Music therapy: health and quality of life
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Music therapy: health and quality of life

Therapy as a medication against depression and problem-solving is vastly discussed nowadays with regards to the use of music in medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and other distinct areas.

Have you ever thought about how much music is present in our lives since the remote times? Nice songs with unforgettable melodic lines have been, throughout history, part of human development, cultural traits of a country, a generation, or even of your own life, dear reader. There is always a song that leaves us feeling nostalgic, or with an indescribable happy feeling. Others share their tranqulity, whereas others still cause tears for how they can get to us.

Through music we live, for it translates the expression of the human body and soul, its anguish, its pleasure, its satisfaction, its friendliness, its sweetness... As in photography, music registers moments, creates musical boundaries in each one of us.

I bet you all know John Lennon´s song Imagine, which translated both an ideal and unreal universe. That is the example of a song which translates our soul.  And that is what happens to music in general.

That is why I am here to talk about therapy through music. And that is why it is so important to have a qualified professional when it coms to that, since music can bring up the best in you, and the stress in you, depending on how and when it is applied.

Studies prove that music can save depressive people, as well as introverts, shy or people with other severe psychological issues.  Luiz Celso, a neurologist from Sao Paulo´s Federal University (Unifesp), talks about the musical benefits in several neurological treatments: ´music therapy has improved the conditions of patients with severe brain deficiencies, as well as improved the conditions of patients with Alzheimer´, says the doctor.

Celso says it is not possible to prescribe a dose f Bach in the morning, two of jazz after meals, now one of Vivaldi before night time, but is sure the advances are positive nonetheless: ´the results are impressive, the patients show signs of improvement in a very short time.´

Studies of the World Federation of Music Therapy point out that the treatment also cause positive results in children with OCD. According to researchers, music therapy could actually transform the whole history of education, teaching and learning, improving the development of students, and considerably decreasing the lack of attention, since music has a restorative power. Studies from Unifesp carried out in the city of Sao Paulo show that, in as little as six months, children who were going through music therapy presented an important advancement when it comes to learning and keeping focused during classes.

Music therapy consists in using music and its elements (such as harmony, rhythm and melody) to facilitate and promote communication, relationships, learning processes, mobility, expression and organization skills for curing physical, emotional, social and cognitive problems. Music develops primary functions, such as speaking, comprehension, focus, memory and emotions, so the person is able to live happily and healthily.

In order to reach positive results in a short period of time, music therapy can be allied to the work of psycologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and other doctors, as well as teachers and speech therapists, with the use of sounds to propel the individual to movement, learning, and rehabilitation of lost functions, emotional or not.

The use of music as a therapeutic method exists for many centuries. Incipient researches came from the United States, right after the first music therapy university came up, in 1944 – Michigan State University.

The music therapy patients are usually autistic or with some kind of physical or mental issue, pregnant women, and patients with emotional dificulties. In such cases, the treatments may follow two different paths: the professional plays songs for the patient; or the patient himself plays instruments and/or sings.

Music leads to dance (movement), and as a consequence, releases endorphins and serotonin to the body. All feelings and behaviors presented by the patients are metaphorized through sounds, of magic notes that bring to the individual the willing to live and interact with others.

Therefore, it is compulsory that every music therapist is also a musician and is able to play several instruments.
 

Nanda Coelho



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