Music Therapy

The sound of the waves, the chatter of the birds, the rustle of the leaves and every single footfall for that matter are nature’s forms of music. Music has always been a driving force of nature. The existence of a branch of treatment called Music therapy only adds to its importance in our lives. A few of you may be reading about this form of treatment for the first time. In reality, the therapy is as old as Music itself and Music is as old as mankind. Thus, Music therapy has existed forever. Extensive literature exists about the same- in Greek as well as Indian Mythology. Apollo was the Greek God of music and poetry whereas Orpheus was a gifted musician- he could bewitch anyone. Music therapy has roots in the Vedic lore and literature from India.

Music Therapy is an ancient healing technique which applies music and its various forms to achieve sound physical and mental health. Music therapy includes Music listening, playing, improvising, creating songs, performing etc. A therapist identifies the need of therapy and patient background to create a treatment plan and constantly monitors patient’s improvements. Elders generally use the therapy along with their physical activity routine or as regular relaxation procedures. It is also used as a tool in pain management, stress management, Dementia and Alzheimer’s conditions.

Music therapy helps improve physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of an elderly patient. It helps reduce stress and worry in the elder’s life. It has been known to better motor functioning and coordination. It stabilizes their living by keeping mood swings, anxiety and anger under check. Music also helps elders be in charge of their life and work toward enhancing their quality of life. It is especially effective in enabling patients of Alzheimer’s have a happier life.

Certain therapists play different varieties of music for different patients at different times of the day. Slow subtle music is generally used in the mornings. Also the type of music a therapist may use depends on why the patient is taking therapy and on what they would prefer.

Whatever we are, we are because of vibrations. Certain therapists ‘tap’ on the patient’s body with the beat of the music. This rhythmic tapping instantly creates vibrations that reach out to different points of the body. These vibrations ultimately reach the mind alleviating the person to a different level. This person feels an intense peace and reaches various levels of serenity.

A music therapist I spoke to said that patients under therapy feel they are around mountains and valleys or are in the midst of dancing angels. Some patients feel warmth entering their bodies. Certain others simply slip into a deep sleep- somewhere above the subconscious. This leads them to have an aura of tranquility about them at all times. It arouses in them a sense of confidence over time and helps them enjoy their lives.

Music has a lot of positives to boast of. So it is safe to say that we should all be having some more of music in our lives. As for the therapy, try out a session soon!

Posted in Alzheimer's Care

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