Assignment #22: Stress management technique: Music Therapy

A stress technique that I have used before, is listening to music. I have always loved music since I was little. Music therapy uses musical elements – sound, rhythm, melody and harmony – to promote therapeutic objectives through music.

Music can affect your body in positive ways, as well. It is healthy for you, and makes you feel good about yourself overall. Music is also something that doesn’t take away any time from your busy schedule – you are able to put in an iPOD, listen to music while driving, or play music while you even do homework. It is important to choose the type of music that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Choosing music that others like, and forcing yourself to listen to it, might cause more stress. The rhythm or beat of a song triggers certain emotions. Even when we were in our mother’s womb- we were able to hear her heartbeat.

In doing extensive research I learned that given a piece of music produces in the physiological response system many unexpected things. Music helps you focus, and concentrate. It can stimulate brain waves that go along with the beat. Faster beats many bring a sharper focus and more alert thinking, while a slower tempo may promote a calm, meditative mood. With a positive state of mind, music provides beneficial effects. It lowers blood pressure, and with that – could reduce the risk of heart attacks over time. It can also boost your immune system.

Here is some background on Music Therapy and how music can change your life – even cure illnesses.—Can-Music-Cure-Illness-Disease-and-Disorders-Is-Music-Therapeutic-Medicine-for-Improving-Health/Page1.html

According to Sapolsky’s, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, I find that even Music Therapy can be an effective technique connected with several concepts that are mentioned in his book. Sapolsky talks about Meditation on page 402. “Meditation seems to be pretty good for your health, decreasing glucocorticoid levels, sympathetic tone, and all the bad stuff that too much of either can cause.” Involving music into your meditation routine, is a great way to incorporate various stress management techniques with music into one. Sapolsky notes that there are a lot of different kinds of meditation – so why not try incorporating music?

Sapolsky also talks about Stress and Pain in chapter 9.  Music, can certainly be a pain reliever. When the brain hears something it likes – a sensory emotion – it reacts to it in a positive way. Distracting yourself from the pain you feel, often makes the pain not as bad. Music Therapy can channel your brain into focusing on the sounds, rhythms, and beats – rather than the pain that your body feels.


1 Response to “Assignment #22: Stress management technique: Music Therapy”

  1. 1 mwillsey May 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I think I also posted a blog about music. It is definatley a great stress reliever. I have made it my habit now to every night before I go to bed, just listen to a few of my favorite, calm songs. In those few moments I can close my eyes and just listen to the music, letting everything relax and I lay there in bed. Plus, you mentioned that different beats of music promote different moods. This is certainly true and we see it everywhere, from the pumped up music before a soccer or football game to the slow, sad melody that comes on in a movie when a character dies.
    Also, in terms of relieving stress, I love going on car rides to nowhere and just listening to my ipod. Not only can I just physically get myself away from a problem, I can relax with my music. Definatley a major stress reliever in my life.

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