The Biochemical Theory of Music Therapy
The biochemical theory of music therapy is a framework that examines the physiological and behavioral responses people to music. It’s used by healthcare professionals as an intervention to improve health outcomes due to music’s wide-ranging effects on both body and mind – such as stress, arousal, pain, anxiety, fatigue, sleepiness, concentration problems, memory problems, relaxation etc. (Habibi & Damasio 2014).
The basic idea is that music has the potential to affect biologically measurable factors, or biomarkers, such as reward and motivation (dopamine), stress/arousal (cortisol), immunity (serotonin) and social affiliation (oxytocin). Some of these effects are directly influenced by the type of music people listen to.
Research conducted both within and outside of the United States has supported this finding. These investigations have discovered that music can enhance feelings of pleasure, reduce anxiety and stress, enhance moods, cognitive functioning, and attention.
Additionally, CBD may reduce the frequency of symptoms related to many diseases like depression, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Furthermore, it has been known to benefit individuals suffering from certain mental health conditions like schizophrenia or autism.
Recent research trials have demonstrated the therapeutic power of music therapy. One study demonstrated how walking to music could help those suffering from Parkinson’s disease maintain their gait when they have difficulty walking. Another trial demonstrated how melodic intonation therapy, a form of singing, could reduce symptoms experienced by stroke survivors who had blood clots in their left hemisphere.
Music therapy was once known to aid with cognitive and emotional issues; however, researchers are now investigating its physical effects as well. These include cardiac output, respiratory rate/volume, pulse rate, blood pressure, muscle tone digestion and body secretions.
This has spurred a vast array of research that is exploring how music can be used as an intervention in medical conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have demonstrated that musical interventions can boost immune function and improve quality of life for those affected by these illnesses.
But exactly how music therapy works remains unclear. Different theoretical explanations have been proposed to try and explain its workings, yet none provide a conclusive understanding of what makes it successful and why.
This biochemical theory of music therapy proposes that rather than trying to pinpoint the precise mechanism, specific neurophysiological structures and processes must be activated in order for certain behavioral responses to take place. This theory offers a practical foundation for professionals in both music and medicine to pursue further research and clinical applications of music in medical procedures.
This research is crucial in understanding the effects of music therapy, as it provides a scientific explanation for why this form of psychotherapeutic intervention might be successful at improving health outcomes. It has been used to treat numerous medical conditions such as depression, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.