Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualised goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Studies show that listening to music for 1 hour over a period of 7 days increased feelings of power, and decreased pain, depression and disability related to chronic back, neck and joint pain. The average person listens to 25 songs per day. The first music therapy degree program in the world was founded in Michigan State University.
Here’s what happens to your brain on music :
- Listening to music causes the brain to please dopamine, a feel good chemical.
- Music acts as a distractor, focusing the attention away from negative stimuli to something pleasant and encouraging.
- Music has the ability to alter breathing and heart rate.
- Music also has the power to improve your state of mind. This helps keep things like depression and anxiety at bay.
- Music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves. Slow beats encourage the slow brainwaves that are associated with hypnotic or meditative states. Faster beats may encourage more alert and concentrated thinking.
- Music occupies the mind with something familiar and soothing.
- Music laters patterns of pain, depression and disability.
- Music can help reduce perception of pain.
Music therapy can involve making music, listening to music, writing songs and talking about lyrics.
You can try music therapy at home in the following way :
- Choose your music based on the purpose of your therapy. For example, choose soft instrumental music or ocean sounds to relax. For pain management, look for music that focuses your mind on things other than you pain and discomfort.
- Set back and relax. Take deep breaths, close your eyes and let the sound of the music take over your thoughts.
- Listen and concentrate. Enjoy the music for 10-15 minutes as you allow your mind and body to relax and rejuvenate.