Music Heals

Music Heals

By Erick Gerber
In Jul 1, 2014

Have you ever left for home from a long day of school/work, and you have a specific song in mind to blast through your earphones or your car speakers, almost like you’ve had a mental craving for it? Was it almost like you subconsciously knew that it would make you feel better and more relaxed? Music has been proven to be effective in many forms of healing: emotional, cognitive, social and even physical. Listening to music can be very beneficial to your health, and playing a musical instrument even more so.

Music Heals

Music therapy is a real and effective established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address the needs of individuals. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas. These include overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement. It also increases people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment while providing emotional support for clients and their families. And the best way music heals is by providing an outlet for an expression of feelings. Music therapy practitioners generally have a Bachelor’s degree that includes over 1,000 hours of training.

Research has proven that music therapy can lower blood pressure, improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Cancer patients who receive music therapy in addition to chemotherapy report less nausea, anxiety and pain in the initial phases of treatment. Stroke patients who get music therapy not only have more motivation and better moods, but an improvement in their movement recovery. Moreover, music therapy may benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities and adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the fact that music therapy is closely linked to other forms of stress reduction, it might also be helpful for depression, anxiety disorders and memory enhancement.

So What Does This Mean For Musicians?

  • They contribute to the community by writing and performing music that may help heal people – According to Kenneth E. Bruscia is his article ‘Frequently Asked Questions about Music Therapy’, the music used in music therapy sessions may be live or recorded improvisations, performances or compositions by the client or therapist, or commercial recordings of music literature in various styles/genres of music such as classical, pop, rock, jazz, country, spiritual, new age, etc.
  • If you’re a musician, you may have a better chance of being happier and healthier (physically and mentally), than other people. Here’s why:
  • Hearing music triggers the release of the same chemicals in the brain that are released during sex. Simply playing an instrument and listening to the music you’re creating, can make you feel good.
  • In music therapy, patients are sometimes required to create their own music. Sometimes they listen back to their own recordings and respond with different activities.
  • Playing an instrument reverses your body’s response system to pressure. This means that your stress can be reduced on a genomic level.
  • If you play a musical instrument you’re more likely to have sharper brain functions.

These are all results found by recent studies. Bottom line? Grab a musical instrument such as a guitar because it’s the coolest and start learning how to create your own music. The benefits of how music heals are abundant and will make you a happier, healthier person!

Profile photo of Erick Gerber

Plays for “Red Helen” and “Truth and It’s Burden”. Can make his guitar sound like an accelerating car. Currently doing his BMus Honours degree with the University of Chichester. Sucks at Guitar Hero. Can solo behind his head. Has gigged extensively throughout South Africa.

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