More and more people from all walks of life are stepping forth to sing the praises of music therapy.
It isn’t only formal, professional therapy sessions that are said to reap benefits. Many seniors suffering from depression, dementia, and various other mental ailments seem to benefit simply from listening to the music they enjoyed in earlier years.
This seems to hold true even for people who no longer recognize much of what was once familiar to them. According to a Wall Street Journal report on music therapy, some people can remember and sing songs even when they no longer remember once-familiar names and faces.
According to the same report, evidence is growing that listening to music can be important to maintaining senior health.
Music, the report states, can help stimulate seemingly lost memories and help restore cognitive function.
Some elderly patients are provided iPods, along with music they used to enjoy, for use in institutions or at home. The growing belief is that listening to familiar music from the past can help seniors with failing memories connect to past experiences. In many cases, connecting to music from the past can help elderly patients reconnect to earlier days, recreate some memories, and almost relive certain experiences.
Involving trained music therapists in the process likely enhances the chances of getting such favorable results. According to Dr. Concetta Tomaino, executive director of the nonprofit Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, as reported in the Wall Street Journal report, an unpublished study she led showed that one hour of personalized music therapy three times a week for 10 months led to a a 50% improvement on a cognitive-function test among various patients with mid- to late-stage dementia.
According to the study, one patient recognized his wife for the first time in months.
Music therapy may be more effective for some patients than for others, but it’s hard to see how anyone can go wrong listening to music from time to time, or even daily. I’ve seen a lot of reports discussing the benefits of listening to music–both healthwise and otherwise–but I don’t recall reading anywhere that enjoying the music one loves can be a bad thing.
Do you consider music important to your overall health? If so, please leave a comment telling what role music plays in your well-being, and what kind of music works best for you!
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Music Therapy – An Overview © 2012 MedicareMall.com