Music & health - the therapeutic effect of music & dance
How music can affect our mood and health – and how this effect is utilized
A very good “Moin” from East Frisia! I am Andreas Reichert and I have worked as a sound designer and music producer at my agency, MEDIA SOUND DESIGN (www.mediasounddesign.com) for 20 years. Music is, to a certain extent, my life. It's practically a gift and - at the same time – a privilege to be able to express myself creatively through it. Although I deal with music every day, I’m always amazed at what a great effect it seems to have on us Humans.
I find the fact that there are actually some fields of medicine which are interested in music to be even more exciting. So, is there a direct link between sounds and health?
Therapie bei #Demenz – Tanzen gegen #Alzheimer und— naturheilzentrum (@nabomade) January 2, 2020
vergessen? Was es genau damit auf sich hat, erlären & zeigen die YouTuber Zitoun und Rüger jetzt im neuen Naturheilzentrum #Video #nabomade! #Gesundheit, mitreißender Schwung, #Bewegung & Choreograhie.. https://t.co/SbBaFLnslG pic.twitter.com/ip0LEEJYss
Music - Balm for the soul. But is it also a remedy?
Everyone knows the power that music has to evoke emotions in us. It can make us cheer in stadiums, give us goosebumps in crime dramas, or bring us to tears. A song on the radio can take us back mentally to a certain situation. And music is part of our lives for all the important events – from your first birthday to your wedding up to your death. There are no People on this earth that don’t have music. Music is deeply Human.
What fascinates me, however, is that listening to music appears to even have some kind of therapeutic effect, as I recently found out via this study (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0110490). It says: Sad music can help us cope better with negative feelings. At first glance, this seems paradoxical, doesn’t it? But if you think about it a while longer, then it does make sense. Is melancholic music therefore a good remedy against sadness? Maybe it's worth trying out.
In any case, I found the connection between music and the mental state to be intriguing. During further research, I came across a few other very interesting reports: Apparently, the beneficial effect of music is even greater if you actively play music yourself instead of just listening to it. At least, that’s what this article entitled "Music strengthens the soul and the immune system" claims (https://www.derwesten.de/gesundheit/musik-staerkt-seele-und-immunsystem-id7656032.html). Among other things, it says that singing can increase your well-being and even strengthen the immune system. Exciting, isn’t it?
So, is there a direct link between music and health? I myself am firmly convinced of it. And a lot of information points towards this.
Music therapy for strokes and even a possible remedy for dementia?
One very specific field in which music is actively being researched as a type of therapy is dementia. I came across this topic while in conversation with the naturopaths, Farid Zitoun and Christian Rüger from Naturheilzentrum Bottrop, when they were shooting a new video about dance therapy against dementia. They also deal extensively with this topic in their daily practice. It is worthwhile taking a look at naturopathic practice’s vlogs.
It is very easy to find numerous sources on the Internet that show that music therapy could help against symptoms of dementia. One example of this is the meta study by the Cochrane Institute, which has good evidence that music therapy reduces depression in dementia patients, and their emotional well-being can improve: (https://www.cochrane.de/sites/cochrane.de/files/public/uploads/gfb/12_2018.pdf).
Wonderful, isn't it? During my research, I also came across this report by Bayerischer Rundfunk, which states that music therapy has even been successfully used for other neurological conditions, such as after strokes. https://www.br.de/themen/wissen/musik-forschung-therapie-medizin-100.html).
Although I work with music every day and take pleasure in it, I am constantly made aware of the powerful tool we have at our disposal through such studies. Music is pure feeling; the soothing vibrations can bring all the "strings" of our body into "harmony" with each other.
Music is something beautiful – everyone can get something out of it!
In summary, it does not seem at all farfetched to believe that music can have a positive influence on our health as well as our feelings. Wouldn't it be a good thing if we were to make use of this much more often - before we resort to any chemical tablets?
In any case, music is something beautiful that everyone can enjoy. No matter what you Personally like, whether you possess any musical talent or not: music is fun – and that's absolutely wonderful in itself! It connects generations and creates a sense of community.
I will continue to create my productions with enthusiasm and attention to detail. Even if I don't directly get therapeutic effects from it, I’ll nevertheless know that others will benefit from the fruits of my labor.
What about you? What role does music play in your life? Does it help you to cope better with emotionally difficult situations? Or have you ever experienced music therapy?
Write down your thoughts and experiences in the comments’ section. I'm totally looking forward to reading them!
Until then and best regards,
More information on the topic of dementia & dance therapy can be found in the latest article in the Naturheilzentrum Bottrop news section. The latest post on the NABO Tumblr blog is also dedicated to the topic of senior sports.
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