Music therapy is the use of music to gain physical and emotional healing and wellness. A trained and certified music therapist can provide music therapy. Therapy sessions can involve listening to music, music-making, or both. Music-making is a healthy way of expressing yourself.
You can use music therapy to help your mental and physical health. It helps people express themselves, find new memories, and calm the body and mind through its rhythm, order, and predictability. Music therapy is sometimes combined with movement therapies, such as dance.
- May decrease forgetfulness (dementia) by:
- Improving your connection to others.
- Helping the brain produce a calming substance (melatonin).
- Improving how well you speak.
- Improving long-term and medium-term memory.
- May help children deal with necessary but painful procedures. Crying is often affected by music.
- Is used to reduce the pain of cancer treatment.
Research is beginning to reveal how music works to heal the body and mind.1 The rhythm and tone of music can excite you or relax you. Music therapy can help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and increase your ability to think, learn, reason, and remember.
Music therapy is considered safe.
- Freeman L (2009). Physiologic pathways of mind-body communication. In L Freeman, ed., Mosby's Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach, 3rd ed., pp. 1–29. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Current as of: March 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health