longer. Pills can also cause high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, confusion. It also can cause bizarre behavior such as sleep walking, sleep binge eating and sleep driving, in which the person will not remember.

Why it is so important to get a good night sleep? Sleep is necessary to maintain good physical and mental health. Sleep helps you to restore your body and mind, to help with memory and learning, also to help you be in a better mood. When you are sleep deprived, your body is more prone to infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Also when you are sleep deprived it can effect your job performance, such as forgetfulness or making mistakes, which can cause you to lose your job. So it is very important to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep if you are an adult, and more than 8 hours if you are younger.

How do you treat insomnia with music therapy? Insomnia is usually caused by your attitude or behavior, if you can change your attitude or behavior this may change your sleep disorder. Your mind plays a big part of all this. That is how music therapy can help. Music therapy uses binaural beats to stimulate your brain to a high level of relaxation, like a meditated state, to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Binaural beats is music set to certain frequencies to stimulate a certain part of your brain that allows you to get some sleep. When listening to music therapy, use headphones to get the best results. The music is soft relaxing music, that has sounds of nature like waterfalls, birds, the ocean etc. When buying music therapy CD’s or tapes make sure that it contains binaural beats, because they sell fake ones, that claim to do the same, but do not compare, so be aware. If you have any questions on music therapy or binaural beats see link bellow.

An Overview of Music Therapy for Children With Cerebral Palsy

It is widely accepted that music and rhythm have healing powers because they speak more to our emotions than to our intellect. Distraught children often calm when sung to and the extremely find solace when listening to classical music. Music therapy and training has had consistent and profound effects on children suffering from cerebral palsy, leading to improvements in cognitive performance, spatial reasoning, verbal skills and an overall sense of well-being.

Music can actually alter the landscape of the brain, something that has been proven in recent years due to advanced imaging technology such as MRI’s. Neurologic Music Therapy is now a recognized and emerging field of science and is becoming commonplace as treatment for patients who suffer brain injuries.

Music can actually grow and heal neural pathways in the brain, linking areas dedicated to speech, touch, movement, sound and emotion, all areas of the brain required for making music. Neuroplasticity, also known as cortical re-mapping, refers to the ability of the human brain’s neural pathways and synapses to change as a result of one’s behavior, environment and neural processes. This allow the brain to reorganize itself and bypass areas of injury to promote the development of skills in other areas.

Studies have shown that fetuses are quite capable of hearing sound while in the womb and that they demonstrate a preference for the same music when they are approximately 1 year old. Music is a source of delight for children, and a pleasure that continues beyond childhood, into the teen years and beyond.

Since it has been demonstrated that music has an effect on so many parts of the brain, that it is enjoyed throughout life and that it helps facilitate brain plasticity, there is no wonder it has become a therapeutic science of its own and is used to enhance many of the traditional therapies. Therapists and researchers have documented cases where music therapy has provided profound benefits to patients with cerebral palsy. Both music and CP affect multiple areas of the brain and, even though CP is most commonly defined as an impairment of motor skills, it is also known to create disturbances in perception, behavior, communication, cognition, sensation and lead to seizure disorders. Music aids in the bridging of missed cross-brain connections.

Researchers and therapists are increasingly listing music therapy as integral part of cerebral palsy intervention. Because music can affect the brain’s ability to link movement, sound, patterns and emotion, it has effectively promoted improvements in many areas for patients with cerebral palsy, including: communication, gait control, head and torso control, hand movement, introduction of rhythms to children who are deaf, hand-eye coordination, relaxation, muscle response and group play.

Music therapy can begin in the home at virtually any age. Professional music therapists (ones who are board certified as trained in music, assessment, documentation and counseling) can be provided at no cost through state-funded programs and as a part of many IEP’s (Individualized Education Programs) in the public school systems. Music therapy is frequently a cross-therapy tool and used in conjunction with other clinical skills. Many music therapy programs are now covered by insurance plans.

How Music Therapy Can Help Eliminate Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Music may provide relief from negative stress and help you prevent anxiety and panic attacks. To achieve the best possible results, it is important to select music which has a calming effect such as meditation or classical pieces. For example, meditation music is very calming and may help produce a sense of well being, peace and harmony.

Classical and Instrumental music, especially string instruments can produce a very relaxing and peaceful state and help you avoid anxiety and panic attacks. Excellent examples of classical music that can help you enter a calm and relaxed state include many concertos, Handel’s Messiah and the Dance of the Blessed Spirits by the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie.

Don’t overlook easily available collections of CDs which are made up of sounds of nature. such as a waterfalls, brooks or streams, the ocean, birds chirping, rustling leaves, rainfall or the wind blowing.

