Is Music Therapy For You?

Some like it soothing while some prefer to dance to the tune; some resort to it to escape reality while others try to find the meaning of life in lyrics, but rarely would you come across anyone who does not like music. Often your heart rate speeds up and scientifically there has been proof of changes in blood pressure and hormone level due to music (the change in blood pressure depends upon the kind of music you listen to, while metal and rock would create a positive change, soothing music helps to regulate blood pressure). The foundation of music therapy is the instant connection and emotional relationship that one creates with music.

In a more theoretical sense, music therapy is the clinical use of music to therapeutically help in achieving individual goals. This alternative health care field has been around for centuries and was initially mainly used on infants and seniors with physical, emotional, and mental health issues.

Over the last few years, the practice of music therapy by credentialed professionals have increased the scope of the therapy by not limiting it to just a particular demography. Today, people from every walk of life can immensely benefit from music therapy.

Since the very basis of the therapy is something that most people are actively or passively involved in, music therapy could have more far-reaching benefits than other healing techniques since the participant will instantly feel a connection. While every therapists approach is different, music therapy largely makes use of composing tune or lyrics or simply listening to certain types of music.

So, who can benefit from music therapy?

Looking to de-stress or simply charge up your body for that workout, music therapy helps leaps and bounds. However, the scope is much wider panning to various psychological and physiological ailments.

Hearing Impairment– Considering that a very few percentage of hearing impaired people cannot hear at all. Others experience some amount of sensation, and music therapy can help such people as the tempo, wavelength, intonation, and rhythm help the hearing impaired to basically improve upon their speech. When hearing impaired children (note: Speech formation happens during the first five years of life, which is why music therapy will help hearing impaired children more) had been subjected to music therapy, they had shown quite an improvement in their speech formation in terms of vocabulary, syntax, and tone.

Autism– Several psychologists and authors have affirmed that children and adult with autism can immensely benefit by listening to certain types of music. Given their uncommon inclination towards music, music therapy will give the special people a chance to experience- without coming in direct human contact- outside stimuli. In a lot of cases when music therapy was applied along with the ongoing treatment, the participants had shown better improvement in terms of socio-economical factors. The experiment reported lesser isolation periods and social withdrawal. However, it should be kept in mind that owing to the sensitivity of their condition, it is best that they receive music therapy from an experienced and highly trained individual.

Chronic Pain– Pain and music are both sensory inputs, as such that in terms of pain when the signal is sent to the brain the person would feel pain as the output comes from the site of emotional synthesis in the brain or the limbic system. The main aim of using music therapy to alleviate pain is to work on the vibrations, and to merge the vibration of the music with that of the pain. The music diverts the patient’s focus from all the physical symptoms, and which is why apart from pain music therapy also works in case of nausea.

Substance Abuse– For most people growing up and when they were introduced to their first pint of vodka or joint, it was almost always with friends or at a party. 80% of people have agreed that they like tripping with some sort of music playing in the background- generally Pink Floyd and the likes. Music has a profound influence on our mood so much so that in due time it can change our traits. For instance people who tend to listen to a lot of metal and rock music are often aggressive, which is evident by the ‘wall of death’ phenomenon at various metal concerts. The wall of death is basically the fans dividing into two groups and when the aggressive beats kick in, they charge at each other. This results in injuries and sometime death. Anyway, the purpose is to explain the degree of influence music has on our brain and hence on us. And just like it can turn people aggressive and lead to heavy substance abuse, it can work to help them kick the habit as well.

Depression– The number of depressed people today would easily surpass the number of obese people in every country combined. Depression affects people of all ages and the musical stimulus directly has an effect on the emotional and mental changes. The therapists often combine theory-based techniques to increase the effectiveness of music for stress and depression.

Although the reception to this alternative health care technique has often been mixed, a lot of studies and experimentations are being conducted to establish the efficacy of music therapy. The easiest way is by listening to soothing music to meditate or calm your mind whenever you are depressed or stressed.

Music Therapy For Diabetes

Music seems to ave extraordinary magical powers. It has been known to tame wild breast, makes babies smarter, set a romantic mood and let one exercise for longer periods. It is being used as ana alternative medicine to gain both physical and mental healing and wellness. People with chronic ailments often try alternative treatments. In addition to activity and diet, relaxation therapies like music also helps in managing and healing chronic ailments. They are fairly inexpensive too and provide a sense of well being by lifting one’s spirits.

Music therapy is an experimental creative therapy. It uses aound vibrations in different manner to provoke a reaction from the patient. In addition it relaxes the patient and reduces stress and anxiety. In diabetes certain aspects of this therapy can help treating the disease or complications arising from the disease. The therapy involve either making music or listening to variety of music. Music contributes to vascular and heart health. It promotes a blissful feeling amongst the participants in this therapy.

