Music Therapy: What it is and Why it Works

Most people have experienced the benefits of music therapy even though they don’t recognise it as a therapeutic practice. Listening to your favourite music or dancing in a club releases serotonin and dopamine that makes you feel happy and reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.  

What is Music Therapy? 

Music therapy is an evidence-based system that is well-established in the medical community. Music therapy can include listening to background music, playing musical instruments, dancing to music and much more. Studies show music therapy has a wide range of medical benefits. 

Music therapy can help with issues relating to psychology, emotions, physical complaints, brain functionality, along with social benefits. Music therapy can reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, an ideal solution.   

Who Benefits From MT? 

Anyone can benefit from music therapy; whether you are suffering from a case of mild stress, anxiety, or depression, or you have a severe case of PTSD, working with a music therapist or using music for therapeutic purposes yourself can improve your mood and change your mind. 

More formally, the groups who engage with music therapy include former veterans with trauma issues, people on the autistic spectrum, people with degenerative memory conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and anyone who suffers from general anxiety and depression conditions.    

Where Does MT Take Place?

When it comes to locations for musical therapy, there are various settings. If someone is practising music therapy for themselves, they can practice in a quiet place with good quality headphones or a quality sound system. Alternatively, they can engage in it more formally. 

If you visit a music therapist, you might undergo therapy in a counselling setting, but this will also be a quiet room conducive to relaxation. Music therapists might also visit public settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, mental health centres and private residences of many kinds.    

What to Expect From MT

Music therapy takes many forms; there is no single, distinctive way to conduct it. Chances are you will tale over your music therapy session with your therapist and target the types of activity most likely to benefit your psychology. This might involve playing music or listening to music. 

During a music therapy session, you will create music with your therapist by playing an instrument using music from; you might also create lyrics and explore your inner world. Alternatively, you sing music, listen to music, or dance to music.   

The Benefits of MT

There are several known benefits to music therapy; in fact, the medical community has identified six key areas that benefit an individual; these include psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive, and social benefits; because it affects the emotional centre of the brain. 

Music influences the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that regulates moods and emotions. Instead of using medication to improve the mood and psychology of an individual, a therapist can use music therapy techniques to achieve the same benefits without the chemicals.   

What do you think of the benefits of music therapy? Let us know in the comments!

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