Dealing with an illness is always a challenge. There are physical symptoms to deal with that can cause any number of problems, from fatigue to pain. Then there are the emotional symptoms like depression, anxiety and stress. Any way you look at it, an illness — especially one that lasts more than a couple of weeks — is going to take a toll on you physically and mentally.
There are all kinds of ways to try to nurture yourself while you work on recovering. Many people try to distract themselves from physical and mental symptoms by reading or watching TV.
But why not try music? Music has been proven to be clinically effective. Music therapy is also a potentially cost-saving way to heal. The advantage music therapy has over other therapies is that it can be self-administered, making it accessible to everyone — though it can also be facilitated by a trained music therapist.
A therapist will use music in a holistic way to promote, maintain and restore mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. What makes music therapy so effective is that music itself is nonverbal, so it can reach parts of you that don’t normally respond/listen to words. It is creative and can stimulate your imagination and encourage you to expand your perceptions. And it is also capable of connecting with you emotionally, opening the door for some self-healing to take place.
Taken together then, these qualities of music are used during therapy to encourage contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development. You can see how all of these benefits together could become a powerful force that you can harness to regain good health.
Current studies also suggest that when music therapy is used along with traditional therapy, it could improve success rates significantly. And now a recent study conducted in Luxembourg has found that even a serious disease like dementia could benefit from the healing powers of music. The research team that conducted the clinical trial found that music seems to stimulate emotional memory and this, in turn, can trigger the emergence of other memories and better cognitive performance. Music therapy also increased feelings of well-being in the study participants.