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Music Therapy and Mood

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 4 Jan 2016 | comments*Discuss
Music Therapy Mood Depression Blood

Music therapy consists of the use of music, in a therapeutic setting, to promote healing, relaxation, and create a general sense of health and well-being. Music therapists work in a variety of settings, including psychiatric, medical, educational, gerontological and wellness.. Music therapists work with all age groups, including very small children and elderly people.

How Music Therapy Works

Music produces a very strong emotional response in most people. Music can energize you or give you a sense of soothing calm, depending on the style of music. Studies have even shown that music can affect not only moods, but also your heart rate, respiration and blood pressure levels.

Music therapists often use music as a form of communication. In this sense, music is almost a form of language, communicating through its beat, melody, and rhythm. Music therapy has been used in this sense to help physically and mentally disabled people to express themselves. It has also been used to help autistic and schizophrenic patients express themselves more readily.

The Benefits of Music Therapy

  • Music therapy can distract you from negative thoughts, feeling and experiences.
  • It has been shown to be effective for helping people manage pain.
  • It can reduce stress levels.
  • It can help people sleep better.
  • It can improve motor skills.
  • It can help people express their emotions.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It relieves depression and anxiety.
  • It can help children who have suffered from abuse
  • It can improve memory
  • It can improve concentration

Research in Music Therapy

Multiple studies have revealed that music students have higher IQ levels and they also show better skills at non-musical activities. Another study has shown that listening to Mozart in particular, improves spatial abilities over the short term.Several studies on elderly hospice patients revealed that not only can music therapy improve feelings of comfort and general relaxation; it can also improve well-being and quality of life, particularly in cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Other research has revealed a reduction in blood pressure, respiration rate, insomnia, depression, heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety with music therapy. Researchers are not really sure how exactly music effects well being though there is some indication that music does affect brain waves and hormones.

One of the main factors that makes music therapy accessible to anyone is that clients undergoing the treatment need no musical ability whatsoever. There is no particular type of music that is more beneficial therapeutically than any other. It is really a matter of the qualified therapist and the client working together to create an individualised therapeutic programme that will meet the client's specific needs. Of course, you don't have to be unhealthy to benefit from music therapy. You can use music therapy on a daily basis to relieve the tensions of day to day life.

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