Professor Yankee 11/19/12 Music Therapy Why do people use this type of therapy exactly? Well music has been used as medicine for thousands of years and there’s a growing field of health care known as music therapy, which uses music to heal. Those who practice music therapy find benefits in using it to help cancer patients, children with ADD, and others, and even hospitals are beginning to use music therapy to help with pain management, to help ward off depression, to promote movement, to calm patients, to improve communication, to ease muscle tension, and for many other benefits that music and music therapy can bring.
A lot of people don’t understand what kind of therapy this is, people have different assumptions about it but it is a real profession that takes a bachelor music degree. Music therapists work with a variety of physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. It is often used in cancer treatment to help reduce pain, anxiety, and nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Some people believe music therapy may be beneficial to the health care of children with cancer by promoting social interaction and cooperation. There is evidence that music therapy can reduce high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, depression, and sleeplessness. There are no claims music therapy can cure cancer or other diseases, but medical experts do believe it can reduce some symptoms, aid healing, improve physical movement, and enrich a patient’s quality of life. Ancient Greek philosophers believed music could heal both body and mind, Native Americans used singing and chants to heal millennia.
More formal approaches begin in World War two when hospitals started using music to help soldiers with shell shock.
In 1944, Michigan State University established the first music therapy degree program in the world. Music therapists design music sessions for individuals and groups based on their needs and tastes. Some aspects of music therapy include making music, listening to music, writing songs, and talking about lyrics. Music therapy may also involve imagery and learning through music. It can be done in different places such as hospitals, cancer centers, at home, or anywhere people can benefit from its calming or stimulating effects. The patient does ot need to have any musical ability to benefit from music therapy. Most peoples reaction to music is a burst of energy upon hearing an upbeat song or a sense of calm during a soothing classical piece. Music therapy uses this connection between music and mood. It has also been shown to lower amounts of the hormone cortisol, which becomes elevated under stress, and to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. Researchers have found that music therapy, when used with anti-nausea drugs for patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy, can help ease nausea and vomiting. A number of clinical trials have shown the benefit of music therapy for short-term pain, including pain from cancer. Music therapy works by stimulating parts of the brain that are associated with music in a person with Alzheimer’s disease, the section of the brain that allows direct recall of memories is damaged. Musical memories, however, are associated not only with the music itself but also with the circumstances surrounding the musical experience. Listening to music can indirectly stimulate the recall of memory fragments that otherwise could not be retrieved. The ability to retrieve some memories can be comforting to people with dementia. In a different manner, music therapy can assist those with Parkinson’s disease. In a person with Parkinson’s, the part of the brain that organizes thoughts and movements into action is damaged. Music with a strong, rhythmic beat can stimulate motor control, movement and coordination. Studies show that gait training that uses music improves walking speed and coordination for people with Parkinson’s. In general, music therapy done under the care of a professionally trained therapist has a helpful effect and is considered safe when used with standard treatment. Musical intervention by untrained people can be ineffective or can even cause increased stress and discomfort. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences. Besides that there are no real risks or dangers to using music to heal. But how far can music heal you? There was a study that examined 200-300 patients with diabetes participants in a three year study starting this April. Although we do know that music can help vasculature, mental states and mood, there is little to no evidence to suggest that music therapy will help the outcome of diabetes. Perhaps there will be some miraculous benefit for patients suffering from diabetes to engage in extreme music therapy, however previous research indicates that it is not the music itself that determines the benefits, but the emotional responses to the music that is the key. Even though there is little evidence to support that music will help diabetes. Scientific studies have shown the value of music therapy on the body, mind, and spirit of children and adults. Researchers have found that music therapy, when used with anti-nausea drugs for patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy, can help ease nausea and vomiting. A number of clinical trials have shown the benefit of music therapy for short-term pain, including pain from cancer. Some studies have suggested that music may help decrease the overall intensity of the patient’s experience of pain when used with pain-relieving drugs. Music therapy can also result in a decreased need for pain medicine in some patients, although studies on this topic have shown mixed results. Studies have shown that students who take music lessons have improved IQ levels, and show improvement in nonmusical abilities as well. Other studies have shown that listening to music composed by Mozart produces a short-term improvement in tasks that use spatial abilities. Studies of brain circulation have shown that people listening to Mozart have more activity in certain areas of the brain. This has been called the “Mozart effect. ” Although the reasons for this effect are not completely clear, this kind of information supports the idea that music can be used in many helpful ways. What can be improved? Verbal & nonverbal communication, Gross and fine motor movement,Range of motion, Relaxation techniques, Anger management skills, Expression of emotion, Sensory integration, Academic skills, and Leisure skills. We use music to make your life better. Whether you need help socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally, or developmentally, music can help you get better and music therapists trained on how to do that. What’s more interesting, though, is why it works. When used properly, music can be an incredibly powerful treatment tool. And not just because it’s fun, relaxing, and motivating, but because music has a profound impact on our brains and our bodies. First off music is the core function of our brains, we have physiologic responses to music,Our brain is primed early on to respond to and process music. Every time your breathing quickens, your heart-rate increases, or you feel a shiver down your spine, that’s your body responding physiologically to music. Qualified music therapists can use this to help stimulate a person in a coma or use music to effectively help someone relax. Music often has a predictable steady beat, organized phrases, and a structured form. Most country/folk/pop/rock songs, they’re often organized with a verse-chorus structure. They’re organized in a way that we like and enjoy listening to over and over again. Even sound waves that make up a single tone or an entire chord are organized in mathematical ratios–and our brains really like this predictability and structure. Music is in our everyday lives, we hear it in the store, at school, church, music is part of our thoughts, how we speak, even when there’s none around we can still it in our heads. With all these benefits that music can carry, it’s no surprise that music therapy is growing in popularity. Many hospitals are using music therapists for pain management and other uses. Music therapists help with several other issues as well, including stress. While music therapy is an important discipline, you can also achieve many benefits from music on your own. Music can be used in daily life for relaxation, to gain energy when feeling drained, for catharsis when dealing with emotional stress, and in other ways as well. Music therapy has been proven to be an effective form of therapy in a variety of areas for a multitude of ailments. However, there is still much more theorizing, discussion, and research that needs to be done in this area, and that fact makes it all the more interesting. Through technological advances and constantly evolving musical styles as well as cross-cultural influences, this is one form of therapy that will never cease to be innovative and topical. Hopefully, researchers will continue to treat this topic as a serious area of psychology and one that deserves to be molded into a more scientific pedagogy through advancement and refinement of research and therapeutic techniques. I believe there is much more to be discovered about music and its effect on humanity.