Ever wondered if music therapy truly has healing powers? Well, studies say yes. Music has a great impact on everyone, including medical patients.
Music therapy is a fast-growing profession and many studies confirm that music can be used more than just to kill boredom. Music if used right improves the condition of medical patients and the quality of their lives in many ways. Here are some of them.
- Eases Anxiety and Discomfort
Music is getting increased recognition as an efficient and safe tool to reduce discomfort and anxiety. Playing music before, during or after a surgery has shown tremendous results in minimizing a patient’s anxiety. Music eases anxiety in a patient before any operation, improves mental well-being and helps in post-operation recovery.
- Restores Lost Speech
Music and memory have a special relationship. We may forget certain things but listening to a familiar tune or song lyrics brings back all the emotions and memories as if they happened yesterday.
A technique known as Melodic Intonation Therapy, developed in the 1970s is a treatment which uses musical parts of speech (melody & rhythm) to aid and develop speech production.
- Effective Stress Reliever
Studies show that music relieved stress in patients with heart disease, by reducing heart rate and blood pressure. Medical News Today, observed that new-borns remained calm for a long time when music was played to them instead of being talked to.
Moreover, white noise in music, is also a well-known tried and tested technique for a sound and calming sleep after a stressful day.
- Effective Pain Reliever
Scientists have found that music can have a direct and moderate impact on acute pain, such as, if you burn your finger or when you hit your toe on the table corner.
Nicky Haire, a music therapist suggests to use the violin in music therapy. She says playing the violin is a “very physically affecting experience”. You can check some of the best violin strings at Loud Beats and heal your pain through musical remedies.
- Fights Dementia
Research suggests that singing or listening to songs gives emotional and behavioral advantages for dementia patients. An award-winning documentary film Alive Inside shows how a social worker brings music into nursing homes to aid patients with dementia.
So, when your loved one with dementia or just another patient needs calming, play music or sing a song that’s comforting. Use upbeat or fast-paced music if you’d like to boost your patient’s mood.
- Helps Cancer Patients
Some studies show how music therapy helps cancer patients to cope by encouraging them to cooperate and communicate. Using music during cancer treatment is beneficial because it makes them feel good, calm and relaxed.
Research institute Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, recommends acoustic guitar as an ideal musical therapy instrument to give music remedy to cancer patients due to its special musical qualities and its ability to be easily carried or moved. Specifically, using nylon strings for acoustic guitar assists easier instrument interaction compared to a steel-string guitar.
- Aids in Recovering Brain Injury
Brain damage affects the patient’s movement and language ability, impacting on the quality of their life. Many patients after brain injuries find some noises unbearable, but recent studies show that certain music acts as a “brain massage” for patients.
The use of music in treating brain injuries is evolving. Specific methods may include using rhythms and musical instruments to aid movement and manage pain, singing to aid speaking and voice quality and finally, writing or making music to improve well-being.
- Aids in Physical Rehabilitation Therapy
Listening to music while performing any physical task strengthens the brain and helps in better physical growth while developing sensory and communication skills.
Several studies also found that during physical rehabilitation programs, music develops, cognitive, emotional, physical and psychological functioning. The help of music in rehabilitation contributes to the quality of life of medical patients.
Ronald is a music enthusiast and plays drum in his free time. He believes music plays an important role in people’s overall well-being. He currently contributes at Loud Beats and other music related blogs.