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The NSPA Blog

The Benefits of Music Therapy

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Posted on December 25th, 2017 by Teri Dreher, under Alternative Therapies, Patient Tools

The Universal Language                          

Music plays a significant role in nearly everyone’s life, but for some people it represents much more than an invitation to dance or a soundtrack for the morning commute.

Researchers have found that music therapy provides a diversion from negative feelings and helps manage the pain in adults, as well as children with developmental, physical, behavioral and neurological disabilities.

Adults with pain find that music can increase the range of motion and motor skills. In some cases, it is a replacement for medication.

“Music is invaluable to people with special needs, allowing them to express themselves non-verbally,” said Travis Perry, a music teacher for more than 35 years and inventor of ChordBuddy, a device that makes guitar-learning easier for anyone (his invention was showcased on ABC’s Shark Tank). “Veterans can use music to help cope with PTSD as well as other physical injuries. Senior citizens can learn to play the guitar, which helps build hand strength.”

Music has been known to help with balance maintenance and reduce the risk of falls. It is known that 33 percent of those over 65 fall at least once per year. Yet, studies have shown that when the elderly exercise to music, their balance improves.

One Swedish Study compared two groups of senior citizens, one that exercised to piano music and another that exercised with no music. The group that listened to piano music improved their balance when walking, and ultimately had half the number of falls when compared to the group that didn’t exercise to music. Music also helps seniors to relax and build on social skills. Music increases concentration and helps activate the brain cells.

As people age, there are various kinds of pains and other physical manifestations of illnesses. Soothing music sessions can help build mental stamina and withstand some of the minor aches and pains.

Music therapy can encouragepeople to feel more positive and upbeat about their life. Music rejuvenates seniors and encourages them to try new things.

Do you feel music is important in your life? Have you tried exercising to music or using music to improve your mental attitude? How has music helped you?

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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