What Are the Impacts of Music Therapy?

The relationship between humans and music is ancient. Historically, cultures such as the indigenous American peoples and the Greeks used music to bond with their community and connect to the divine. Music is a spiritual experience of self-expression, but it can also be wielded as a legitimate medical treatment. Starting in 1945, the United States recognized the unquestionable benefits listening to and playing music had on mental health and the healing process. Now, music therapy is regularly incorporated into hospitals’ treatment plans and is available within private therapeutic practices. It’s not always necessary to visit a medical professional to experience the perks of music therapy, however. You can integrate music therapy into your day-to-day life.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a clinical practice involving music to improve mental and physical health. Examples of music therapy include lullabies or drums that replicate the sounds of a dual heartbeat for babies in neonatal intensive care units, or Autistic children using music to express unverbalized emotions. Music therapy includes consulting with a certified music therapist to establish a personalized treatment program and integrating those practices into your daily life. Music therapy’s impacts manifest as physical and mental health benefits.

Music Therapy’s Impact on Mental Health
Mental health decline feels scary and overwhelming. Experiencing anxiety and depression affects everything from eating patterns to engaging with your community. Music therapy offers a fun and accessible treatment option for those looking to improve their mental health. A Northwestern University study found music therapy is so effective in reducing stress and boosting moods that it acts as a viable alternative to medication post-surgery. Listening to music lowers cortisol, the brain’s stress hormone. When trauma or crisis damages your mental health, writing and playing music provides a healthy channel for emotional expression. Overall, music therapy presents a constructive outlet for stress management and anxiety reduction.

Music Therapy’s Impact of Physical Health
Music therapy impacts physical health similarly to cognitive behavioral therapy. Listening to music provides a rhythmic basis for deep breathing, cues positive mental imagery, and directs attention away from pain. These effects lead to a lower respiration rate, reduced blood pressure, reduced muscle tension, and less physical pain. Additionally, dancing or playing an instrument improves dexterity and long-term mobility. Music therapy improves neuroplasticity which prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The more you engage with music therapy, the greater its impacts on your physical health become leading to long-term replacements for dysfunctional physical coping mechanisms.

Music Therapy for You
Now that you know all of the amazing benefits music therapy has in store, let’s point you in the right direction to achieve those perks. You can find a certified music therapist in your area and register for a class at Create More Music. Start with a free 30-minute trial lesson to experience the therapeutic impacts of music yourself.

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