Music therapy is the clinical use of music to treat patients with physical, psychological, cognitive, and social functioning issues. It is a powerful and noninvasive chronic pain treatment method because it can reduce pain, anxiety, and depression. The treatment is for patients of all ages, with outcomes based on the individual’s emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal responsiveness to the music and/or therapy relationship. The American Music Therapy Association, Inc. says the therapy has been shown to be effective for pain patients. The therapy has been used for pain management, physical rehabilitation, cardiac conditions, medical and surgical procedures, obstetrics, oncology treatment, and burn debridement. As a form of sensory stimulation, music provokes responses based on familiarity, predictability, and feelings of security. Therapists use musical activities, both instrumental and vocal, to cause changes in a patient’s condition. Music treatment has been used to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Help patients manage pain without drugs.
- Encourage positive changes in mood and emotional states.
- Shorten patients’ stays in clinical or hospital situations.
Music helps patients deal with pain by improving respiration, lowering blood pressure, improving heart output, and easing muscle tension. According to Suzanne Hanser, Ed.D., MT-CC, of the Berklee College of Music (the world’s largest independent music college located in Boston, Massachusetts), music directs a person’s attention away from the pain, helps with deep rhythmic breathing, cues positive imagery, and helps patients to focus on positive thoughts and feelings. This blog post is an excerpt from A Day Without Pain (Revised) by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP). photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc