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Music As Medicine Essay

1866 words - 8 pages

Can Music Really be Used as Medicine?
It is very blatant to see that music is a powerful recreational force that has united people for centuries. No matter where you are in the world music can be found, whether it’s the newest pop hit on the radio or a tribal song created with two hands and a drum. In other words, music is something that lives and breathes in our culture. What many do not realize is that we should be taking advantage of all the wonderful things music can provide for us. The capability of music to treat one another has been used throughout time in many different parts of the world (Brooks). This is even the case in modern times. Music today is actually being more commonly ...view middle of the document...

Music wasn’t all that was needed, cutting back on salt was still required in order to reduce the number (“New RX: tune in…”). Music has been proven effective enough, that Hospice programs around the United States have begun incorporating music into their agenda, to specifically aid in the lowering of blood pressure, among other things like reducing anxiety, sharpening mental focus, and stabilizing heart rate. (Brooks). Hospice is a major program worldwide that “focuses on quality rather than length of life” (Cancer.org). It provides care and services for families dealing with terminal illnesses, it reinforces that death is the final stage in life but neither speeds up or delays the process (Cancer.org). All of this is important due to the fact that in the United States alone, sixty-seven million adults are affected by high blood pressure, and at least a thousand people die every day from high blood pressure related causes (cdc.gov). If more people were open to the option of musical medicine to treat their blood pressure, doctors might actually see a drop in the number of those affected by or die from hypertension. Music is something almost everyone can access, so it can almost act as reinforcement on top of any medication or diet one is on to already gain control of their blood pressure. A more general way music can help the human body is by alleviating pain. A popular use of certified music therapists can be seen to help people with cancer (Berlinger). Ms. Dimicelli-Mitran is a certified music therapist who works in the Infusion Room at Creticos Cancer Center in Chicago. She specializes in helping patients through tough times of cancer treatments with exercises such as music guided imagery, signing, and playing instruments (Berlinger). Many patients love what she does, thirty year old Joe Eschbach, a patient who sees Ms. Dimicelli-Mitran says that “It definitely helps the pain...it’s easier to sit here with a big bag a chemo drugs dripping into you that you know are toxic. I dread sitting here” (Berlinger). Ms. Dimicelli-Mitran’s music guided imagery consists of finding things that patients are fond of or love and then building an entire mental scene based on that while incorporating music (Berlinger). Some psychologists believe that the sound of music can actually produce a state of condition relaxation, “just as the sound of a dentist’s drill evokes conditioned nervousness” (Berlinger). Others believe that “music coaxes the body to release its own endorphins,” which are molecules that provide “built-in pain relief (Berlinger). Music therefore helps cancer patient’s deal with the discomfort and pain of their treatments like chemotherapy and other procedures, by almost blunting the pain. This musical treatment is not limited to just cancer patients, but can also be effective in other pain related scenarios. For example, a study done in Utah showed how really focusing in on music can help reduce the feel of sharp pain of brief electric shocks...

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