Music is such a common part of daily life, it’s easy to not notice the effects it actually has on a person. Whether you’re listening to music on your way to work, popping on headphones to go for a run or pressing play to help get you out of a funk, music likely plays a pretty prominent role in your life. Though it’s easy to feel the beat and allow the music to guide your mood, most people don’t realize that there are actually clinical benefits to music and music therapy.
Incorporating music into any sort of therapy practice can have significant positive effects on a person, without the stress and anxiety that may come with typical therapy methods.
Whether you find yourself needing support to work through a tough point in your life, are dealing with mental health concerns like anxiety or depression or have a child that might benefit from a different approach, music therapy might be just the trick you’ve been looking for.
What is music therapy?
Did you know Capstone Music Burlington now offers Capstone Creative Therapy? CCT sessions use music and the arts in therapy as intentional tools for motivating change in specific areas of health and well-being.
Music therapy is a relatively new practice that blends music and creative arts with therapy to offer support for the client in a way that makes more sense to them. Music therapy can help target a number of specific areas of a person’s health and well being as well as some areas of overall development.
The practice of music therapy can involve a number of different techniques including:
- Simply listening to music
- Singing with music
- Moving with or dancing to music
- Playing music with an instrument
Benefits of Music Therapy
Music can help fight depression, stress and anxiety
Music has the power to push all of us back into our memories, sometimes even after hearing just a couple bars of an old favourite song. This can be used during music therapy to help draw out some of the positive experiences associated with those songs and use them them in a way that helps strengthen treatments for depression, stress and anxiety.
Music can help control symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and dementia.
Patients who suffer from various stages of these illnesses often experience an overwhelm from an inability to accurately process what is going on around them. Studies have shown that both playing music and listening music can provide a calming effect on the patient, often resulting in them singing, dancing or playing along with a tune they used to know.
Music promotes socialization, self expression and communication
Even those who struggle with expressing themselves and communicating, both in a therapy session and a social one, will often identify with some kinds of music. Whether it’s playing an instrument themselves or pressing play on a song that means something to them, allowing music to play a role in their therapy is often a positive experience for many patients.
Music has many physical and physiological benefits
Music has been shown to have many physical benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing heart rate, relaxing the muscles, improving breathing and even pain reduction. Music therapy harnesses these health benefits and helps the patient to recognize and make use of these changes to improve moods, work through issues, learn new coping skills and overall leave the appointment feeling some level of progress.
Playing music also often encourages the listener to feel the music with their body by dancing, moving or playing along, which can lead to physical improvements as well.
Music Therapy as a Wellness Tool
Including music in your regular therapy sessions is a great way to harness the power of music and embrace the positive effects it can have on your life. Whether you choose to book a music therapy session to see what the therapist can help you or your family with, or to just start by recognizing the therapeutic effect that music can have on you day to day, music therapy is a tool that can definitely help your overall wellbeing.