Serious pain is a serious problem amongst diabetics. Some pains are persistent no matter what treatment or medicine is used. Music has been helpful in dampening certain pains. It distracts a person’s attention. It may cause the body to release endomorphins, hormones that counteract pain. It may give a person a sense of control and it may relax a person by slowing breathing and heartbeat.

Diabetes is unique among chronic ailments because to a large extent treatment depends on self management. The self management includes maintaining diet, exercising regularly and checking blood sugar levels. This can lead to stress amongst patients. Clinical research has shown that music can improve respiration, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate and stress and anxiety. Although research is still on in this field, music definitely is proving to calm patients and relieve stress and anxiety and thereby promote well being.

Music Therapy for Seniors With Alzheimer’s Disease

The sound of music has been part of lives for thousands of years, and has stimulated different emotions within us. Music has given us the power to escape to a different mental and physical dimension. It assists us in recalling wonderful memories, promotes relaxation and may energize individuals to a higher awareness. This therapeutic use of music is now a tool for healthcare professionals. It is use in a wide range of fields, for instance, to facilitate development in infants (Whipple J. 2005), expand communication in autistic children (Farlow, P. 2009) and to accelerate different levels of affection in the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease (Hanser & Clair, 1995).

Music therapy has been in use in the healthcare field for many decades, but has gained more prominence in the last 30 years, especially in the field of geriatrics. Music therapists have used audio stimulation to improve the mental and physical health of seniors with dementia. Qualified therapists use music therapy to alleviate anxiety and stress, improve self-esteem, promote physical activities, assisting in connecting seniors with earlier life events and to maintain other physical and mental health (Koger, Chapin, Brotons, 1999). Music therapists design and implement programs to meet the needs of their clients. They use certain music selections to ascertain favorable expressions from the individual patient. Therapists continue to evaluate their client’s progress over time to determine effectiveness and may modify their approach to improve their outcome. Programs have proven beneficial when therapists involve their clients in the musical experience. Seniors may be asked to list their favorite songs to listen to, write and sing songs, play an instrument, dance or move to music and discuss their feelings with the therapist about their session. These therapy sessions are also modeled to promote memory and concentration (Prickett & Moore, 1991), improve social interaction (Prickett & Namazi, 1992), influence emotions (Tobloski & McKinnon-Howe, 1995), regulate pain (Wigram & Backer, 1999) and to provide a since of security for the individual client.

Studies have concluded that music therapy is an effective intervention in improving the recovery process in most seniors with a mental or physical condition or impairment. The therapeutic use of music by a trained professional assists the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Music has given seniors a more active role in maintaining a social relationship with others while inspiring their cognitive talents. Therefore, give life to a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. Give them Music!

Autism Music Therapy – How Music Truly Helps Autistic People

Music As A Therapy For Autism

Music is now a new method that is being used for autistic patients. If other methods have been tried in the past and there is not much response, instead of being discouraged, you would do well to try music as a method to treat the autistic patient. Many patients have been successfully treated as they have responded favorably to music – it has soothed their nerves and calmed them down. The main problem with autism is the lack of communication and difficulty in mingling socially. So, it is worth trying this new method of using music to get the patient to respond.

The main idea is to instill learning techniques, and there is no better way than using music to achieve this. The patient is not frightened of music and the brain responds in a positive manner. Also games can be played with music and an interaction with others can be achieved. In fact, musical instruments and singing can bring everyone together in a joyous mood and thus overcome a social milestone.

Music As Speech And Social Development Therapy

Musical therapy is a great way to help both younger and older autistic patients. It helps them in developing their speech, as music has a direct impact on the functions of the brain – both verbal and non-verbal. Part of the disorder of autistic patients is the inability to speak coherently. Different sounds emerge like grunting or sounds and cries and inaudible words that don?t make sense. There is no emotion in the attempt to communicate and it sounds monotonous. Therefore, music which could include humming or clapping, can ignite the patient and make him respond.

Autistic patients usually like music and respond favorably to it. It does not frighten them, but, on the other hand, provides a soothing effect. Some of them have a good pitch, and there are others who have an aptitude for musical instruments and if trained, can play well. Although they may not compare to regular standards, it is a known fact that their musical abilities surpass their other skills.

Music thus has a favorable effect on autistic patients – it helps with their speech and with their interaction with other individuals, thus developing communication and behavior, and most of all, it does wonders for their memory. All these different techniques when used by professionals in the field, can help autistic patients to a great degree, so if you have tried other options and have not been able to get the desired response, music is the way to go as a new and soothing method to treat an autistic patient.