Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

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From the earliest day of civilization, music has been used to heal the body and soul, and to express what is difficult to articulate in words. The ancient Greek philosophers used music for therapeutic purposes (Borchard). Music has been an integral part of all of life’s most important and inconvenient events. It has been used in all way to express cultures and connections of oneself from deep anger, frustrations, anxiety, depression, electrocutions of joy and happiness.

As of now, it goes without saying that mental health is one of the most important modern issues facing us today. Emma L. Young is a science journalist and writer, who currently works in Sidney as the editor for New Scientist Magazine who cited from Levitin and his colleague Mona Lisa Chanda in her article Healing Rhythms, that “slow-tempo music can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and other responses controlled by the brainstem.

Such rhythm effects might help music combat stress and various illnesses.” Many who struggle with an illness such as anxiety understand the struggle of swallowing hard pills and the vexatious sessions with a therapist. With the form of music therapy, those who struggle can lean their shoulder on this new form of help. Although it has been difficult to establish a scientifically verifiable link between music and mental health, the fact remains that both the anecdotal evidence and testimony of real people is overwhelmingly positive and music should be viewed as a therapeutic tool in any situation the therapist thinks is appropriate.

Music therapy has been repeatedly involved in several accounts of emotional or mental issues but has been proven to be effective when treating patients who suffer from physical ailments (Warren). When receiving this form of therapy, “the music therapist attempts to grasp the various powers of music – including the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic natures of music- to offer a therapy to clients that can help improve a wide variety of factors” (Best Masters in Psychology). Music has the ability to maneuver their behavior in positive ways.

Specifically, autistic children are known for behaving erratically and in some cases might be considered out of control, but music can help ease the uncontrollable storm of their disease. Anxiety is in no way healthy for a child as it is considered a serious illness which causes an autistic child to behave erratically and as stated, music is an effective treatment for these children. In the article Music Therapy May Help Children with Autism by Marcela De Vivo, a writer working with Oltarsh law firms and a mother of an autistic child who attends music therapy, describes the effects that music has on children who deal with mental issues like her own. The article states that, “Children with autism are more sensitive to anxiety than the average child, as they are unable to filter out provoking stimuli.

A small four-week study, conducted at the University of Washington La Crosse in 2006, found preliminary success in reducing anxiety in patients with autism through music therapy. After 16 short, 20 minute sessions, during which the treatment patients listened to rhythmic music, the participants who received the therapy appeared to have decreased anxiety-related behaviors” (De Vivo). This shows that children who are wildly behaved due to their anxiety, are able to find a halcyon state of mind as music washes over the erratic, unexplainable outburst. People who suffer from depression can find solace and recovery from the help of music therapy. In the article Healing Rhythms by Emma Young, explains that music has interesting effects on our brains as it may have healing potentials like other medical methods. The author states that “We know that music has some interesting effects on our brains.

Plenty of studies show that listening to the music you like – whatever it is – stimulates the reward centers and makes you feel good. This is partly down to the release of dopamine, a signaling chemical linked to reward. Studies by Levitin and others suggest the brain’s natural opioids also play a part. Their findings might help explain why music can act as an analgesic, and support its use by some hospitals to help relieve pain after surgery. Some types of music may have greater healing potential than others” (Young). By handing out music therapy to those who suffer from depression, recovery is a possibility. With music therapy available at all times, treatment would be considered an easy reach and enjoyable as it does not consider the pain of swallowing antidepressants or the discomfort of speaking to a therapist.

Music therapy has an overwhelming amount of evidence showing how effective it has been in reducing depressive symptoms. Music engages out brian, causing sudden movements in our emotions and the way we socialize, creating a positive outlook on the way we see the world. Mothers, fathers, children and many other people in the world are capable to find a positive road to recovery with the assistance of music therapy. Depression creates a heavy chain, a sudden feeling of wearing a noose as a necklace instead of being able to enjoy the beautiful creations in this world. This alternative form of treatment serves as an easily accessible and positive form of care as patients would have a positive road to recovery with the assistance of music therapy. “Music therapy takes everything one step further and another level deeper.

