Alternative Methods of Healing: Music Therapy

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Alternative methods of healing have been utilized by non-western medicine for generations. The use of acupuncture to heal everything from seasickness to muscle soreness is well documented and widely used. Physical therapy is often a precursor to surgery and many times will prevent the need to undergo a more invasive procedure. A lesser-known form of alternative healing but becoming more popular is music therapy. In the late 18th century, scientists began to investigate the effects of music on the human body; however, using music as a healing medium dates back to ancient times. There are many forms and techniques of music therapy that aid a variety of disabilities having to do with communication, behavioral issues, the autism spectrum, and healing technique. Even for musicians, music is their personal form of therapy to express their emotions and feelings they cannot usually articulate in any other way through song. Music is an effective form of therapy because it allows the disabled to communicate freely through the emotions that are felt and expressed by the composer. It creates a pathway for healing and transformation by tapping into human emotions that would otherwise have been left dormant.
Music Therapy deals with listening to music, making or singing music, and being apart of musical activities. As a form of therapy, it has been receiving more exposure due to studies and experiments that have dealt with how music affects human behavior and emotions. Listening to music forces the listener to unknowingly question what they are listening to and to discern what the motivation of the composer of the piece is. Stephan Koelsch, a German scholar who has studied music therapy reported that “during music listening, individuals a...

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