How Does Music Therapy Affect the Brain?
Music therapy is a rapidly-evolving field that uses musical experiences to assist people in recovering from various conditions. It helps people improve their wellbeing, boost confidence and communication abilities, as well as build awareness and focus. Studies suggest music therapy may also relieve pain and anxiety, boost self-esteem, and enhance physical functioning.
Music is widely considered to be effective because it stimulates key areas of the brain. Studies have demonstrated that music can improve how someone feels and responds to certain events or situations, which may help alleviate symptoms related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological disorders.
Music therapy encompasses singing, listening to relaxing music, playing instruments and improvisation. Improvisation allows clients to craft their own songs or tunes based on their interests and needs; it’s an integral part of the process as it allows them to express themselves and connect with their feelings, according to Krings.
Stewart emphasizes the importance of speaking up if you experience any difficulty with your therapist. Seek out a professional who specializes in your condition and can guide you toward finding the appropriate type of therapy for you.
It’s essential to be aware of your history, particularly if you have suffered a past trauma or are currently dealing with depression or PTSD. Some people respond negatively when music brings back unpleasant memories or sensations; so it’s best to discuss this with your therapist beforehand.
Selecting the ideal music is essential for a successful music therapy session. Select music that you enjoy and has a message that resonates with you; this will help you focus on the process and maximize your enjoyment of the experience.
Another reason music can be effective in treating mental health issues is that it allows patients to express themselves through their own voices and emotions. This helps them heal from past events and feel more at ease discussing difficult topics with their therapist.
A recent study has demonstrated that music therapy may aid in treating autism and other brain disorders by increasing activity in certain regions of the brain. Results revealed that music therapy increased alpha waves, a form of brain activity linked to relaxation and comfort.
A team from Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom conducted a study that utilized hyperscanning, which is an imaging technique that allows two people to be scanned simultaneously, to examine the brain activity of both music therapists and their clients during one session.
Researchers observed that the brain activity of a music therapist was in sync with her client’s, suggesting that music therapy helped build and nurture the relationship between them.
Research has repeatedly demonstrated the beneficial effects of music therapy, but researchers remain curious to uncover its exact mechanism. With their new discoveries, researchers hope to further enhance music therapy’s potential for treating various illnesses and conditions.