Music therapy is defined on wikipedia.org as “an evidence-based clinical use of musical interventions to improve clients’ quality of life”. While you may not want to formally use music therapy in your own life, it’s good to know what the benefits are if you’re thinking about using music to help you relax.
In music therapy it is used to help people develop better health in emotional, social, cognitive and sensory ways. This is done by including active participation in musical experiences as well as being receptive to listening to music.
Music therapy is used for relaxation as well as for other reasons. One of the advantages of using music therapy is that it is based on both neural and physical responses to the sound you hear. This means you can benefit from singing or playing an instrument as well as listening to music.
If you feel like singing along to music in the car, try it.
Research has shown that music therapy has benefits for all people. So, if you’re a busy person and you’re looking for ways to relax, think about all the ways to bring music into your life. Are there times during the day when you can wear headphones during work hours? Perhaps you could incorporate music into family activities with your kids. If you’re spending time writing a to do list, why not listen to music while you’re doing it? There are lots of short times during the day when you could include music in your life.
Studies have even shown that people who listen to the distraction of music at the same time as undergoing a painful experience (like having an intravenous needle placed in the arm) feel less pain and less stress as a result of music.
If you know you have to undergo a painful procedure consider using music as a distraction. The more relaxed you are throughout your day the better you’ll feel overall.
Although music can’t help with curing diseases or ailments, it has been shown to improve people’s coping ability during these times.
If music is useful to help people cope with illness, why not give it a go when you’re not feeling on top of a task? See if your coping skills improve when you listen to music at a time of high stress. Music may help you reduce feelings of being overwhelmed or anxious.
From studies done with music therapy we know music can be used to enhance people’s lives when they need it most. If you are at all hesitant about using music to help you relax then consider trying it for at least part of your day and at least a couple of weeks. The results may surprise you.