Mar - Apr 2011

Music Therapy

By Pamela Shenk, CHt

How many of you have heard of music therapy?

According to the American Music Therapy Association 2005, Music Therapy is a 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.

 

Do you ever hear a song on the radio that brings back wonderful memories and you just feel good all over. Then there are times you may be sitting at a traffic light and someone pulls up next to you and their radio is so loud and the base is thumping and you can’t wait for the light to turn green.  Either way, you have a physical reaction to both types of music. I know, the one you may not even consider being called music, but everything is perception.

 

Well, according to Wikipedia, Music Therapy  is both an allied health profession and a field of scientific research which studies correlations between the process of clinical therapy and biomusicology, musical acoustics, music theory, psychoacoustics and comparative musicology. It is an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health.

 

Music is used in hospitals to alleviate pain, assist with a patient’s mood and to counteract depression.  It can be used to promote calm, induce sleep.  It can also be used to help people get moving.  Music is also used for intellectual stimulation.

 

Some music may reduce heart and respiratory rate, as well as blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease, according to a 2009 Cochrane review of 23 clinical trials.

 

Many doctors’ offices play classical music in their waiting room as well in the office area.  It has been found that people can work longer with less stress when classical music is being played.  I know that when I’m doing my paper work, music is always playing.  It helps me to stay calm and focused.  When I’m working with one of my clients, usually I don’t have the music on because often what one person loves, another may not.

 

If you check out Amazon.com, they have a series of CD’s called the Mozart Effect.  You will find them for unlocking the creative spirit, strengthening the mind, healing the body, and for focus and clarity.

 

Experiment in your own life.  See what kind of music calms you, makes you tense, allows you to work longer, and what helps with focus and concentration.  Often we get so consumed with our life, that we forget that we do have tools to assist with making life just a little easier.

 

Remember…Live, Laugh and Love