As we all know, music is there to help us deal with difficult feelings that we probably cannot express ourselves. It also helps us connect with other people. Because of the medium’s incredible health benefits, it is now a part of rehabilitation programmes around the world.
Music therapy, or active music therapy, improves both emotional function and motor control in patients with different diseases and disabilities. It is recommended for patients with depression and anxiety as well as those suffering from schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Music ignites their creativity and improves communication between the patients and their doctors or nurses.
Music therapy professionals say that one session can improve patients’ whole world without resorting to mind-altering drugs.
Music Therapy: What Is It?
Music therapy occurs between a therapist and a patient in a one-on-one session or a group session. There are two branches: active and passive. Active music theory involves interaction between the patient and their therapist, while passive music therapy is when the patient is only at rest while listening to the therapist.
In passive music therapy, the therapist plays calming music. While the music is playing, the patient visualizes images and reflects on their feelings, sensations or inner dialogue. In active music therapy, the patients and the therapist work together.
The instruments in music therapy must involve the sensory organs of the patient, which are the patient’s sense of sight, touch or hearing. In both active and passive music therapy, the melodic and rhythmic components are used to stimulate and uncover the emotions of the patients.
Does Music Really Affect the Brain and the Body?
We sometimes wonder, how can music be capable of relieving our stress? And what are the benefits of music therapy? Research and studies suggest that there are ways in which music therapy can help us feel better. The first is self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is when we are satisfied with what we have and happy with who we are. The second is self-awareness. Self-awareness is when we know our own self, our feelings and desires, and we have the ability to express ourselves. Music therapy can also help with our speech stimulation and motor integration, as well as our ability to communicate and build relationships with other people.
There are studies that say music has healing abilities. When we manipulate light and sound, it can help speed up recovery in a patient.
The Health Benefits of Music Therapy
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of music therapy:
- Music therapy can help patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. According to studies, music therapy improves the cognitive functions of patients suffering from these diseases, helping them cope with their symptoms and offering stimulation for their senses.
- Music therapy can improve healing in patients by reducing their anxiety prior to tests. According to some studies, music therapy lowers anxiety in patients and relaxes them after surgery. Music can change stress hormone levels, which is important for the neurological and immune functions related to healing.
- Music therapy can improve self-expression and communication in the patients. For patients with physical handicaps, music therapy can help them experience the flow while they listen to music.
- Music therapy can reduce anxiety and the physical effects of stress in the body. According to one article, music has physiological effects on the autonomic nervous system. It has the ability to make the motors and emotions respond.
In addition, music therapy can also be used to help cognitively or physically impaired patients. When the therapist plays music, the stimulation of the tactile and auditory impulses help the mind to relax. This can also help patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder or social anxiety.
Music therapy is best combined with physical exercise, speech therapy and psychological counseling.
- Music therapy can reduce depression. The therapy helps patients to improve their intellectual, social, cognitive and psychological performance. For geriatric patients, depression, boredom, anxiety or fatigue are the most common symptoms they experience. Active music therapy and passive music therapy can improve the mood and provide comfort for patients. The benefits of music therapy sessions show positive effects on patients.
- Music therapy can reduce the symptoms of psychological disorders. According to one study, group music therapy is effective for improving the psychiatric symptoms or interpersonal relationships of the patients.
Find Your Music Therapist
Attending music therapy with a certified music therapist is different to just listening to music on your own. Professional sessions allow the patients to experience a more personalized therapy that aims to achieve emotional well-being, social functioning, physical health, communication abilities or cognitive skills through musical responses.