Healing with harmony: Music in medicine

Published On: May 06 2013 11:40:57 AM CDT   Updated On: May 06 2013 06:37:15 PM CDT
health, stethoscope

BACKGROUND: Music has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that music could heal both the body and the soul. When King Saul was having bad dreams, young David would play the lyre for him and this would calm the tormented king. Native Americans have used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals for millennia. The more formal approach to music therapy began in World War II, when U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals began to use music to help treat soldiers suffering from shell shock. (SOURCE: http://www.cancer.org/)

 

MUSIC THERAPY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Today, music therapy is used by health care professionals to promote healing and enhance quality of life for their patients. Music therapy may be used to encourage emotional expression, promote social interaction, relieve symptoms, and for other purposes. (SOURCE: http://www.cancer.org/)

 

MUSICAL THERAPIST: Today, more than seventy colleges and universities have degree programs that are approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapists must have at least a bachelor’s degree, 1,200 hours of clinical training, and one or more internships before they can be certified. There are thousands of professional music therapists working in health care settings in the United States today. They serve as part of cancer-management teams in many hospitals and cancer centers, helping to plan and evaluate treatment. Some music therapy services are covered by health insurance. (SOURCE: http://www.cancer.org/)

 

INTERVENTION: Some research suggests that music-based interventions can be effective in reducing anxiety, pain perception and sedative intake. Music that is selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines for music selection should be followed in order to maximize its positive effect on patients. Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

 

·         Promote Wellness

·         Manage Stress

·         Alleviate Pain

·         Express Feelings

·         Enhance Memory

·         Improve Communication

·         Promote Physical Rehabilitation

(SOURCE: http://uknow.uky.edu/)


* For More Information, Contact:

 

            Elizabeth L. Stegemöller, PhD, MT-BC

            estegemoller@hhp.ufl.edu