Practical Music Therapy

You’re standing on the metro platform underground. You can hear someone behind you talking on the phone loudly, completely unconcerned they’re in public. The guy across from you is clearing his throat and coughing, a young mother is struggling to keep all her kids from squirming and whining, and well, a lot is happening. Then you remember you have your headphones. You pull them on, plug in and soon you are listening to beautiful noises instead of the sound of old brakes grinding to a halt and chatter that sounds more like noise pollution. The music begins to sooth you. You can close your eyes and be alone in your head with your chosen sounds.

If you are negatively affected by loud noises, being in that environment without music can be very difficult to manage. Music can help immensely and is easily accessible, not requiring a prescription nor require you to be in any specific locations for treatment.

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or several other ailments, music can be a game changer, a mood changer, AND over time, a quality of life changer. Music has been found to be an effective treatment for all types of maladies, from nurturing premature infants to soothing those with depression and Parkinson’s disease. Depression sufferers can be unengaged and find it difficult to derive joy from life, but music has been shown to introduce new meaning. Music therapy is even helping patients with Alzheimer’s improve their memory. Music can boost the body’s immune system function and reduce both physical pain and stress. The British Association for Music Therapy says “regular therapeutic music sessions can help people connect and develop trusting relationships with others and provide a sense of belonging. Those who may receive music therapy include children or adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, emotional or behavioural problems. They may be the elderly, people with terminal illness, or those suffering from a variety of mental health problems.”

If you feel music can help you, it may be worth looking into music therapy. Music therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to meet personalized goals within a therapeutic relationship, where music is used to address your physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. Music therapy programs are offered world wide at universities, playhouses, treatment centers and more. (See my recent blogs highlighting U.S. recovery facilities leading world-class music therapy programs.)

How can music be used for healing in your daily life?

Here are some methods to try:

1. Find Solace in Crowds

As alluded to in the intro, putting your headphones on to drown out the noises around you in a public place can be helpful and sometimes even necessary. Plug in and tune out the hustle and bustle around you. Any music that calms or takes you to another place is a good starting point. We’ve created a playlist for you to try out on your next commute. Playlist: Soothe

2. Meditation Assistance

Music can be a very helpful and relaxing addition to meditation. It can help you unwind and more easily drop into your meditative state before and during. You can find many guided meditations on YouTube or Spotify already programmed with music. If you choose to meditate without audio guidance, instrumental or spiritual music can be helpful in keeping you awake and focused.

3. Sleep Aid

Many who suffer from emotional and mental trauma have more trouble sleeping than the average person. It can be difficult to fall or stay asleep throughout the night. There are many guided sleep meditations on youtube to test out. It can take a few tries to find one that works for you, so don’t get discouraged if the first one you try doesn’t resonate. Another option is binaural beats, or different frequencies sent to each ear (wearing headphones for best results) that can change your brainwave frequencies from a state of anxiety or other non ideal states, to that of a calm state in which you can find deep, relaxed sleep. I recommend this one to start.

Have you tried any of the above methods? Have you found healing through music?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of music therapy, possible programs you can get involved with and the overall healing power of music.

To your good health,

Noel McDermott

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