A sweet lullaby can gently hush an infant's crying. A romantic serenade can make a lover's heart swoon. A rock 'n roll beat can get an athletic team psyched for the big game. And, a joyous tune can strengthen the beat of your heart. There is no doubt about it--music is therapeutic and can enhance well-being.
Music therapy is a research-based form of treatment that is used to manage emotional, mental, social and physical issues. The American Music Therapy Association, Inc.
, states that music therapy is beneficial for:
- Individuals of all ages
- Persons affected by learning disorders and developmental disabilities
- Brain trauma victims
- Alzheimer's patients
- Substance abusers
- Individuals experiencing acute and chronic pain
Music therapy has also been shown to have positive effects on heart health, according to prestigious institutions such as Harvard Medical School and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). It is reported in the November 2009 issue of Harvard Heart Letter
that music therapy can benefit your heart by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and decreasing heart rate. Researchers from UMMC found that music also increases the blood flow to your heart by relaxing the inner lining of the blood vessels, which results in vasodilation; however, these findings occurred when the subjects listened to joyous music. When they listened to music that evoked anxiety, blood flow to the heart was actually decreased.
A music therapist can help individuals assess their needs and will design music therapy sessions that will be beneficial to your health. To learn more about music therapy or to find a music therapist in your area, visit the website of the American Music Therapy Association.
Harvard Heart Letter
; "Using Music to Tune the Heart"; 2009
University of Maryland Medical Center:
Joyful Music may Promote Heart Health
Labels: American Music Therapy Association, heart health, music therapy