Music therapy: entry into the world of sounds

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"She only likes music when it's loud when she puts her in the stomach," sang Herbert Grönemeyer in 1984, making it clear to many people for the first time that deaf people absorb and perceive vibrations through their bodies. However, the perception of vibrations is only one facet of music as therapy - the awakening of emotions and memories is another.

Music as a means of communication

Music serves as a means of communication. Not just to sing bland declarations of love under shaky balconies or to bring out political beliefs loudly in the world.

In medicine, music has been used since antiquity to cure many ailments. From the realm of the Sumerians temple songs have been handed down, which were firmly integrated into healing rituals. From antiquity to 1550, music was firmly in the training of the respective physicians. Music therapy is experiencing a strong upswing since the Second World War.

Today, music therapy is defined as the "purposeful use of music within the therapeutic relationship of restoring, sustaining and promoting mental, physical and mental health". This refers to all music therapy psychotherapeutic concepts that are used in medicine. It is not about "right" or "wrong" singing, or about whether the piano lessons were successful.

Musical access to people with depression

Music therapy is often used where the usual means of communication fail. For the most common mental and psychiatric disorders in old age - depression and senile dementia - Music therapy offers support and help. Depressed people who are trapped in their emotional world, often succeed with music that emotional rigidity to leave and get back to life.

The music therapy access to depressed people should, however, be left to the therapist. Music therapy is always integrated in a therapeutic overall concept and is competently looked after - just playing a CD is not enough.

Music therapy against forgetting

In aging people, music is the drug of choice To awaken memories. Because formative musical experiences are made in the youth and age-old people usually live in the reality of their childhood and youth, music therapists can build on experiences and experiences that their patients have not forgotten.

Many old-age patients who no longer remember the names of their relatives can easily sing songs from their youth. For many patients, this experience alone is one piece Life quality. Music is used to address emotions that go far beyond verbal and cognitive skills.

Conversely, in this way, the Agility stimulated again A dance to music often follows spontaneously when rhythm and music communicate to the body. The recognition of this potential is the task of the music therapist, who must deal with every single patient accordingly. The term "music lesson in a nursing home" will certainly not do justice to the music therapy approach in geriatric care.

With rattles and soft strings

What kind of music, what instruments and to what extent music is used therapeutically, is decided by the therapist. Many therapists set, for example Orff instruments who do not require any musical education from patients.

When body sensation and perception are to be supported, so too "Sound chair" used. The patient sits upright with his back against his back in the chair, on the back of which steel strings are made to vibrate by the therapist. The sound is perceived in the chair throughout the body, with the spine forming the physical center of the vibration transmission.

Therapists appreciate the sound chair because it gives the patient an upright but comfortable posture that supports inner awareness and awareness. Above all, patients who are afraid of feeling at their mercy or who are very helpless because of a physical disability benefit from the new therapeutic tool. For infants and children or the severely disabled people, sound couches are also used, with which the sounds can be perceived over the entire body.

Relaxation for body and soul

Music - whether heard primarily or played itself - serves to emotionally address the patient and in this way reduce tension and communicative approaches to the patient to find. Accordingly, music is used as a building block in the mental and psychiatric treatment of children.

Because the sense of hearing remains functional for the longest, even the most seriously ill can be addressed through music. Studies have found that these patients can be addressed by hearing, sound, sounds and speech. At the same time sensations are transported along. Trust, security and closeness resonate. Measurements show that a deeper and more regular breathing and a slower heartbeat follow - relaxation and calming occurs.

Music therapy for wake coma patients

Therefore, music therapy is used as an adjunctive therapy in patients with coma. In these patients, external influences such as an accident, brain bleeding or temporary lack of oxygen have caused lasting damage. It used to be thought that people in the vegetative state did not perceive their environment. Often these patients lie with their eyes open, but almost motionless in their beds. It is difficult for outside observers to assess what is going on inside them.

Today, we know that coma patients focus on attention and purposefully offered sensory stimuli react. In many patients, there is an improvement in the course of the awake humor, which may be temporary or permanent. Therefore, music therapy measures are also recommended by the Verband Deutscher Rentenversicherungsträger.

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