The Humanizing and Enlightening Power of Music
We often hear it: music is an emotion.
Sure, you get it not only with a nostalgic feel but also when you listen to a particular song. Music can also be used to influence our emotions. Therefore, it is not surprising that different music genres have been used for many years as a cure for people with mental health and behavioral problems.
Since ancient times, people have used music to make them feel better. But according to Susan van Hooren, music therapy is much more than a good feeling. ‘In music therapy, we apply musical parameters to influence emotions.
After the Second World War, the use of music therapy in healthcare started to gain momentum. At that time, more attention was paid to the wellbeing of the patient, especially psychiatric patients. This provided room for more creativity and therapeutic interventions to complement medical treatments.
“Music therapy as an empirical therapeutic intervention is used today for different support needs and different target groups,” says Susan van Hooren. This includes psychiatric care for people with depression, psychotic disorders, or addiction problems, but music therapy includes care for people with mental illness, acquired brain damage, Parkinson’s disease.
It is also found in rehabilitation such as CVA, care for the elderly such as dementia, and children with ADHD and autism.
According to many studies, music therapy is also effective for people with dementia. How does this process work? Van Hooren: ‘There are several hypotheses about this. First, music can provide a sense of familiarity, because it evokes associations with the familiar environment or fond memories.
These memories appear to be strongly entrenched, even in people with dementia. This familiarity can make someone feel safer, reduce inner unrest and thus reduce behavioral problems at the same time.
Tension and stress
Music can also reduce tension and stress. Van Hooren: “This applies to both the subjective experience of stress and the physical response to stress such as blood pressure, heart rate, and skin conductance because music activates very old structures in the brain.
In these cases, it is important that the needs of the parties are closely coordinated and the non-verbal response is activated almost continuously. Requires a patient-centric attitude and very good observation skills.
What kind of music?
But what is the best music for the brain, the best music to touch its sensitive nerves? “It’s a difficult question that can’t be answered in one sentence,” says Van Hooren. It can be happy or sad music for example. We know the sad music paradox.
It evokes empathy and even positive feelings, which can make sad music soothing. In any case, many scientists agree that it is important to match the music used to the personal tastes of the people involved as closely as possible. With the help of the internet, different websites like top link building services, podcasts, radio, mobiles, and other helpful links.