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Music: Therapy in Song

The sense of sound is one we use daily. Sounds can alert us by serving as reminders – take that obnoxious alarm clock, for example. Sounds in the form of music can also remind us of the past or prompt us to reflect on certain memories. Do you find yourself listening to music from the ‘80s or ’90s and experiencing a little nostalgia as a result? Music can be a very powerful thing. Have you ever gotten chills while listening to a particular song or artist? How do you feel when your favorite song comes on the radio? Music can evoke many different emotions and can even spark creativity.

Music has the ability to make us feel something, say something, or understand something that perhaps we could not feel, say, or understand otherwise. Music can serve as an outlet or a method of expression for many. Depending on the style and volume, music can also be very relaxing and soothing. In treatment and recovery programs, music can serve as a therapeutic tool to help with coping, understanding, and overcoming addiction.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is “the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environment with individuals, groups, families, or communities, who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health and well‐being.” While it sounds simple, music therapy can be very comprehensive and can serve many purposes when it comes to treatment and recovery.

Music therapy is an evidence-based approach that uses music to improve things such as mental health, mood, stress levels, or self-expression. It has also been shown to improve coping abilities and increase self-esteem for some. This unique form of treatment uses music to address individuals’ emotional, cognitive, physical, or even social needs.

It is important to distinguish between music or sound therapy and sound healing. Music therapy is used to trigger an emotional response, while sound therapy utilizes specific sounds to heal the mind and body. While they may sound similar in title, they are very different treatment methods.

Depending on the setting, music therapy can involve a variety of activities. Activities are selected based on the needs of the treatment recipients and what is most appropriate. Some common activities that might take place during music therapy include listening to music, writing songs, making music, singing, dancing, or even discussing and reflecting on music.

Who Can Benefit From Music Therapy?

Music therapy is practiced in a variety of settings. These may include nursing homes, schools, recreational programs, and treatment facilities. Studies have been conducted to understand the benefits music therapy can have on individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and mental illness. Research into the benefits of music therapy for those with Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac conditions has also shown its effectiveness. Learn more about ways in which music therapy can improve symptoms of depression here.

Music can serve as a tool for processing things such as difficult emotions, trauma, and grief. The ability music has to assist with processing is one of the reasons this form of therapy is so widely used to treat different populations. In addition to the benefit of assisting with processing is the accessibility. Music is easily accessible for almost anyone in almost any setting and can allow you to express your feelings and thoughts in a creative way.  Learn more about encouraging creativity as part of treatment here.

Music Therapy for Addiction

Research suggests that music therapy is beneficial when used in treatment and recovery settings for many reasons. Music has been found to increase levels of dopamine, resulting in a better mood and a more optimistic attitude. Music has also been found to reduce levels of cortisol, which, in turn, reduces stress levels. It has even been suggested that music can improve the body‘s immune system functioning, which, following addiction, can be somewhat suppressed.

As mentioned above, music is very accessible. This makes music easy to use in almost any treatment setting. For instance, music can be implemented easily and naturally into outpatient group therapy sessions and throughout residential treatment programs and activities.

In these settings, music can be used to promote and encourage connection, assist with communication, or even identify triggers. Music therapy is typically used to supplement other treatment methods, so consultation with a collaborative treatment team prior to providing the service is common. Consider seeking an addiction treatment facility that incorporates unique treatment methods, such as music therapy, and make the most of your journey to recovery.

Music therapy, while it may seem a little unconventional, can serve as an excellent treatment method for people battling many different conditions, diseases, and circumstances. Studies have shown music therapy’s benefits to both mental and physical health. Music is powerful and can evoke emotion, encourage communication, or even serve as a method of communication, aid with processing, and more. At Enlightened Solutions, we utilize holistic treatment methods that focus on binding the mind, body, and spirit. We offer a unique program that will help you improve your overall health, build your confidence, teach you coping techniques, and help you rebuild relationships. Let us support you in achieving your goals and support you throughout your journey to recovery. If you or someone you know is impacted by drug or alcohol addiction, don’t hesitate to take action. Pick up the phone and call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE

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