Psychology Magazine

Music and Medicine

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds
Amy McDermott does an open source article on how music is increasingly being employed as a medical therapy. Here are some clips from the article:
...growing evidence points to a range of musical medical benefits for ailments from stroke to Parkinson’s...in mechanically ventilated ICU patients relaxing, slow-tempo classical music reduced patients’ number of delirium days... music has been part of medicine, in one way or another, from the earliest efforts to heal the sick...since some 35,000 years ago...around the time that humans began painting animal figures in ochre and black on cave walls, shamans used bone flutes and animal skin drums in healing and funerary rituals. Fast forward to the 20th century, and musicians took up the mantle of healers after the First World War by playing for wounded soldiers in veteran’s hospitals. Anecdotally, the soldiers responded so well that hospitals brought in musicians; the National Association for Music in Hospitals was born in 1926, according to the American Music Therapy Association. In the decades that followed, hospital musicians developed an accreditation system and became known as music therapists, as their work became increasingly tailored to patients experiencing a range of disorders. Today, music therapists work in settings from hospitals, to outpatient clinics, to nursing homes, where they are typically members of a patient’s interdisciplinary treatment team along with medical doctors, neurologists, and psychologists.
The article proceeds with McDermott's summary of a number of clinical trials attempting to rigorously investigate the therapeutic effects of music.

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