Music heals people – is this true for fibromyalgia pain too?
Perhaps the greatest problem that fibromyalgia patients have to deal with is the consistent and debilitating pain. Fibromyalgia pain management techniques involve the use of pain medications such as cortisone. However, most patients find that these pain medications have limited effect. Over time some patients develop a resistance to these medications, and cortisone, in particular, is known to have some bad side effects. While music therapy is by no means a “new” discovery, its use in easing fibromyalgia pain has been intensively researched and documented in the past five years.
In 1978, Munro and Mount defined music therapy as “the controlled use of music and its influence on humans to aid the integration of physiology, emotions, and psychology, during treatment.” However, music has been used as a form of therapy to treat illnesses for at least a few centuries, as mentioned in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Particularly in the Renaissance era, there are many mentions of music therapy used in conjunction with medical treatments. In the modern day and age, music therapy was seen to have a profound effect on wounded servicemen from World Wars I and II. In fact, in some cases, the effects on the mental and physical trauma of the patients was so positive that the health professionals sought to hire musicians to perform at the hospital daily.
In a regular session of music therapy, a certified music therapist will use music to bring about behavioral changes in the patients. This is done by aiding the patients in the use of different musical instruments. These individualized treatment plans may also include components like singing, composing, moving, and listening to music. After the musical interaction, the therapist will spend some time discussing the feelings of the patients with respect to the musical interaction. Using music psychology (the science behind pitch perfection and performance), the therapist will help in determining the patient’s emotional response to music, and translate that into an improvement of cognitive functioning and alleviation of pain.
Even if the patient has never had musical leanings before, music therapy has been known to help. No one type of music is more beneficial than the others. The exact type of music used in music therapy depends on the board certified music therapist. In general, the music used contains approximately 50 to 60 beats per minute, and is known as prescriptive music. This kind of music is known to lower heart rates and blood pressure, and ease pain.
Discover top tips for a healthy body and mind with our weekly wellbeing newsletter.
Join our mailing list today.