Humans invented music to celebrate the most important events in their lives, to express their emotions, and to soothe themselves and others. While it couldn’t be possible, thousands of years ago, to prove from a scientific point of view that music could heal people, today, we have all the tools and knowledge to look at the relationship between music and mental health and establish its nature.
How does music therapy work?
Before delving into the benefits that this type of therapy can have for you, let’s talk a little about what this therapy is and how it works. Do not believe that music therapy involves nothing but listening to music in a passive state of mind. The patients are encouraged to write music, as well, and even to learn how to play a musical instrument. On SoundUnsound, you can find out about various musical instruments you can try and are ideal for novices.
Even so, the above explanations still don’t cover the notion of music therapy completely. First of all, therapists who use it must be certified, and they must have in-depth knowledge of psychological conditions, pain management, cognitive treatments, and communication.
The therapist will identify your needs and customize the therapy sessions so that you can obtain the most out of them. In the end, the therapy you’re undergoing should help you improve your mood, experience better life quality, and develop coping mechanisms. You will also learn how to express your emotions better.
Music therapy and depression
While it can’t replace the medication and other therapies used for treating clinical depression, it has been shown through research studies that music therapy can be an essential part of treatment for this psychological condition.
For those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, music therapy has already proven helpful in the decrease of obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and even depression. It also appears that a combination of music therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy is ideal for treating people with such disorders.
Music therapy seems to be helpful for people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression. As long as you bear in mind that music therapy alone can’t treat depression, you will get the best tools for facing this condition and dealing with it.
A source of psychological discomfort, insomnia can be associated with other disorders, which is why, more often than not, therapists search for ways to handle it. For people who often go through bouts of insomnia, music therapy can work wonders. It is already known that some people can fall asleep easier if they have a white noise machine next to their beds.
Music-assisted therapy for relaxation is helpful for patients with insomnia, as it can create a so-named pre-sleep state. Not only at home, such treatment can also help hospitalized patients fall asleep and sleep longer. As a non-drug treatment, it certainly brings many benefits to the table.
Treatment for pain
Managing pain can be a daunting task in all patients, regardless of their illness, and that is something that music therapy can offer. In patients who experience pain, listening to music, or getting involved in creating their own, it appears that a lot of changes occur. For instance, such patients experience better and easier breathing.
Also, they will have lower blood pressure, and muscle tensions are easier to deal with. An important finding is that patients are also more receptive to the treatment they receive and perceive it as more efficient, which can contribute to their overall wellbeing.
About the role of music therapy in alleviating dementia symptoms
Dementia is a condition with no cure, but the quality of life for patients can be increased with the help of such therapies. The ability to listen to music has been proven to remain intact even in the advanced stages of the condition, which means that it can be used for making such patients feel better.
It has already been used in alleviating the symptoms, and it appears to be able to reduce agitation, help the patient evoke memories, and even communicate effectively. It also seems that music therapy can help these patients to improve physical coordination, which is another challenge caused by dementia and its symptoms.