How does music treat depression?

When I grew up, I had three major therapists: Bach, Beethoven and rachmaninoff. When I was a child in the piano at home, one or two hours a day, it became a haven for me. I practiced scale, rhythm and arpeggio until it was perfect, because of the sweet pattern between the rhythm – the sound and the mute – it was something I controlled with my fingertips. When I played the ivory and ebony keys, my emotions were translated into melody and sometimes I closed my eyes.

The history of music therapy.

Since the beginning of civilization, music has been used to treat the body and soul, and to express difficult things in words. Greek philosophers used music for therapeutic purposes. Patients with bipolar disorder are instructed to listen to the calm melodies of the flute, and depressed patients are instructed to listen to the hymns. Healing shrines and doctors to house musicians. In fact, around 600 BC, thales music was considered to be the music for people affected by the Spartan plague.

Modern music therapy originated in the 1940s after world war ii. Thousands of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are institutionalized and unable to function in society. Community musicians began visiting senior hospitals to play for traumatized people. Nurses and doctors noticed a positive physical and emotional response – how hymns and melodies that traditional remedies could not reach were communicated to patients and began to hire musicians for hospitals.

In 1950, the national music treatment association (NAMT) was established, which established music and clinical training standards for music therapists, and further promoted the research in this field. In the United States, the music treatment association (AMTA) was established in 1998 by NAMT and the American association for the merger of music treatment (AAMT). Today AMTA is the world’s largest music therapy association, serving more than 5,000 music therapists in more than 30 countries. It promotes music therapy through a number of publications, including two research journals.

Evidence-based treatment

AMTA has a list of more than a dozen studies that support Music in patients with depression and anxiety disorders on its Music and Mental Health website. The results of music therapy include:

Reduce muscle tension

Increasing self-esteem

Reduce anxiety

Strengthen relationships

Increase the power

The emotional release of success and safety.

In a 2011 study published in the British journal of psychiatry, Finnish researchers looked at 79 people between 18 and 50 and depression. According to the health care center in central Finland (region) of the study of data, 46 of the participants received standard care, including five to six times the psychological treatment, antidepressants and psychiatric consultation.

The other 33 participants received the same standard treatment, but were treated 20 times a week for 60 minutes. Music in the conference is based on a series of music instruments, including mallet, percussion instruments and acoustic African drums. The therapist and the client have the same instrument, and all the impromptu records are further processed and discussed.

Depression scores were measured at baseline, three months and six months after intervention. Three months later, participants who received music therapy plus standard care showed significantly better symptoms of depression than those who received standard care. General functions have also been improved.

How does music work?

In music therapy, the therapist USES music to address the individual’s physical, emotional and social needs. Listening and writing music in a therapeutic environment enables individuals to express themselves in non-verbal ways. Melody, harmony, rhythm interaction, by slowing the breathing, heartbeat and other bodily functions, stimulate the human senses, promote calm. The involvement of music, especially when combined with talk therapy, raises the level of the hormone dopamine, which ACTS in reward incentives. The music used is usually tailored to the needs of the patient. Several music combinations are commonly used.

Psychiatrist Michael Crawford in The British Journal of Psychiatry (The British Journal of Psychiatry) published an interesting comments on, The same as The Finnish study, highlighted The music therapy three reasonable reasons: first, it provides a sense of meaning and pleasure – music is a kind of aesthetic experience or passive patients; Secondly, this treatment is in contact with the body, allowing people to move – physical participation to avoid depression; And finally, it’s about relationships, because music can help us interact, communicate and interact with others. We are hard wired and society, music allows us to do that.

Active and passive music therapy.

Music therapy is usually active or passive. In active therapy, therapists and patients use instruments or sounds to create music. Encourage patients to share surface thoughts and feelings. Ideally, the person will have a deep understanding of his or her problems throughout the process. In passive therapy, individuals listen to music while meditating, painting, or doing some kind of reflective activity. Then the therapist and the patient talk about feelings or memories caused by music.

If you are interested in music therapy, you can contact the American music therapy association (AMTA) to find qualified music therapists.


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