No one really knows how the brain and body process music.
It’s a phenomenon that has remained a mystery for many years.
But what doctors have discovered is that music is processed on many levels and with almost every part of our brain.
Music therapy is a ritual that was used thousands of year ago when its healing affects were thought to positively influence health and behavior.
After the war, musicians would travel around the country to hospitals playing music for veterans who suffered from war trauma.
Doctors recognized a noticeable physical and emotional response to the music from their patients, which then led to subsequent therapy sessions and the implementation of college curriculum.
Those of us here at Freedom Home Care say that’s great news for both Alzheimer’s and stroke patients alike because everyday progress is being made to help patients emerge from the isolating effects of their condition.
Today, professionals are using music therapy to help promote memory, reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s and to help stroke patients heal, regain movement, and communicate as part of their recovery.
Therapists can use any number of techniques in their program – many of which are designed to enhance the physical and mental well-being of patients.
For people who suffer from dementia particularly, according to todaysgeriatricmedicine.com, music therapy is shown to promote rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency along with rehabilitation, improve memory recall, create a sense of control over life, stimulate interest, foster discomfort and pain management, create positive changes in moods and emotional states, and provide opportunities to interact social with others.
In stroke patients, the impressions of music therapy are just as promising.
Rhythm helps people who have suffered a stroke, relearn gait and improve speech.
It can also help them communicate their feelings and ease frustration.
Al Bumanis, MT-BC and director of communications for the American Music Therapy Association says that drums actually assist stroke patients in communicating through the various music patterns.
He adds that music therapy and movement can help stoke victims regain control over their muscles, facilitating the gradual recovery of lost skills, like walking.
It is common for patients to experience depression and anxiety after a stroke. According to Bumanis, “Relaxing to music, learning to breathe to music, and meditating to music are powerful [healing] tools.”
If you are interested in learning more about stroke and Alzheimer’s care, contact us today at (877) 262-1223.