Music therapy Relieves Fibromyalgia Symptoms and improves patients’ quality of life- Study

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What is music therapy?

Munro and Mount (1978) defined music therapy as the controlled use of music and its effect on humans to help the assimilation of physiology, emotions, and psychology, during therapy. The combination of using music as a therapy for treating illnesses has been common throughout centuries, especially during the Renaissance era.

A music therapist will use music to facilitate behavioral changes, by allowing patients to use a variety of musical instruments. Then, the therapist will engage in discussions about the patient’s musical interaction, allowing the patient to express his or her feelings with the aid of musical interaction. T

his form of therapy falls under the concept of music psychology, which is the psychology behind pitch perception and performance. Vink (2001) states that, according to music psychology, patients with little knowledge of music theory respond with the same emotional intensity to music as knowledgeable music performers. Therefore, the main aim of music therapy is to determine how patients respond emotionally to music, and improve cognitive functioning and quality of life.

Manage fibromyalgia pain through music therapy

Music therapy is an effective mode of treatment for fibromyalgia patients. It is carried out by a music therapist who assesses the patient’s needs in order to create an individualized treatment plan that can involve singing, listening, composing, and moving to music. Music therapy has been around for many years and isn’t just effective for fibromyalgia.

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Actually, music therapy can be used for many ailments in order to recover patients’ quality of life by helping to decrease stress, ease pain, and improve overall well-being. A patient does not need to be musically inclined in order to benefit from musical therapy and there isn’t a specific type of music that needs to be used. A music therapist works closely with the patient to understand their own exclusive needs and selects music based on those requirements.

Although working with a therapist is recommended, there is also the so-called prescriptive music that consists of 50 to 60 beats per minute. This recorded edition of music therapy also has been found to assist in lowering blood pressure and decreasing pain. If you have been struggling with the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and wants to try an alternative mode of treatment, speak to your doctor about a referral for music therapy as it could very well offer you benefits.

Music can be beneficial to the management of chronic pain, as it can cause physiological changes within the brain in the regions associated with language, memory, and attention. These changes also influence the means by which the brain processes pain, which can direct to an overall change in the way a patient experiences pain.

Music can heal people

Patients need not be musical in order to partake of the benefits of music therapy and there is no one kind of music that has specific beneficial effects. The type of music to be used in therapy is determined by the board certified music therapist. While it’s best to visit a qualified therapist, there are recorded versions of what is known as prescriptive music, or music that consists of 50-60 beats a minute.

This type of music can lower blood pressure and heart rates and even reduce pain. One fibromyalgia patient saw four different doctors yet found no relief for his pain. A friend lent him a prescriptive music CD and the results were so persuasive the chronic pain sufferer made an appointment with a music therapist. Music was the first thing that had given him relief.

Treatment at home

The researchers applied a relaxation technique based on guided imagery and music therapy to patients, in a series of sessions conducted by a researcher. Patients were given a CD to listen at home. Then, researchers measured a number of variables associated to the main symptoms of fibromyalgia -as pain intensity, quality of life, impact of the condition on patient’s daily life, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, self-efficiency, well-being. Then, patients were given the chance to participate in their own treatment.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects and conditions patients’ social, personal and working life and requires a multidisciplinary approach developed by a team of physicians, physiotherapists, experts in physical activity and sport, psychologists and nurses. The art of recreation with guided images and accessible music therapy could be considered efficient in the substitute symptomatic treatment of this condition. The low cost, easy implementation and the fact that patients can get involved in their treatment at home are some of the advantages of this technique.

Music therapy, aids positive change and emotional well being, as an innovative psychological treatment led by a music therapist. An individualized treatment plan is set by the therapist to meet their client’s unique needs. Depending on the approach, sessions involve singing, listening, composing and moving to music in a group setting or one-on-one with the therapist.

A wide range of instruments are incorporated to motivate clients to develop their own musical language that reflects their emotional and physical state. These sound elements comprised of rhythm, melody and tonality builds a therapeutic connection that heals numerous conditions in people of all ages. Music therapy doesn’t involve a specific genre and you do not need to be musically talented to benefit from it. There is no typical class outline implied, improvisation is encouraged and sessions tend to vastly vary.

Despite the patient-led approach, working with a therapist is highly recommended, as they’re able to facilitate a setting to reach goals, as well as assign tailored retrospective exercises and explore breakthroughs.  Music therapy is especially effective for those with fibromyalgia, as it is something that can be done in the comfort of their own home. It can be completed in your own time, on your own schedule, and is cost effective, meaning that it is easily accessible for all.

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References:

  • Music therapy relieves fibromyalgia symptoms and improves patients’ quality of life via Science Daily, Ref
  • Fibromyalgia & Music Therapy via Brian Barr

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