The field of music therapy has been talked about for ages. There has been talk of the soothing effects of music back in the 19th and late 18th century. Music is said to soothe the souls and help the body heal in various ways. Today, science can shed light on some of those claims, confirming or debunking them.
Music Therapy for the Aphasic
Some people are diagnosed with a collection of disorders, called aphasia. This is the inability to produce or comprehend language, at various levels. Broca’s aphasia, for example, means that you will be unable to create grammatical sentences, yet you would be aware of your condition, and will be able to understand others. Comprehension may be lost, though that would imply another aphasia being present.
Broca’s aphasia is experimentally treated with music therapy. Some patients have been shown to be able to sing without stopping, essentially forming sentences, contradictory to their own inhibitions due to aphasia. This is ongoing research, but one which shows promising results.
This works because the brain has specific sections wired for language and others for music. The brain is not brick and mortar, it can adapt, so when the musical part is intact, it can also take on the duty of the language part, in layman terms.
Music Therapy for Physical Disabilities
People can have a single disability or even more than one. Music therapy can help with that. The fine motor skills can be practiced and improved with instruments. People with motor disabilities can improve their overall health through rhythmic exercises or just playing an instrument.
Singing is also used as an exercise to fix certain speech patterns and the inability to pronounce sounds. People can often sing the things they cannot say, and they can fix anything from sentence length, tone, clarity and accent.
Music Therapy for Stress Management
Music lowers our heartbeat, skin temperature, even muscle movement and activity. This has been scientifically proven, rather than that being a conclusion from people who love classical music in the evening. Music has been shown to influence various processes in our body, both mental and physiological. This often ends up with relaxation, providing a great medicine, if you will, for people who suffered from disorders related to stress.
Music not only promotes relaxation, but also reinforces it. This means that you will likely be able to get in a relaxed state easier, the more you practice relaxation through music.
Have in mind that these things usually take active practice, and that they will not happen by themselves. Music therapy requires trained professionals to guide the patients, especially when dealing with severe disorders and disabilities. Music therapy works, in different ways, for different problems.