It’s art and science and humanity and wellbeing given to another human by a board-certified musician and therapist” (Di Nino). Music has proven to be an exceptional method of therapy for many different needs. Researches from San Francisco displayed a persuasive study of psychotherapeutic practice with a group of mothers and their deaf children on the basis of Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1933, 1991), in which “the researchers showed that story reading provides an excellent framework for both cognitive and emotional growth within the ‘parent/child’ dyad. Working within this ‘zone’ is also typical of many musical therapeutic practices, as shown by author Mastnak in a number of works” (Mastnak).

It is to be known that music does have some interesting effect on our brains. Studies show that listening to the music you like, whatever genre it is, simulates reward centers and makes you feel good. This is caused by the slight release of dopamine, a signaling chemical linked to the reward centers. Studies by Levitin and others suggest that the brain’s natural opioids play a part of how we feel. These factors may explain as to why music acts as an analgesic and as to why some hospitals use it to help relieve pain after surgery (Di Nino). Sience has proven that music releases mood enhancing chemicals into out body which music thrapist can captalize on to aid in the medical treatment of patients (Montgomery).

Patients are able to emotinaly benefit with music as it helps them cope and accept their diagnosis. This gives them the ablity to connect with ther feeling to what the artist is singing or speaking metaphoricaly into his lyrics. Music therapist are able to use the sience of music therapy to treat a range of injuries and illnesses. Anyone who listens to music will agree that it can evoke several different emotions, you don’t need to particapate in music therapy to know that music is able to alter your moods. Research suggests that music does more than that for listeners; it simulates various parts of the brain and bodily responses, including the release of stress hormones (Bobrowski).

Patients are able to turn to music in different wars, depending on the way they feel like expressing themselfs. This unique ability provides options for patiens and music therapist to help and alter their emotions when there are many cards to play in hand. Molly Warren received her master’s in music therapy, specializes in working with individuals with trauma and neglect background and other behavioral disorders, writer of The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health, explains that “While talk therapy allows a person to speak about topics that may be difficult to discuss, lyric analysis introduces a novel and less-threatening approach to process emotions, thoughts, and experiences. A person receiving music therapy is encouraged to offer insight, alternative lyrics and tangible tools or themes from lyrics that can apply to obstacles in their life and their treatment.

We all have a song that we deeply connect to and appreciate—lyric analysis provides an opportunity for an individual to identify song lyrics that may correlate with their experience.” She also explains that playing an instrument can encourage emotional expression, socialization, and exploration of various therapeutic themes. Because of the rhythm of the music and the repetitive aspects, music engages the neocortex of our brain with clams a person down and decreases our impulsivity. Music is often used to match or alter our mood, I can potentially keep us in a depressing, anxious state or keep uplifted, shifting to a more positive or calm state (Warren). As therapist are introducing their way music, they often choose music that is likely to have an influence.

When Molly Warren worked at a residential treatment center she explains how a child refused to continue meeting with his regular therapist, the child then became excited when she introduced her way of therapy, which was music. It goes without saying that some experts may claim that music isn’t the best therapy for patient although it helps them unwind and reduce stress, it can also cause harm, such as the altercations of memory. Music therapy is not just a patien listening to an iPod with headphones of their favorite songs, it is not just nurses playing background music for patients.

In the article Music Therapy Pros and Cons by Admin, states the truth. Music therapy has dozens of positive effects and zero definciescies. It does not produce any adverse side effects like other therapeutic methods such as physical therapy. Music provides us with natural pain relief, it activates the reward center and triggers the release of dopamine. The advantages of music therapy outweighs to its supposed disadvantages. When it comes to alternative therapeutic practices, music may be the best. The fact remains that this treatment is overwhelmingly positive for real people and music should be used at a tool for most suitable situations, it is a more excellent form than traditional medically based treatments. While everyone has experienced listening to music, and getting a feel from it, not everyone knows or believes that it generates positive effects aswell. Music is helping this generation beomce whole, helping them speak their mind with the way of lyrics and song.

Cite this paper

Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/impact-of-music-therapy-on-mental-health/

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