Historically, music has been used for everything from funeral rituals to tribal celebrations. In popular culture, music is used to send out important messages focusing on today’s hot topics. Personally, individuals may use music to help them study, for working out, or for partying with friends. However, the latest research proves that music can do more than bring people together. Many people don’t realize, but it can also increase one’s overall health.
What Physical Benefits Come from Music?
Of course, music can help with exercise by providing a steady rhythm for running or lifting weights, thus increasing endurance. Lesser-known physical benefits include improved immune function, decreased pain, improved sleep quality and even improved blood flow. Studies have shown that music can help people recover more quickly following surgery and improve physical discomfort in cancer patients.
What Mental Benefits Come from Music?
Because playing music lights up basically every area of the brain, it provides excellent mental benefits, such as relaxation and stress reduction. However, studies show that music may also improve memory and cognitive speed, making it beneficial for older adults. Finally, music can improve mood by increasing certain brain chemicals that increase happiness and self-awareness.
Who Is Qualified to Perform Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a great way to utilize these numerous benefits in a medical environment for patients’ betterment. However, this should be performed by a qualified behavioral specialist. Those interested in performing this type of life-changing therapy for others should consider getting an online degree in applied behavior analysis graduate programs. These individuals often use music in the treatment of autism or head injuries or may work with geriatric patients or those with mental illnesses exclusively.
Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy?
Music is so diverse that it can be used in virtually any arena with any people group. Children and senior citizens respond especially well to music, and music is often used in health care facilities to ease pain and anxiety during procedures. Other groups who benefit from music therapy include those with special needs, those who have learning disabilities and those with dementia.
The type of music used is not as important as the frequency with which it is used. Music should convey a certain emotion, be structured and be generally pleasing to the hearer’s ear for effectiveness. With music producing so many excellent health benefits, individuals from all walks of life should be encouraged to play music everywhere from the car and home to work and the gym.