Just about everyone loves music. From classical to country, jazz to blues and hip hop to rock, there’s a genre out there for all of us. Think about the times when you listen to music. You listen in your car to get you through traffic or to make a long ride more fun. You listen to it at the gym or during a walk/run to pump you up and help you reach your goals. You listen to it as you’re trying to relax after a long day, or you might listen to it to remember those special times with loved ones.
Music can definitely boost our moods and soothe our souls. Music can also affect your brain. For example, in a study from a few years ago, researchers observed patients who were about to undergo surgery. Participants were randomly assigned to either listen to music or take anti-anxiety drugs. Scientists tracked patient’s ratings of their own anxiety, as well as the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The results were pretty impressive. They showed that patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who were given medicine. Now the researchers pointed out that this is only one study, and that more research was necessary to confirm the results. But the study can still serve as a powerful testament to how music can positively affect the brain.
There’s always that song, album or playlist that instantly brightens your day or helps you chillax. Just listening to our favorite musicians can relieve stress and promote overall happiness. It’s no wonder that the music industry seems to flourish, all over the world.
What is Music Therapy?
There seems to be a lot of fuss around music therapy and its gains. Music therapy according to experts is the clinical and evidence-based use of musical interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved musical therapy program.
Benefits of Music Therapy
This field of medical practice that is music therapy, is gaining momentum daily, as we now see that some surgeons are making use of music to make their patients more relaxed in the operating room. Music therapy as a health profession has proved very effective in addressing the physical, emotional, cognitive and special needs of individuals.
A music therapist can have a wide knowledge of songs and genres, so after assessing the needs of a client, a music therapist will provide the appropriate indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through this process, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. The overall effect is a more positive outcome from their health challenges.
Music therapy creates a more personal and individual experience for every client. This approach requires that the therapist understand the specific needs of each client and is able to administer directly to such needs. This approach tends to be more effective than the generalised approach that is evidently in use by other fields of medicine.
Provides Avenue For Communication
Music therapy provides an avenue for the much needed communication that is vital for a patient and doctor relationship. For clients that are unable to communicate through words, the music gives them a voice, and through it they can relate their true feelings and needs.
Improve The Mood of Clients
As a trend, music lovers have tended to rely on music to boost their moods. Music therapy can help children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.
While listening to music at home is not on the same level as clinical music therapy, the benefits can be universal. My explanation of music therapy just helps to show how music is a powerful tool when it comes to rehabilitation.
How Music Can Help You
As discussed earlier, music can be a huge mood booster or stress reliever on a more personal level. So if you’re not in need of music therapy, try adding more tunes to your day when you can. Make playlists of your favorite songs of the season or songs that take you back to your high school or college years. If that’s too much work, subscribe to playlists through your favorite music streaming service. CysterWigs even offers playlists from time to time.
If you get a rush from being in a crowd and hearing live music, head to a concert. It can be a local band at a bar, an arena tour or even a symphony. There’s no doubt that hearing music played live will definitely make you smile or make you forget about the day’s events.
And if you prefer a more hands-on approach, create your own music. Write songs and perform them if you’re open to sharing your work with others. If you’re a little shy about being in the spotlight, let someone else sing or play your songs. It can be rewarding to hear a piece that you wrote and to see it being enjoyed by others. Now, that’s a total ego boost!
No matter how hectic or rough things get, always try to carry a happy tune in your heart. After all, it’s the little things that keep us going when we think we don’t have the strength to carry on.
You can see all of Eseandre’s posts here.