How Music Therapy Works

Music oftentimes reflect our feelings and mood. When we’re stuck in traffic or when we’re feeling lonely and don’t have anything to do, we turn to music as a form entertainment and as distraction from boredom, impatience, and negative thoughts. In fact, for upbeat music, with the heavy beat of the drums, people note a burst of energy within them, which makes them tap and simply nod their heads to the rhythm. For a classical piece, it helps bring a sense of calm, which helps some people concentrate better.

With the way people respond to music, it is believed that music therapy can affect physiological functions. Music therapy can help relieve stress, alter or enhance moods, distract against negative thoughts, and aid in the treatment of stroke victims and disable persons. Here are the different ways music therapy is used:

For the disabled

Through the melody, lyrics, and beat of the music, therapists use this technique to help physically and mentally disabled patients express themselves better. This helps introverted patients become more open to communicate with others and try out new things. For those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia and autism, music therapy is also used to help them get detached from their isolated worlds for a while. This helps them focus more and helps draw reactions from them.

For stroke victims and people with neurological disorders

Patients who suffer from impaired movement as a result of stroke or neurological disorders also benefit from music therapy. It is said that when they listen to the rhythm of the music, their muscles move according to the beat of the music. It helps them move more freely and tends to relax some of their muscles. Continuous movements will help improve their impaired motor skills. This process is called entertainment, which is also used to put them at a more relaxing state and induce a sedative response when the rhythm of the music is slow and steady.

For relieving stress and pain

Music also serves as a perfect distraction from pain, stress, fear, negative thoughts, and feelings. The rhythm, beat, and melody all help relax some tensed muscles as they take the mind off the expected pain or discomfort such as dental work, labor, or surgical procedure.

For relieving stress

During an operation, some surgeons keep music in the background to help them stay focused and distracted from tension and exhaustion, especially during a long procedure. Some students also claim that it helps relieve pressure, especially when pulling an all-nighter.

Other benefits

Some studies show that music can help keep the heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing at a more stable state. Some findings also claim that it helps lower the hormone cortisol amount, which rises due to stress, and it increases the number of “feel-good hormones” or endorphins released by the body. It helps keep depression and anxiety at bay and prevent chronic stress.