Music Therapy is a non pharmacological therapy that complements analgesics. Music therapy is recognised as a health profession. It uses simple to special frequency music or tonal sounds-related features, such as the pitch of the sound, sound dynamics, envelope of sound, amplitude of sound etc. This is to improve the health status of the patient.
Furthermore, as the sound facets, it includes other aspects or sound characteristics too, like spiritual, mental, physical, social and emotional ones.
- Music therapy is not just a scientific theory of neuroscience, it’s more of an art beyond the words
- Music, when used as a resource for action, seems to work as a converter of problems into solutions. It provides relaxation, pleasure and happiness to the patient.
- Music therapy can only be practised by experts
Music Therapy and Health
The choice of music and the listening chemistry varies from one person to another. People regularly listen to songs and music sounds multiple times, or even relish them to use them as their ring bell tones, mobile phone tones or even alarm tocsins.
It seems like our bodies have music needs and connections to satisfy special internal requirements. Music is ubiquitous, emotional, engaging, distracting, and physical. Therefore, it is not surprising that it has importance and broad uses in the healthcare sector.
- Considering the above mentioned attributes of musical sounds, music has the ability to help our mental and social wellbeing, which makes us healthier.
- Every person can activate intrinsic physiological resources, which directly touches the characteristics of sound facet
Music Therapy types
- Receptive music therapy: This type of music therapy is selected by the therapist in listening to live or recorded music. This type could improve the quality of life such as decreased pain and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance relaxation.
- Active music therapy: This type of music involves engaging people either through singing or playing a musical instrument. For example, in Japan, a number of nursing homes guided by a therapist to teach elderly people how to use musical instruments. Participants are divided into different groups and each session lasts for 40 minutes. This method has improved participants’ memory capacity, brain function and by accomplishing their role in the music therapy session their confidence has also improved remarkably.
The Study of Music Therapy and Behavior
Let us refresh our memory for a second. Let’s get back to earlier on in the 20th century. The American psychologist John Watson used laboratory experiments to establish the relationship between behavior and music. Therefore, the study of music and behavior is quite broad and requires an understanding of its main characteristics. Some of those characteristics are:
- The therapist has a vital role in diagnosing the behavior in interest and therefore the use of music in the most effective way that can influence changes in that behavior.
- Each case is quite different and therefore, an assessment of the music treatment plan should be conducted. Changes in the behavior would be tracked based upon principles and remedial programs agreed on with the patient.
Can Music Be Used in Cancer?
Music can help cancer patients to mitigate the sufferings involved with it such as fear and pain. It can also help with other related side effects like depression and sometimes even isolation. However, as music therapy is very dependent on the music taste of the patient, the most effective way is to gain an understanding their musical preferences.
There are three stages of music therapy:
- Contact: The first stage is establishing contact with the patient to create a safe working environment.
- Awareness: Here in this stage, the music therapist guides the patient into having an awareness of their own feelings and needs and the desired outcomes.
- Resolution: music applied would help patients to let go of any of their processing issues, feelings, and thoughts. Having said that, they usually experience re-connection with themselves.
Music therapy could be used to supporting cancer care for patients at various stages. It can also be used to promote wellness, relaxation, and quality of life by offering a planning program for an individual or a supporting group. A number of studies described the introduction of music therapy of relieving symptoms such as anxiety, pain, and emotional and physical well-being. For example, a program called “Music And Movement Therapy” based on the music movement that helps women after breast surgery. Movement with music whether it is rhythmical or spontaneously has helped participants such as boosting their energy, bring them out from their loneliness, and gained their feminism back.
An experiment was conducted in a hospital setting to investigate the level of quality of life, pain, depression with patients with cancer. One family member was at least present in a music therapy session when it’s received. Some participants showed a remarkable result such as bringing family all together when playing songs to their families, whereas some others helped them to get through the day when reading over the music lyrics. The result of the above experiment supported the benefit of using music therapy with cancer patients as it helped them to discuss how they feel and what they are going through whether it was positive or negative experience.
Musical Therapy for Anesthesia
There are a few factors that can make the application of Anesthesia quite difficult. These might include a high heart rate or a high blood pressure.
An investigation into the impact of using music therapy on anxiety in different clinical settings was carried on. It was found that patients who used music therapy expressed were more relaxed and had reduced heart rates.
Furthermore, listening to music before Anesthesia was psychologically and physically beneficial to the patients. Patients relieved their stress, relaxed better without the use of medication. Listening to music did also decrease their level of anxiety. If not reduced, anxiety could cause negative effects on the course of patients’ wellbeing.
Some Music Therapy Programs
There are benefits of using music therapy in a program to enhance the relationship between therapist and patients. Here are a few examples of programs:
- Music therapy schools and hospitals
- Music therapy for autism
- Music therapy for depression
- Music therapy for dementia
- Music therapy for Alzheimer’s
- Music therapy for Parkinson
Music Therapy for Kids And Adults
Music therapy is not exclusive to adults only. In fact, kids and babies alike can benefit from it. Children aged between 4 and 11 who listened to music while they were getting their intravenous therapy inserted reported less pain. They were also more relaxed compared to patients who did not listen to music. In addition, the above study has also mentioned the importance of music on babies and infants for their sleeping and eating patterns.
Furthermore, adults in palliative care can use music therapy as well. Patients took part in activities such as playing an instrument, singing and songwriting. such activities led them to feel more relaxed and happier.
What I can Learn From This Information?
- Music therapy helps in stress relief and induces relaxation into our bodies. It is widely used in health and wellbeing and in clinical settings.
- Music therapy, when guided by a professional, can be used on patients with cancer. Furthermore, it can be used in cases such as mental illness and Anesthesia.
- Music can be viewed as a dynamic resource that has positive effects on our health and wellbeing.