Music Therapy

Reviewed May 15, 2017

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Summary

Music therapy is the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

You can’t sleep at night, so you play your favorite classical recording and soon drift off. You’re feeling blue, so you sing along to an uplifting ballad. You’re in the hospital, and find that listening to familiar music is relaxing and comforting. Guess what? You’re enjoying the benefits of music therapy—without even knowing it. According to the American Association of Music Therapists, music therapy is defined as the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

There are now more than 5,000 licensed music therapists in North America who successfully alleviate pain, lift depression, and improve the quality of lives. Doctors and hospitals are becoming aware of the benefits of music therapy and are incorporating it into traditional treatment programs. Everyone can benefit from music therapy in some way—children, adults, senior citizens, people with learning disabilities, substance use disorders or health concerns, and even women in labor. So, what can music therapy do for you?

Pick up the beat

If you have severe or ongoing depression, see a physician or licensed therapist, but if you’re just a bit low-spirited, try closing your eyes and listening to a song that you associate with feeling great. Don’t worry about picking the “right” kind of music: Some people may find classical music uplifting. Others may prefer gospel or a Sinatra tune.

Think about what type of music has a positive effect on your mood, then make an effort to incorporate it into your daily routine. Stanford University researchers conducted a study on seniors and found that music therapy (monitored by a professional music therapist) alleviated symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you have a friend or relative who is homebound, you may want to suggest music therapy as a mood-lifting option.

Concentrate

Listening to music also may help improve your concentration. Try playing something relaxing—and not too distracting—when performing a task that requires extra mental energy. With a focused mind in a relaxed body, you may find balancing your checkbook, calculating your income tax, or finishing that report much easier.

Nod off

Can’t sleep? If you’re having difficulty nodding off, listen to soothing music in the evenings. Studies show that many people get a better night’s rest after hearing classical or New Age recordings.

Make your own music

Listening to music often reduces stress, but so does making music. When you were a child, did you quit after a year or 2 of piano lessons (and always regretted it)? This is the perfect time to start those lessons again. If you’re not interested in formal instruction, you still can alleviate tension by making a little music around the house: Singing in the shower always is a great stress reliever.

Reduce pain

Research is being done on the power of music to reduce pain and promote physical health. A study by the National Institute of Nursing Research found that relaxation exercises combined with music therapy significantly reduced pain after major abdominal surgery. As reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, babies who listened to lullabies while in the intensive care unit at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital tended to leave the hospital sooner. Women in labor may be less conscious of pain if distracted by a favorite recording.

By reducing stress, decreasing blood pressure, and regulating breathing, music therapy is a valuable option for anyone with a health concern. You may want to consult with a licensed music therapist to create a treatment program that’s right for you.

We can all benefit from the healing power of music. Whether you’re listening or creating, make music a part of your daily life, and find out what it can do for you.

Resource

American Music Therapy Organization
www.musictherapy.org

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: American Music Therapy Organization, www.musictherapy.org; Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com

Summary

Music therapy is the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

You can’t sleep at night, so you play your favorite classical recording and soon drift off. You’re feeling blue, so you sing along to an uplifting ballad. You’re in the hospital, and find that listening to familiar music is relaxing and comforting. Guess what? You’re enjoying the benefits of music therapy—without even knowing it. According to the American Association of Music Therapists, music therapy is defined as the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

There are now more than 5,000 licensed music therapists in North America who successfully alleviate pain, lift depression, and improve the quality of lives. Doctors and hospitals are becoming aware of the benefits of music therapy and are incorporating it into traditional treatment programs. Everyone can benefit from music therapy in some way—children, adults, senior citizens, people with learning disabilities, substance use disorders or health concerns, and even women in labor. So, what can music therapy do for you?

Pick up the beat

If you have severe or ongoing depression, see a physician or licensed therapist, but if you’re just a bit low-spirited, try closing your eyes and listening to a song that you associate with feeling great. Don’t worry about picking the “right” kind of music: Some people may find classical music uplifting. Others may prefer gospel or a Sinatra tune.

Think about what type of music has a positive effect on your mood, then make an effort to incorporate it into your daily routine. Stanford University researchers conducted a study on seniors and found that music therapy (monitored by a professional music therapist) alleviated symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you have a friend or relative who is homebound, you may want to suggest music therapy as a mood-lifting option.

