Have you ever felt the power of a good song? The way it can lift your mood, ease your anxiety, and transport you to another world?
What if I told you that music could do even more than that? What if I told you that music therapy has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach healthcare?
I’m lucky enough to be on both the creating and receiving sides of music – even luckier to be able to make music as a career to help people get better as a music therapist. I see many interesting effects music has on people across all populations and diagnoses every day. I can’t help but imagine a world where music therapy rules and becomes a household name…
As we continue to learn more about the power of music, it becomes increasingly clear that music therapy has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach healthcare. From improving mental health to aiding in physical recovery, the benefits of music therapy are vast and varied.
Current Evidence on the Benefits of Music Therapy ☘️
Music therapy has been used in a variety of healthcare settings, from hospitals, disability facilities, schools to nursing homes. It’s been shown to be particularly effective in helping patients with conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, where it can help improve cognitive function and motor skills.
Physical Rehabilitation 💪🏻
Research has shown that music therapy can be beneficial for physical rehabilitation. For instance, studies have demonstrated that music therapy can improve motor skills, mobility and coordination in patients recovering from strokes or other injuries. Additionally, music therapy has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients undergoing treatment.
From my experience working in a hospital that focuses on rehabilitation from Parkinson’s disease and brain injury, I see first hand how music therapy (as part of the multi-disciplinary team) help patients with their gait, balance, speech clarity, following multi-step sequences and more. As a Neurologic Music Therapist, I use the metronome a lot to help patients with their physical rehabilitation. Whether they are working to regain physical abilities after an injury or dealing with the challenges of a chronic illness, music therapy may be a helpful tool in their rehabilitation journey.
Speech and Communication 🗣
By stimulating various parts of the brain, music therapy can help patients regain control over their speech and language abilities. Common interventions include therapeutic singing (TS), breathing exercises (e.g. Oral Motor and Respiratory Exercises, or OMREX) and Rhythmic Speech Cueing (RSC). This can lead to improved communication with loved ones and caregivers, as well as a greater sense of independence and self-esteem. So, not only can music therapy be enjoyable and relaxing, but it can also have a significant impact on our ability to communicate and connect with others.
Mental Health 💛
Studies have shown that listening to music can activate the brain’s reward centre, leading to increased feelings of pleasure (through releasing endorphins and dopamine) and even pain relief. However, music therapy isn’t just about listening to music. I particularly like using the non-verbal elements of music for self-expression: humming, improvisation, music and imagery etc. This works well for people who struggle to find words to describe their feelings (which we all do from time to time). Self-expression is the basis for emotion regulation. In fact, music has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression in patients with a range of mental health conditions.
Cognitive Functions 🧠
Research has shown that music therapy can improve cognitive functions such as memory, impulse control, and attention span. For example, a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy found that patients with traumatic brain injuries who received music therapy showed significant improvements in their attention and memory compared to those who did not receive therapy. Another study found that music therapy can help improve impulse control in children with ADHD. These findings suggest that music therapy has the potential to be a valuable tool in improving cognitive function and overall well-being.
Basically, music therapy has tremendous effects on our body and mind. It has so much potential for any population to approach healthcare in creative ways, not to mention how universal music is.
The Future of Music Therapy 🌟
In fact, there are a number of possible applications for music therapy that we have yet to fully explore. For example, recent studies have suggested that music therapy may be a promising treatment for conditions like schizophrenia and autism, which can be difficult to manage with traditional medications. Music therapy can even be used in prisons, rehabilitation centres and workplaces.
Given the non-invasive and often enjoyable nature of music, music therapy can be used in conjunction with other therapies or as a standalone treatment. As more people become aware of its benefits and more healthcare providers begin to integrate it into their practices, we may see it becoming a more widely accepted and utilised form of therapy.
Overall, the future of music therapy looks promising, with the potential for it to become a widely accepted and covered form of treatment for a wide range of physical and mental health issues. The possibilities are endless, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for this exciting field.
Will Music Therapy Rule the World? 🌍
So, will music therapy rule the world? It’s hard to say for sure, but there’s no doubt that this field has the potential to make a significant impact on the way we approach healthcare. Whether you’re dealing with a mental health issue or a physical ailment, music therapy may be able to provide you with the relief and healing you need.
As more research is conducted and the benefits of music therapy become better understood, we may see it integrated into traditional healthcare settings and even covered by insurance companies. Music therapy may also become a more widely accepted alternative to traditional treatments for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
I personally am very excited about the potential of music therapy to tremendously improve our quality of life and change the way we approach healthcare. There is so much we can do to boost our physical and emotional well-being – as technologies advance, we will get more options to try different approaches to find out what works best for us. After all, the best plan is the one you can stick to!
Try music therapy today ♪
click the link here to book a free 30-minute consultation. What you can expect: lots of fun, creative use of music and a boost of dopamine!click here