What is Music Therapy?

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By Elaine E.

As we all know, music can help decrease stress after a long day at work, but Music Therapy is much more than just that. According to the American Music Therapy Association, Music Therapy “is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.” Music Therapy is a great form of alternative medicine to help people with various illnesses including depression, anxiety, and dementia.

The historical use of Music Therapy goes all the way back to Greek Mythology, and it was used during WWI and WWII to help veterans after the war. Currently, Music Therapy is very popular in hospitals where plenty of people need some relief from their pain.

In this article, I will talk about how music therapy can help someone, the benefits of music therapy, and the way to find the best therapist for the job.

What Music Therapy Can Help Treat

Music Therapy can be combined with meditation to help your mind and body significantly. These are some things that Music Therapy can help treat to help you live a mindful and healthier lifestyle.

• Music Therapy can help treat chronic pain. It can help decrease pain in cancer patients as well as people who have other physical ailments.
• Music Therapy can help treat mental illnesses. It can help lower anxiety levels and add a relaxing feeling.
• Music Therapy can help in difficulties with lost speech. In this way, patients with brain injuries or past strokes can recover their speech from the left side of their brains. This works by singing their thoughts using the right side of their brains and then taking out the melody.
• Music Therapy can help those with dementia. Because music is a very memorable experience, it can help patients regain lost memories. It can also help with lessening the things that might annoy them.
• Music Therapy can

Benefits of Music Therapy

So, the benefits of music therapy vary for everyone, and it also depends on what kind of music process may help someone. Someone might like an outlet by playing a musical instrument, while another person might like to listen to classical music. There are various ways to use music therapy. According to a research study from Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, they discovered that listening to music and audiobooks can be used in place of pain-reducing medications for kids. This is an amazing discovery because it shows us the power of music and the drastic effects that it can have on someone.

There are many physical and mental benefits of Music Therapy that will be discussed.

Physical Benefits
• Decreased blood pressure
• Lessen the effects of dementia
• Improve motor function for those with Parkinson’s Disease
• Reduced heart rate
• Relaxed muscle tension

Mental Benefits

• Lessen anxiety and calm someone down
• Help with sleep by decreasing insomnia
• Give you a safe coping mechanism for depression
• Calm someone down with anger issues
• Help with social withdrawal

Finding the Best Music Therapist For You or a Loved One

There are plenty of music therapists out there, but how do I find the best one? Certified Music Therapists complete bachelors or masters in music therapy and then take the national exam offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. If you are interested in finding a music therapist for yourself or someone else, contact the American Music Therapy Association, and they will give you a list of qualified music therapists in your area.

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