Concentrate

Listening to music also may help improve your concentration. Try playing something relaxing—and not too distracting—when performing a task that requires extra mental energy. With a focused mind in a relaxed body, you may find balancing your checkbook, calculating your income tax, or finishing that report much easier.

Nod off

Can’t sleep? If you’re having difficulty nodding off, listen to soothing music in the evenings. Studies show that many people get a better night’s rest after hearing classical or New Age recordings.

Make your own music

Listening to music often reduces stress, but so does making music. When you were a child, did you quit after a year or 2 of piano lessons (and always regretted it)? This is the perfect time to start those lessons again. If you’re not interested in formal instruction, you still can alleviate tension by making a little music around the house: Singing in the shower always is a great stress reliever.

Reduce pain

Research is being done on the power of music to reduce pain and promote physical health. A study by the National Institute of Nursing Research found that relaxation exercises combined with music therapy significantly reduced pain after major abdominal surgery. As reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, babies who listened to lullabies while in the intensive care unit at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital tended to leave the hospital sooner. Women in labor may be less conscious of pain if distracted by a favorite recording.

By reducing stress, decreasing blood pressure, and regulating breathing, music therapy is a valuable option for anyone with a health concern. You may want to consult with a licensed music therapist to create a treatment program that’s right for you.

We can all benefit from the healing power of music. Whether you’re listening or creating, make music a part of your daily life, and find out what it can do for you.

Resource

American Music Therapy Organization
www.musictherapy.org

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: American Music Therapy Organization, www.musictherapy.org; Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com

Summary

Music therapy is the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

You can’t sleep at night, so you play your favorite classical recording and soon drift off. You’re feeling blue, so you sing along to an uplifting ballad. You’re in the hospital, and find that listening to familiar music is relaxing and comforting. Guess what? You’re enjoying the benefits of music therapy—without even knowing it. According to the American Association of Music Therapists, music therapy is defined as the prescribed use of music to improve physical or psychological well-being.

There are now more than 5,000 licensed music therapists in North America who successfully alleviate pain, lift depression, and improve the quality of lives. Doctors and hospitals are becoming aware of the benefits of music therapy and are incorporating it into traditional treatment programs. Everyone can benefit from music therapy in some way—children, adults, senior citizens, people with learning disabilities, substance use disorders or health concerns, and even women in labor. So, what can music therapy do for you?

Pick up the beat

If you have severe or ongoing depression, see a physician or licensed therapist, but if you’re just a bit low-spirited, try closing your eyes and listening to a song that you associate with feeling great. Don’t worry about picking the “right” kind of music: Some people may find classical music uplifting. Others may prefer gospel or a Sinatra tune.

Think about what type of music has a positive effect on your mood, then make an effort to incorporate it into your daily routine. Stanford University researchers conducted a study on seniors and found that music therapy (monitored by a professional music therapist) alleviated symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you have a friend or relative who is homebound, you may want to suggest music therapy as a mood-lifting option.

Concentrate

Listening to music also may help improve your concentration. Try playing something relaxing—and not too distracting—when performing a task that requires extra mental energy. With a focused mind in a relaxed body, you may find balancing your checkbook, calculating your income tax, or finishing that report much easier.

Nod off

Can’t sleep? If you’re having difficulty nodding off, listen to soothing music in the evenings. Studies show that many people get a better night’s rest after hearing classical or New Age recordings.

Make your own music

Listening to music often reduces stress, but so does making music. When you were a child, did you quit after a year or 2 of piano lessons (and always regretted it)? This is the perfect time to start those lessons again. If you’re not interested in formal instruction, you still can alleviate tension by making a little music around the house: Singing in the shower always is a great stress reliever.

Reduce pain

Research is being done on the power of music to reduce pain and promote physical health. A study by the National Institute of Nursing Research found that relaxation exercises combined with music therapy significantly reduced pain after major abdominal surgery. As reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, babies who listened to lullabies while in the intensive care unit at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital tended to leave the hospital sooner. Women in labor may be less conscious of pain if distracted by a favorite recording.

By reducing stress, decreasing blood pressure, and regulating breathing, music therapy is a valuable option for anyone with a health concern. You may want to consult with a licensed music therapist to create a treatment program that’s right for you.

We can all benefit from the healing power of music. Whether you’re listening or creating, make music a part of your daily life, and find out what it can do for you.

Resource

American Music Therapy Organization
www.musictherapy.org

By Lauren Greenwood
Source: American Music Therapy Organization, www.musictherapy.org; Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com

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