Music Therapy

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					Music therapy is the health profession that uses music and sound, in all
its forms, to maintain or improve the health of the patient. Music has
been found to help regulate one's circulatory and respiratory systems,
improve one's overall physical and mental health, treat psychosomatic
disorders (anxiety, stress, phobias, etc.), aid in the proper course of
pregnancy, and maintain the proper development of the embryo in
postoperative disorders. Music therapy is based on the interpersonal
therapeutic relationship between a professional music therapist and the
patient. The objectives and methods of treatment are personalized and
tailored to the needs and characteristics of the patient. The idea that
the effect of music can be therapeutic is definitely not new. The
primitive belief that disease was caused by higher magical or divine
powers begot exorcism as a way to eliminate these harmful entities. These
ceremonies would combine sounds, music, words, and gestures appropriate
to individual circumstances. The oldest evidence of medical practice,
the Egyptian papyrus Kahun, refers to the use of an incantation which
helped dramatically in curing diseases. Evidence regarding the use of
music as a therapeutic means are included in many historical writings of
ancient civilizations such as Egypt, China, India, Greece and Rome. Much
later, the Persian scientist, psychologist, and musicologist, Al Farabi
(872-950 AD), in his treatise "Meanings of the Intellect" (Concepts of
Intellectual Property), made reference to music therapy and the
therapeutic effect of music on the human soul. In the late 18th century,
scientists began to investigate the effect of music on the human body.
Their studies and experiments showed that music helps to regulate heart
rate, respiratory function, blood circulation, as well as other positive
health effects. The introduction of music therapy in the health sector
was initiated after the first and second World War, when professional and
amateur musicians offered their services voluntarily, visiting
hospitalized veterans, trying, with passive or active participation of
soldiers, to alleviate physical and mental wounds left by war, and to
relieve pain through the use of their music. The remarkable effects of
music on the wounded led medical staff to demand the hiring of musicians
in hospitals. The need for prior musical training led to the foundation
of the first Music Therapy class at the University of Michigan in 1944.
The music therapist's primary goal is to evaluate the emotional, mental,
and physical changes of the patient as a result of different sounds and
musical stimuli. Then, he or she adjusts the therapy sessions to the
specific needs of the patient. There is no specific genre of music that
necessarily has greater therapeutic effect than another. The types of
music or musical stimuli used by the therapist are determined by the
healing process that the therapist and patient prefer and the particular
circumstances of treatment. The patient does not need any prior
knowledge of music, either empirical or academic, to benefit from the
treatment. The therapist may recommend that the patient passively listen
to selected musical parts or sounds or actively participate in the
treatment by urging him or her to compose music or lyrics in order to
shape mental images in the sounds and music or analyze lyrics. Music
therapy assists in medical treatment and assists in the healing process
of physical, emotional, and mental illnesses or disabilities, such as the
ability to handle daily accumulated stress, developmental and learning
disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, memory loss. It has also shown to
help release and enhance emotional expression as well as improve
interpersonal communication. Music therapy benefits people of all ages,
whether they be children, adults, or elderly.      Source:

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