Using Music Therapy In The Treatment Of Stress And Anxiety

2260 words - 9 pages

One of the largest mental health issues that people face is stress and the anxiety that it can cause. It can also be the trigger for many of the physical health ailments that are experienced on a daily basis. Typically a normal response to situations that may be harmful, anxiety helps alert people of danger. But it is when that emotional response is elevated beyond a normal level that prolonged disruption of daily life occurs. As stated in the Journal of Music Therapy, “anxiety is generally regarded a negative emotional response to situations that are appraised to be threatening” (Elliot, Polman and McGregor 2011, p. 264) (as cited in Spielberger, 1989, p. 3-17). At the cognitive level, anxiety can produce feelings of apprehension, uneasiness, preoccupation, and worry (Elliot et al. 2011) (as cited in Bourne, 2000). There are many techniques used to treat those suffering with stress and anxiety, including medication, biofeedback and meditation. The main goal in using these techniques is to help the patient achieve relaxation so that the anxiety they are experiencing subsides. However, some of the techniques might introduce deep-relaxation, a response that is not always required (Elliot et al., 2011) (as cited in Payne, 2000) such as when a musician or artist needs to reduce anxiety right before a show, or when a surgeon needs to calm himself before a delicate surgical procedure. The Journal of Music Therapy also noted that “there are instances where it may be unrealistic to practice such techniques to the point to which they become beneficial, (e.g., dentists' waiting room). Thus, for some at least, more appropriate interventions would be required. An alternative would be ‘on-the-spot' relaxation techniques” ( Elliot et al., 2011, p. 265) (as cited in Payne, 2000). The characteristics of ‘on-the-spot' relaxation procedures are that they are portable, relatively brief, convenient, and unobtrusive, while still being an effective aid to relaxation . One technique that would fulfill the recommended criteria is music listening. Music therapy is a practice that can help therapists with their patients. In order to optimally meet their clients' needs, music therapists seek ongoing clinical and educational training to add depth and breadth to their clinical skills (Ghetti, 2011). The Canadian Journal of Music Therapy pointed out that “the body of scientific research builds to support the effect of the mind on the body, the use of music therapy as complementary medicine is becoming more widespread" (Mohammadi,Shahabi ,and Panah , 2011, p. 59) (as cited in Hanser,2002). Using music as a treatment to treat stress and anxiety, seems to be an excellent option for those seeking a medicine free therapy to find relief and calmness.
Recently, music therapy has been applied to children who have severe emotional disturbances, high degrees of impulsivity and limited ability to self-regulate (Layman, Hussey, & Laing, 2002). These emotional...

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