For most people, music is an important part of daily life. Some rely on music to get them through the morning commute, while others turn up a favorite playlist to stay pumped during a workout. Many folks even have the stereo on when they’re cooking a meal, taking a shower, or folding the laundry.
Music is often linked to mood. A certain song can make us feel happy, sad, energetic, or relaxed. Because music can have such an impact on a person’s mindset and well-being, it should come as no surprise that music therapy has been studied for use in managing numerous medical conditions.
All forms of music may have therapeutic effects although music from one’s own culture may be most effective. In Chinese medical theory, the five internal organ and meridian systems are believed to have corresponding musical tones, which are used to encourage healing.
Types of music differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke. For example, classical music has been found to cause comfort and relaxation while rock music may lead to discomfort. Music may achieve its therapeutic effects in part by elevating the pain threshold.
Music may be used with guided imagery to produce altered states of consciousness that help uncover hidden emotional responses and stimulate creative insights. Music may also be used in the classroom to aid children in the development of reading and language skills. Receptive methods involve listening to and responding to live or recorded music. Discussion of their responses is believed to help people express themselves in socially accepted ways and to examine personal issues.
There is strong scientific evidence supporting the use of music therapy for mood enhancement and anxiety/stress relief. One of the many therapeutic modalities for depression is music therapy.
Depression or depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Depression is considered a mood disorder. Depression affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about life situations. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, depressive disorders are persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
There is evidence that music therapy may increase responsiveness to antidepressant medications. In elderly adults with depression, a home-based program of music therapy may have long-lasting effects. In depressed adult women, music therapy may lead to reductions in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and depressed mood. Music therapy may also be beneficial in depression following total knee replacement surgery or in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
At Sherman Hospital, we offer music therapy in the Cancer Care Center. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra plays music for the cancer patients at Sherman Hospital on Thursdays.
Every year, we raise money to pay for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at Sherman. We put on a show called “Music by the Water” every August. A physician’s band called the “Moonlighters” plays music for the Fox Valley community.
This year the Music by the Water show will take place at Sherman Hospital, August 28. (Rain date is September 11). Sherman expects about 350 people to attend the show.
Please come and join us for good food, good drinks, and great music!