Modern medicine is the combination of modern technologies and ancient practices. Along with technological advance in medical equipment and treatment, using music to connect to patients is still a reliable practice. Throughout the history of healing practices, music has been used as a remedy. Music is so groundbreaking in the fact that it actually has the ability to affect human beings in so many ways. Music is a huge advantage in a treatment plan as it is calming, strengthening and it can be used for both the physically and mentally ill.
To start, the American Music Therapy Association defines Music Therapy as, “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Basically, this means that music therapy is designed to make a patient’s life better, and music therapists are taught how to do this, and licensed in the science of music therapy.
Because music has a positive effect on the brain it has almost unlimited possible applications. According to musictherapy.org “Music therapy can be used to address patient needs related to respiration, chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, diabetes, headaches, cardiac conditions, surgery, and obstetrics, among others.” Music is basically “sensory stimulation” to borrow terminology from musictherapy.org. This basically means that music has a direct effect on our senses, and therefore our mood. Music can assuage any kind of pain, which is why it is so interesting, the benefits are not limited to physical ailments.
Musical therapy for psychiatric patients is just as beneficial. The Music Therapy Association of British Colombia credits music for getting through to patients in ways that basic verbal communication cannot. “The emotional, expressive nature of music can serve as a bridge to self-awareness, insight, and identification of feelings.” Often times diseases of the mind are solved my numbing the patient completely through use of narcotics. Music is an art form that encourages thought, and helps the mentally ill express how they are feeling, not bury it. This component is why it’s a smarter choice then pharmaceutical drugs.
Humans have a physiological response to music. The way a person can get chills from music, the way heartbeats are effected, and breathing are all proof of the physical response music has on human beings. Musical Therapists are just trained to use this beneficially. They are trained to use music to elicit the desired effect on people.
From birth brains are able to process music, there’s been research showing that day-old infants have the ability to notice differences in rhythmic patterns. This is why lullabies have an effect on babies, and why being rocked rhythmically calms babies, this trick has been used with babies even before language existed. This readiness to respond to music is why children dance and sing at such...