My mother suffered from terminal cancer and had intense pain as the cancer ravaged her system. She would listen to sounds of nature on a tape deck as therapy during her painful and very stressful cancer treatments. They produced a sense of serenity and helped her keep negative thoughts at bay.

Researchers have found that music helps reduce anxiety and our perception of pain. Studies back this up as patients awaiting and even during a surgical or other medical procedure were positively impacted by music which helped then to remain calm and reduced anxiety about the medical experience.

Additionally, researchers have determined that people who are undergoing medical treatment actually show an improvement in their immune system after the music therapy has been introduced to their treatment regimen.

This is no longer theory but is backed up by medical proof. People in stress or experiencing anxiety. There is measurable recorded proof that folks experiencing anxiety actually have a decrease in heart rate, muscle activity and temperature after the introduction of music therapy.

Harness the Power of Music Therapy Help Stop Your Anxiety Starting Today

Why not listen to calming music when you are driving on the freeway? It’s a great way to relieve stress and to avoid anxiety and panic attacks by avoiding negative thoughts while you enjoy the peaceful sounds of beautiful music.

Music can invoke wonderful memories. When I hear pieces that my grandparents enjoyed at family gathering I become calm and even happy…so much for an anxiety attack! I have now entered a different place where the thoughts are positive and stress free.

Try it and all of these music therapy ideas and see how they work for you.

Autism Breakthrough – Can Music Therapy Speed Up Learning in Autistic Children?

Autism music therapy has been the topic of great recent interest due to its surprising yet positive effects on autistic children. For autistic toddlers and young children between the ages of 3 to 6, music therapy seems to help connect the dots in terms of emotional and physical behavior and learning.

Abbey Monroe, age 4, is a shining example of what happens when music therapy is introduced to a child with autism.

Abbey’s mother Sarah Monroe, often sings to her and chants short rhythmic phrases to get Abbey to comply and play along while she moves throughout her day from one activity to the next; activities ranging from changing her clothes, to eating a meal, to taking a bath.

Autism Music Therapy at Work in the Classroom

Abbey, who previously lacked verbal skills due to severe autism, is now able to talk and communicate much more effectively after being enrolled in Crenshaw Elementary School where she gets special attention from a highly specialized staff of autism experts and educators. Abbey has been able to overcome many social and behavioral issues thanks to Mrs. Linda LeFante, a veteran autism specialist and strong advocate of music therapy.

“All children with autism respond to music, and Abbey’s no different. I believe you can teach your child basic life skills using music as a tool to help make things easier, both for you and your child,” Mrs. LeFante explains.

“Abbey, like all the other children in my classroom, need to learn the basics for living like changing her clothes, brushing her teeth, and adjusting to different social situations. And music makes the entire learning process much easier and more enjoyable.”

Mrs. LeFante’s confidence in music therapy is based on 14 years of teaching children with autism. Parents of children under Mrs. LeFante’s care attest that her methods are undeniably effective. There are over 60 children with autism enrolled at Crenshaw Elementary where Mrs. LeFante teaches. The children are divided into classrooms of 7 to 8 children with a special education assistant assigned to each child.

Although a huge support staff is on hand, the overwhelming success of the students at Crenshaw Elementary can mostly be attributed to Mrs. LeFante’s music education program which follows the core curriculum. This ensures that every student with autism gets what they need in terms of a complete education.

Music Therapy for Autistic Children – Approved by Parents and Professionals

Judy Morrow, mother of 5 year old Albert Morrow who is also a student at Crenshaw Elementary, recently shared her thoughts on the impact of music therapy, “My son Albert had the toughest time learning due to autism. But now he’s able to recite the alphabet. He also learned to say the names of his favorite animals. He’s even counting which totally caught me off guard. I’m thrilled at how quickly he’s learning. Linda LeFante is an absolute miracle worker.”

To shed further light on the topic, Mrs. LeFante responded by saying, “Music can be the anchor to help your child stay grounded while they learn. I never pressure my students. I never force anything on them. All of the children in my care just naturally gravitate towards music therapy when they witness me and other students enjoying the process. Furthermore, I believe music therapy belongs in the home as much as it does in school. I believe you can teach literally anything using music as a tool.”

The Future of Autism Music Therapy

While there is still much research ahead in the field of cognitive neurology (brain sciences) and the effects of music therapy on children with autism, there is substantial real-life data pouring in from parents and teachers alike in regards to the impact of music therapy in the classroom and at home; positive reports that music unquestionably helps children with autism learn much more effectively, and efficiently, while enjoying both the outcome, and the process.