Healing Power of Music: How Music Therapy Helps Those With Parkinson’s Build Strength
Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most challenging diseases. This is because it is a progressive disorder that worsens the symptoms as time passes by.
The disease itself is simple. Based on studies, the disorder revolves around the nerve cells or neurons that produce the chemical brain messenger or the dopamine. As it appears, the disease causes these neurons to break down and gradually die. And the lack of dopamine in the brain causes for the symptoms to arise.
Apparently, the symptoms of Parkinson’s are mainly the music reason why this has become a very challenging disease. This is because the symptoms include tremors in limbs, slurred speech, rigid muscles, loss of balance, and worse, difficulties in controlling movements and actions.
Causes and Cure
Up until recent times, it is still unclear as to where this disease comes from. But even so, there are several factors that have been found to contribute. And these apparently include genes, external triggers, presence of Lewy bodies, and lifestyle.
Just like its cause, the cure for Parkinson’s is also unknown. And sadly, there is no cure yet that has been found to effectively eradicate the disease. Nevertheless, treatments and medications actually improve the symptoms. And one of which is music therapy.
Music Therapy As A Treatment
Music therapy is becoming more popular these days. And this is because people are now witnessing the apparent and positive impacts of this kind of therapy.
It is worth noting that this is far different from having music lessons. In music therapy, music is utilized but it is not taught to the patients.
As it appears, music therapists would largely appropriate different kinds of music and use it as an avenue in every session to improve health conditions and concerns like Parkinson’s disease.
The Power of Music Therapy Over Parkinson’s Disease
It is worth noting that people who suffer from Parkinson’s reveal that moving to a rhythm helps them cope up with the symptoms of the disease. In fact, this technique is now known as the rhythmic auditory cueing wherein rhythms are used to promote movements and actions to the person.
This is why a lot of therapists and rehabilitation experts largely employ music and rhythms in their respective therapy sessions. Hence, music therapy has become a very suitable and powerful platform for those who have Parkinson’s.
In music therapy, several activities are done that mainly uses music as its focal point. It can be singing, dancing, or even playing musical instruments. But for therapies that solely designed for people who have Parkinson’s, singing and dancing are the top two activities utilized in every session.
Dancing is apparently a great activity for individuals who have Parkinson’s disease. As mentioned, rhythms have been found to be very helpful in these conditions. And dancing to certain music provides this platform.
Also, this kind of activity in each session serves as an effective exercise as well. In fact, many specialists and experts see dancing as a form of aerobic exercise that is pretty beneficial for individuals with Parkinson’s. Not to mention, balance and coordination are largely emphasized and practiced in this activity.
As for singing, this kind of activity in a music therapy session helps the patients to enhance the volume and quality of their voices. Accordingly, this can improve the symptoms of the disease that cores on speech.
Another benefit that any individual can obtain from singing through music therapies is the improvement of respiration and swallowing. Based on recent studies, it has been found that singing improves the muscles that are seen to be responsible for breathing and swallowing.
Additional Benefits of Music Therapy Over Parkinson’s Disease
Aside from the main symptoms that every individual experience from Parkinson’s, this disease also offers other relating effects that can be unhelpful and unhealthy to the person. And these may include depression, anxiety, thinking difficulties, and other mental and physical issues.
But thankfully, music therapy does not only offer benefits for the actual disease and its symptoms. As it happens, it also offers additional benefits that can essentially help improve the quality of life of every individual who is suffering from Parkinson’s.
– Providing Avenues for Socialization
During music therapy sessions while doing certain activities, this actually provides avenues and opportunities for everyone to get social.
For instance, in dancing, certainly, this session will surely require groups and partners. Accordingly, it helps each and every patient become more exposed to their environment with other people.
– Enhancing Mood and/or Cognitive Function
As you may know, music has been already known to offer various benefits to one’s cognitive functions and mental capabilities. In fact, music is found to help people improve their brains and minds.
Therefore, people who have Parkinson’s and regularly attends music therapy session will definitely obtain these benefits in the long run.
Balance is one of the most affected aspects of one’s being when Parkinson’s disease is apparent. But thanks to music therapy, this aspect can be improved naturally.
When dancing and doing other activities in each session, stride length, posture, and positions are all corrected and minded. So, anyone who will attend such session will surely improve their balance.
Aside from balance, mood, brain features, and social skills, another aspect that can be improved when taking music therapies is communications skills. This is because singing and humming can naturally train and relax vocal cords. So, even if you are on a slurred speech or having difficulties in speaking due to Parkinson’s disease, having a music therapy session will definitely help improve this aspect.
Final Thoughts on The Healing Power of Music
In totality, Parkinson’s disease is a very challenging matter to experience, discuss, or even suffer from. And while cure has yet to be found, treatments like music therapies can actually change the whole course and game. Hence, if you are still wondering how music can really be helpful in the medical world, these quick points given above are already a clear tell.