Music Therapy and Medicine
Music therapy is a type of treatment that utilizes the healing power of music to assist individuals in dealing with emotional or physical difficulties. It often complements other treatments used for medical conditions, including mental health disorders, and can significantly improve patients’ quality of life.
At your session with your therapist, the two of you will collaborate to identify goals for therapy which may include using music to reduce stress, anxiety or depression. They may also encourage you to express yourself through music which can be especially helpful for those who struggle with verbal communication.
Music therapy is commonly divided into three types: improvisational, cognitive behavioral and community music therapy. Each approach employs different strategies to reach its objective but all share a common principle: using music and movement for therapeutic purposes.
Improvisation is a type of music therapy that involves patients playing instruments with the assistance of their therapist. Typically, one client plays an instrument such as cymbal or drum while the therapist provides accompaniment on another. For patients learning to express themselves through music, this can be both relaxing and rewarding experience.
Music therapy has proven to be highly therapeutic for patients, particularly those who have experienced loss or traumatic event. Studies have demonstrated that music can alleviate feelings of grief, stress and anxiety.
Music therapy has also been known to aid physical healing, such as relieving the pain associated with cancer or a stroke. According to a 1996 study, people who received music therapy after suffering a stroke reported less discomfort and faster recovery times.
Vibroacoustic therapy, an emerging form of music therapy, utilizes low-frequency sound vibrations to produce physical changes in the body. Studies are currently investigating whether this technique can alleviate symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and depression.
Music therapy is an noninvasive alternative medicine that may be combined with other therapies like exercise, diet and meditation to treat certain medical conditions. Studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of music therapy for many illnesses ranging from treating depression to improving children’s speech and motor skills.
One form of music therapy known as lyric analysis involves listening and understanding lyrics. This technique may be beneficial for patients who have difficulty expressing their thoughts and emotions through talk therapy, as well as those interested in exploring music from a culturally sensitive angle.
Some therapists incorporate visual imagery into their sessions, which can be very soothing for patients. Visual imagery makes the healing process more meaningful and helps patients focus on what they hope to achieve during the session.
Music therapists typically keep a variety of musical instruments for their patients to play during sessions. This may include guitars, pianos and drum sets as well as maracas, xylophones or flutes for rhythmic accompaniment.