Throughout the ages, music has been used as a form of therapy. In more recent history, therapy music was used to help war veterans to improve from their emotional and physical traumas. The patients often responded well so the doctors began to request the services of musicians to help with the therapy.
A professional music therapist will gauge the cognitive skills, social functioning, physical health, and emotional well-being of the patient and how they respond to the music. After the initial assessment, the therapist will design individual or group music sessions for therapy.
Children and adolescents respond especially well to music therapy. Others who benefit from this kind of therapy include Alzheimer’s patients, those with learning disabilities, and the elderly. Music therapy is a wonderful way to encourage patients to express their feelings.
You can often find professional music therapist and schools, private practices, correctional facilities, nursing homes, drug and alcohol programs, medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and rehabilitative facilities.
Many people seem to think that patients need to have musical abilities to benefit from the therapy. This is not true. Anyone can benefit from this therapy with any kind of music. Often, though, the type of music that is used is based on the patient’s history, needs, and background.
Even people that are considered healthy can benefit from the powers of music. Productivity can be improved and stress reduced by making or listening to music. Physical exercise can be greatly enhanced by music as well. Labor and delivery can also be helped with music therapy.
Music therapy is often used in hospitals to help alleviate pain. It is typically used in conjunction with pain medication and anesthesia. Music helps because it elevates the patient’s mood and helps to dissolve their emotional barriers. They can also sedate and calm the patient and counteract depression. Music therapy is a way to help the patient relax and reduce muscle tension.
In 1994, music therapy became an official active treatment when it is prescribed by a physician as deemed as necessary to treat the patient. As more research goes into music therapy and its benefits, it will likely become a more prominent form of therapy for anyone dealing with chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, and many other problems.