Think about how often you play music. Maybe you listen to it in the car, on your way to work. Maybe you have a specific song that puts you right to sleep. Maybe you have a specific song that motivates you at the gym. Whatever it is, music can be extremely helpful and actually healing. This week on the blog, we will be talking about music therapy.
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According to the American Music Therapy Association the definition of music therapy is, “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Music therapy is used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of an individual. This type of therapy does not necessarily mean the patient will have to learn or play an instrument. The treatment can include: creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.
According to the University of New Hampshire Health and Wellness, “The purpose of a music therapy session is to express yourself through music by improvising and responding to the music in new ways, regardless of skill level.” Music can actually have many different positive effects on people. It can affect heart rate, breathing, promote the release of endorphins, relieve stress, and promote relaxation. Music therapy can be used for people of all ages for various different reasons. It has been shown to treat anxiety and depression. It is also widely used with those who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, specifically relating to memory loss. As stated above, music can be a stress reliever, which can be helpful for healthy individuals who need to relax.
One of the best parts about music therapy is that it is something that is all natural, and it has been proven to be effective. Even more so, music can be shared with family members and friends, ultimately bringing people together. Although music therapy is typically not recommended as a stand-alone treatment for those with serious mental or physical health problems, it can serve as a positive reinforcement-based treatment.
“Definition and Quotes About Music Therapy.” Musictherapy.org , American Music Therapy Association , www.musictherapy.org/about/quotes/.
“Music Therapy.” Health & Wellness, 23 Dec. 2015, www.unh.edu/health/ohep/complementaryalternative-health-practices/music-therapy.