Music therapy is the use of music for a particular purpose or purposes, The music is chosen for the needs of a particular individual or group.
The theory behind music therapy is that everything in the universe is in a constant state of vibration, including the cells of the human body. Therefore, sound can be used to relax and soothe.
The healing power of music was recognized in the west as far back as ancient Greece. Aristotle and Plato wrote about it. In Chinese, the traditional character for medicine is formed from the character for music.
Studies indicate that music therapy can do the following:
- Help manage stress, anxiety and depression
- Alleviate pain
- Reduce nausea or vomiting induced by chemotherapy or radiation
- Promote wellness
- Change a mood
You can do music therapy on your own or with a trained professional. For instance, to help relieve stress while waiting in a doctor's office or for a treatment, you can listen to soothing music.
If you don't already have a device with music that you can take with you to a doctor's office or treatment center, MP3 players are inexpensive. With a pair of inexpensive headphones, you can be peaceful without disturbing other people.
It is interesting to note that in Chinese, the traditional character for medicine is formed from the character for music. According to Dr. Jingduan Yang, a board-certified psychiatrist and doctor of Chinese Medicine, Chinese medicine has long used music to treat ailments of the mind, body, and spirit. From the Chienese medicine perspective, traditional or classical music is best.
Music Therapy On Your Own
To do music therapy on your own, listen to what you consider to be soothing music while you are in a relaxed setting. Generally, this involves playing familiar songs.
Researchers choose classical or meditative music,
Researchers generally recommend listening 30 to 90 minutes a day while sitting or lying down.
The source is the music is not relevant. It can be a CD player, an MP3 player, a mobile device or a turntable and vinyl.
If you do not have music of your own, local libraries usually have good CD collections. You can also find music collections online. For example: Pandora.com tailors music to match your musical choice. AARP has put together a series of music collections at aarp.org/playlists .
You can find a guide to creating your own play list at www.memoryorg/request-guide
Music Therapy Professionals
Board certified music thearpy professionas have a music therapy degree from an accredited American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) program at a college or university
You can find a music therapist by asking a social worker at your local treatment center or by going to the website of American Music Therapy Association at www.musictherapy.org . Click on "Find A Music Therapist" or call: 301.589.3300
NOTE: If you find joy in singing along, consider the app SingFit. It was designed by a music therapist. It acts like a portable Karaoke machine. It provides lyric prompts, and even has adjustable keys.
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