Music Therapy

Music Therapy

There are more than a thousand reasons to listen to music, to be in the know, cop the latest slangs, lift your spirits, try to communicate your feelings and emotions or just block the noise of the world.

While for millions of people, they see music as art some others see it as more than art but a tool for treatment;therapy.

David the Jewish king was said to have been a psalmist who used his songs and harp to treat the health malady of his predecessor King Saul who felt depressed and attacked by ‘mental demons’

Did King David administer Music therapy?

So what is Music therapy and how is music therapy quite important as the years go by.

Music therapy is defined as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a certified professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

You could be forgiven if you had the notion that music therapy is a new branch of therapy.  Apart from the story of theJewish King,David his harp and King Saul ,there is an established history of the use of music as a healing tool.  Apollo in the Greek mythology is the god of music and medicine. Aesclepius was also said to have cured infirmities of the mind using music.

Hippocrates who is the acclaimed father of medicine played music for his patients.

Music is said to help clear the mind and help in combat ailments of the mind.

But does it have a farther reach?

Modern Music therapy started after the end of World War I and II. Especially in England where musicians played music to soothe soldiers with emotional and physical trauma.

The mechanism of action of music therapy is quite wide and far reaching.

Music therapist aim to treat the ailment by their health in several domains, like cognitive functioning, emotional development, motor skills,  sensory, communication, quality of life and social skills by using both active and receptive music experiences such as improvisation, re-creation, composition, and listening and discussion of music to achieve the expected goals.

Music therapy does not only have an effect on the mind or help treat ailing mental states.

It also has a way of improving physical and cognitive health.

Music therapy has been shown to be advantageous In improving the health of the heart, stroke, dementia and aphasia but not limited to these.

A recent review has shown that music therapy reduces the severity of signs and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Music therapy is also useful in the treatment of premature babies. There are five techniques of music therapy that help in the intervention for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

  • Live or Recorded music which help in regulating respiratory regularity and oxygen saturations
  • Promotion of healthy sucking reflex
  • Multimodal stimulation and music:
  • Infant stimulation
  • Parent-infant bonding

Music therapy is more orthodox than we think and has come a long way from the time of David and Saul.