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Music Therapy

by Nashata K.


It does not matter if you love pop, electronic dance music (EDM), post-rock or punk rock, music will always make you feel good. For most people, music is an important part of daily life. Some rely on music to get them through the morning commute, while others turn up a favourite playlist to stay pumped during a workout. Many folks even have the stereo on when they’re cooking a meal, taking a shower, or folding the laundry. Music will help you pass through the time like the soundtrack of your life.

In Chinese medical theory, the five internal organ and meridian systems are believed to have corresponding musical tones, which are used to encourage healing – depression and help in sleep quality.

Types of music differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke. For example, classical music has been found to cause comfort and relaxation while rock music may lead to discomfort. Music may achieve its therapeutic effects in part by elevating the pain threshold.

Recent study by University of Queensland, the Australian public research institution in Brisbane revealed that “extreme music helps to process anger and can positively influence the listener thus inspiring calmness rather than anger. Extreme music is referred to the genre like emo, heavy metal, punk, scream, hardcore and other various subgenres.

“The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired and the level of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music as introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt” reads the study.

Music also may be used to help children in classroom in their creative insights, reading and language skills by helping them to uncover hidden emotional responses and stimulate creativity.

Here are few conditions for which music therapy has been studied, supported by good scientific evidence:

Autism and Down Syndrome

Autism is a brain disorder that is associated with a wide range of developmental problems, especially in communication and social interaction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, autism is classified as a type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These disorders are characterized by problems with communication, social interaction, as well as unusual, repetitive behaviors.

From a 2004 study from the Journal of Music Therapy found that music in interventions used with children and teens with ASD can improve social behaviors, increase focus and attention, increase communication attempts (vocalizations, verbalizations, gestures, and vocabulary), reduce anxiety, and improve body awareness and coordination.

There is probably a great opportunity to use music in a planned way to help children and adults with Down Syndrome to improve in their spoken language. The inherent rhythmic patterns in music can provide a timing cue to improve motor skills.

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät; a four-piece Punk Rock band from Helsinki,Finland with Down Syndrome.

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät; a four-piece Punk Rock band from Helsinki,Finland with Down Syndrome.

Alzheimer and Dementia

Dementia is a condition refer to loss cognitive function where affecting in decision making, reasoning, and verbal communication. Dementia may also result in behavioral and personality changes, depending on the areas of the brain affected.

In older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental disorders, music therapy has been found to reduce aggressive or agitated behavior, reduce symptoms of dementia, improve mood, and improve cooperation with daily tasks, such as bathing. Music therapy may also decrease the risk of heart or brain diseases in elderly dementia patients.

Music should not be used as the sole treatment for potentially dangerous medical or psychiatric conditions. Use is not recommended in those who do not like music therapy as this may result in agitation or stress.

Although music is proven in treating some health condition and helps with depression, doctors consultation may be needed to help patients who are not interested in music as it would resulting in agitation and stress. Overall, music as general helps most people to relax and inspiration. Do listen responsibly.

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