Music Therapy Research Articles
Music therapy is an evidence-based treatment approach that can enhance quality of life. It has applications in treating conditions such as anxiety and depression, cancer, PTSD and dementia – even for kids and teenagers!
Research into the efficacy of music therapy for mental health disorders is growing. Studies have demonstrated that it can have a beneficial effect on symptoms and quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, or schizophrenia. Furthermore, music therapy may increase self-esteem and facilitate communication for people with cognitive impairment.
Psychologically, music can activate limbic and paralimbic structures such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens that are responsible for emotion processing, motivation, and mood regulation (Koenig et al., 2006). It may stimulate dopamine production – a neurotransmitter which plays an important role in controlling emotions and behaviors – which in turn may influence impulsive or aggressive behaviors by stimulating reward centers of the brain.
There is growing evidence that music can help reduce pain. This is particularly true for those living with chronic illness or undergoing treatments that involve discomfort.
A recent study reveals that people with Parkinson’s disease experienced lower levels of inflammation after participating in music therapy sessions. This is an encouraging finding, as chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to various diseases.
Inflammation is a leading cause of pain and can worsen with age, leading to decreased quality of life for patients. That’s why doctors often suggest music therapy as an effective tool in fighting inflammation.
Researchers have discovered that music therapy has the potential to reduce inflammation, help patients cope with pain and stress, lead to improvements in physical and emotional wellbeing and even boost immunity levels.
Music can also help us feel more connected to others, encouraging us to form relationships and trust with those around us. This can be especially beneficial for those suffering from social anxiety – a leading cause of depression.
Other advantages of music include its calming effect, increased energy and vitality, as well as its capacity for improving sleep and focus. It can also aid in stimulating creativity and honing interpersonal skills and communication.
Music can be an effective treatment option for children and teens suffering from anxiety, depression, or traumatic brain injury. According to research published in Pediatrics, it can reduce the need for antidepressants while increasing self-esteem immediately. Furthermore, research suggests that it has a lasting impact on self-worth and social skills over time.