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The Importance of Music Therapy

October 18, 2018

Music plays a part in everyone's lives. We may use it when we are having fun. Maybe when we are feeling sad, or for a special occasion. Music has also being used in this unique way; to help patients currently sick in hospitals. It can be targeted for all ages but is more so focused on young people. This is the process of music therapy. It is a mixture of music and healthcare as it offers mental and physical health benefits that are created by making music. We will discuss the origins of music therapy and ultimately how it help young patients.

 

The History. Music therapy has been recorded to be around in Greek mythology. In more recent history, music therapy was actually used in World War One and Two. Musicians would volunteer to go in the hospitals full of injured veterans. Nurses and patients there both noticed that after these musical sessions, the veteran's moods were lifted. Their outlook was not as negative and they even felt less pain. The benefits of this were so obvious that doctors actually started paying musicians to come and play for the veterans. Now, music therapy is helping a lot of children in hospital. Let's discuss some of these benefits.

 

Physical benefits. For young people that are going through various illnesses and diseases, the pain that they have to endure can be immense at times. Music therapy has been shown to help relieve the pain and stress of these patients. This leads to positive effects to a child's physiological health, such as:

  • Improved respiration

  • Reduced heart rate

  • Relaxed muscle tension

Music has also been proven to have a positive effect on a patients' perception on how effective their treatment is. This is why they feel less pain because through music, they feel that their treatment/medication is having a stronger effect on their health.

 

Mental benefits. Can you imagine being a young child in hospital for a long time? Understandably, a lot of these children feel anxious and worried. However, music therapy can increase the optimism of the patient. As a patient writes music, plays an instrument or just listens to music from a musician, it certainly diverts their attention away from their anxieties and concerns.

Also, music therapy helps patients in these ways:

  • Decreases feelings of sadness and depression

  • To focus on positive thoughts and celebrate life

  • Causes the patient to relax

  • Develop coordination and concentration skills

 

Elderly people. Music therapy also can help elderly ones. Conditions like memory loss, mental health problems and dementia can all be helped by music. Elderly people can sometimes feel alone when dealing with illnesses and away from family and friends. However music therapy can prevent this and other things like:

  • Promote interaction socially

  • Improve their self-esteem

  • Elderly can reminisce on old times through music

  • Help them express intense emotions like frustration or sadness

 

Overall, music has an impact on everyone in lots of different ways. Whether it's for a patient in hospital, someone with mental health problems or disabilities, or an elderly person, music therapy is so important in their recovery. It can have a better outlook on life, improve their view of themselves and calm their understandable concerns. It should be used as much as possible by anyone who needs it as it really can have an awesome effect on someone's development. 

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