Music therapy is a great alternative for kids and teens battling mental health conditions and other illnesses. This type of therapy entails a licensed professional utilizing music in a clinical setting to achieve objectives that are personalized to each individual. Music is utilized to decrease pain in patients, provide them the capacity to express how they feel without saying them, and promote relaxation through playing musical instruments, listening to music, writing songs, or singing.
This well-known and ancient health practice uses the emotional, mental, spiritual, aesthetic, and physical aspects of music to enhance their general well-being. When teens and children can express themselves through music therapy, they can let go of unpleasant emotions effectively and productively.
Ancient Music Therapy
Music therapy is widespread in philosophy, Native American culture, and Greek mythology. Historically, music therapy was a popular resource during the two past World Wars. During these times, musicians voluntarily played for the war veterans and wounded in the hospitals. Doctors, nurses, and patients themselves observed an improvement in mood and a positive emotional reaction to the music. They also noticed that their outlook in life changed positively, and their pain decreased as well. Listening to music was very well received that the medical teams hired musicians to play for the soldiers.
Nowadays, music therapy is enjoyed by teens, children, and even adults confronted with physical and mental ailments in hospitals. Among the marvelous features of music therapy is that it is personalized from individual to individual. This implies that a child may find playing an instrument useful, while another may better sing or simply listen to his favorite music. Kids have a strong liking for music therapy because it’s not only exciting and fun for them, but it also offers physical and mental alleviation.
Below are some of the most common mental and physical benefits of music therapy.
For teens and children with cancer and other medical conditions, the pain can be unfathomable and excruciating. Regardless of how mild or strong their medications are, often, they simply aren’t enough. When they play or listen to music or sing or write songs, pain in some of these patients decreases significantly. Music therapy can tremendously help lower pain and decrease anxiety and stress levels for the patient, leading to positive physical changes, which include:
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Lowered heart rate
- Muscular relaxation
- Improved cardiac output
This type of therapy has been proven to significantly impact a patient’s perceived efficacy of treatment, which includes respiration rate, pain reduction, relaxation, reduced anxiety levels, and relaxation.
Furthermore, professors from the Berklee College of Music state a procedure for dealing with pain management by music therapy. It is grounded on a cognitive behavioral therapy model that suggests new feelings, body states, and thoughts may be acclimatized to substitute abnormal patterns. A calm body and pleasing visual images could replace anxiety and tension when they are conditioned as a reaction to calming and familiar music. This process occurs when listening to music is combined with profound relaxation by constant practice. Eventually, the music alone signals the reaction.
The therapy process is created to do certain functions, some of which include:
- Provide a rhythmic pattern for a systematic surge of body tension.
- Shift focus away from the anxiety or pain, diverting the listener with soothing music.
- To provide cues for positive visual imagery.
- To produce a profound relaxing response.
- To focus on healthy feelings and thought patterns.
- To improve mood.
For young adolescents in the hospital, merely being admitted can be a terrifying and frustrating experience, apart from fighting an end-stage disease or other serious illnesses. One outcome of being hospitalized is stress, which can ultimately lead to other health issues.
Typical effects of stress on the body include muscle pain or tension, chest pain, sleep disturbances, stomach problems, and fatigue.
Typical side effects of stress on one’s behavior include social withdrawal, eating problems (under-eating or over-eating), and anger flare-ups.
Finally, typical effects of stress on one’s mood include anxiety, anger or irritability, restlessness, depression or misery, and overwhelming feelings.
Music is indeed one of the most effective solutions for stress. Music is frequently associated with moods, and specific songs can make people feel a range of emotions from calm, invigorated, relaxed, happy, or excited.
Psychology Today documents that all genres of music may produce therapeutic results, although music coming from one’s own country or culture might be most potent. Genres of music vary in the kinds of neurologic stimulation they produce. For instance, classical music has been shown to induce relaxation and comfort, while pop-rock music can cause discomfort. Music may attain some of its therapeutic effects by increasing an individual’s pain tolerance.
Another remarkable positive effect of music therapy is seen in children who are recuperating from surgery. Studies have revealed that listening to music is a safe and viable substitute to medications for alleviating post-surgery pain in kids and teenagers.