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April 2017
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MUSIC THERAPY


Music therapy, understood as a treatment method for pedagogical or psychological work, lets patient communicate, with the help of the therapist, via a different to the verbal one since it involves the ISO (individual sonorous identity) which uses sound, music and movement to open channels of communication and a window into the internal world of the patient. From a therapeutic point of view, music becomes an active multisensory, relational, emotional and cognitive stimulation which is used for various problems like prevention, rehabilitation and support, with the aiming being to reach better integration on an interpersonal and intrapersonal level and better psycho-physical harmony and balance.

THE ORIGINS OF MUSIC THERAPY

In all ancient cultures, music and medicine were practically the same thing. The medical priest (the shaman) knew that the world is made according to muscle principles and that all forms of life, including mankind, are dominated by rhythm and harmony. He knew that music has an incantatory power over the irrational part of the brain which brings on well-being and this part, in cases of illness, can reconstruct the lost harmony.

ELEMENTS OF MUSIC THERAPY

The key to the development of mental sanity and well-being and achieving psychical balance is creative activities. Through these, complete development can be aimed for and all potential skills can be brought out. Activities like singing, playing an instrument and dancing are very creative since music is a mental discipline which requires order, attention and concentration, but which also allows for self-expression.

THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES OF MUSIC THERAPY

Music therapy is based on three principles: ISO, which characterises the sonorous identity of an individual; sound as an intermediary object, that is a instrument of communication which is able to act therapeutically on the patient; sound as a complementary object which can supplement the dynamics of communication within a group by standardising them.

MUSIC THERAPY SESSIONS

Music therapy treatment is structured into weekly meetings according to the patient’s needs. Sessions can be individual or in groups and they last 60 minutes each. In some cases, for example when dealing with Alzheimer’s, shorter sessions are preferred.

MUSIC THERAPY AND THE ELDERLY

There are an ever-increasing number of studies and experiences proving the usefulness of music therapy for the elderly, especially if the last part of these elderly people’s lives is spent in an institution. Geriatric patients usually hat have the opportunity to start a preventative/therapeutic course with music in nursing homes and this therapy becomes a source of help and psychological support for the elderly patients, who often have physical and emotional problems.

MUSIC THERAPY AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

In 2001, the American Academy of Neurology indicated music therapy as a technique which can improve functional activities and reduce the resulting behavioural problems of Alzheimer’s disease. This is possible because music appears to become a privileged means of access which can be used to 'contact' the hearts of ill people who still have certain skills and fundamental musical competences intact despite cognitive deterioration caused by the disease they are suffering from.

MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES DURING PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH: APPLICATIONS AND RESULTS

The large number of musical experiences employed around the world confirm how useful musical activities are in anti-natal courses: music can help the expectant mother to relax, contain her anxiety and reach a state of overall psycho-physical well-being.

MUSIC THERAPY AND APHASIA

The experimental use of music therapy in the rehabilitation of aphasic patients has had good results. Aphasic patients are those who have suffered a brain injury, caused by cranial trauma, ischemia, a stroke, haemorrhage or tumour, who have problems expressing and understanding spoken or written language, who may have memory problems regardless of the place and extent of the injury, have difficulty moving, may have experienced changes in sensory perception, are unable to recognise objects and are emotionally unstable.

BIOMUSIC

Biomusic is a direct and practical method which serves to balance out and stimulate the body in order to avoid somatisation of emotional conflicts. According to the creator of biomusic, Professor Mario Corradini, a doctor of music therapy in Italy, Switzerland and Spain, this method is based on the relationship between sounds, music, illness and bioenergetic energy and is used successfully in open groups, which people join without having had their symptoms declared, and in therapy, such as therapy for recovering drug addicts.

MUSIC THERAPY AND ONCOLOGY

When a doctor tells a patient that he/she has a tumour, all the fears and anxiety the patient and his/her family felt during the wait for this result come out. As Balint sensed in 1957, when he published his famous text ‘The Doctor, His Patient and The Illness’...

SOUND MASSAGE

This is a unique way to deal with a poor state of the mind and body and it is quite unconventional and unknown, however it boasts many great benefits, including the use of energy from music.

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