Music is the language of our soul and studies have shown that there is a link between music and our well-being. Regardless of our upbringing, background and culture, we all enjoy music.
The therapeutic benefits of music can be traced back to ancient shamanistic rituals, where drums, gongs, rattles and songs were used in healing. Music enhances our physical, emotional and social well-being. In the hospital environment, it has been shown to enhance the healing process and bring comfort in times of transition for patients, families and caregivers.
According to research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, listening to music can reduce chronic pain by up to 21 per cent and depression by up to 25 per cent and has been shown to help people feel less disabled by their condition.
Music therapy has also been used to treat neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression. Dr. Oliver Sacks, neurologist and professor at Columbia University explored the link between music and brain in this book Musicophilia. According to him, music improves movement and speech and can trigger the release of mood-altering chemicals and once-lost memories and emotions. Patients benefit from music therapy because our brains are already attuned to respond to highly rhythmic music.
Playing musical instruments have also been shown to benefit people suffering from physical and cognitive disabilities since it requires coordinating muscle movement and developing an ear for timing.
Music in hospitals or hospices have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, reduce the use of pain medication, lower the experience of pain, increase feeling of calmness, induces sleep, decrease pulse rate and blood pressure, slow breathing and heart rate, improve coping skills and provide a way to express emotions.
At Amithi, we work with partners to incorporate music into our programs. Please contact us for more information on how we play the role of match-maker between you and our network of musicians.
Listed below is published research on the benefits of participating in an Music in Healthcare program (source: Society for Arts in Healthcare).
» Improve depression, anxiety, and relationships in psychiatric patients.
Choi, Lee, & Lim, (2008)
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(5), 567–570
» Reduce the perception of pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Advances in Nursing Science 15(4). 27–36
» Decreasing anxiety before surgery.
Kain, Wang, Mayes, Krivutza, & Teague, (2001)
Anesthesia & Analgesia, 92(4), 897–903
» Increasing quality and length of life for individuals diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Journal of Music Therapy, 40, 113–137
» Listening to Indian classical instrumental music reduced pain during venepuncture for children.
Rajiv Balan, Sandeep Bavdekar & Sandhya Jadhav, (2008),
Indian Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 76, No. 5, 469-473
Contact us for more published research.