Term Paper: Music Therapy Charms to Soothe the Savage

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Music Therapy

CHARMS to SOOTHE the SAVAGE BREAST

Music Therapy as a Standard of Healthcare

The human being is born into an environment of sound and stimulation and thereafter shaped and affected by it, most of all, by rhythmical music. Music therapy has been applied since Biblical times informally until its formal recognition after a gathering of significant benefits to physical, mental, and emotional disordered conditions. Today, various and numerous studies evidence its positive, reliable and long-lasting effects on the stress response during and after surgery, on back pain, on hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, on people in rehab, the elderly, the mentally and terminally ill and on women in labor. Overwhelming evidence prompts that music therapy be incorporated into the standard health care system as a built-in regimen.

Introduction

Music therapy is a technique or mode of complementary medicine, which uses music to alter a patient's physical, emotional, intellectual or social condition (Turner 2001). It has been tried and found to improve the well-being of older patients in nursing home; lower the stress and pain level of women in labor; and benefit students, inmates in rehabilitation center, patients in hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, as well as clients in community centers and the home. The therapeutic effects of music are recorded in history from Biblical times to the present. It has helped most anyone to restore physical, emotional, social or cognitive balance. It also helps relax, reduce stress, improve one's mood or even increase one's immune system. In order to produce these effects, music therapy is handled by skilled therapists (Turner).

For its broad-spectrum benefits and the absence of any harmful side effects, music therapy should form part of standard healthcare.

Literature Review

Allen, G. (2007). Effect of Music Therapy on Stress Response to Day Surgery. British Journal of Surgery: Association of Operating Room Nurses, Inc.

Surgery is a stressful time. The patient becomes anxious. Stress disturbs his metabolic, neuro-hormonal and immune system levels. Cortisol and natural killer lymphocytes increase. A randomized study was conducted to investigate how music therapy reduces stress during day surgery by evaluating changes in plasma levels of cortisol and natural killer lymphocytes. These are known to increase during stress.

Sixty randomly selected patients scheduled to undergo surgery at a university hospital in Italy were studied from January to December 2005. Results showed that the plasma levels of cortisol and natural killer lymphocytes were reduced during surgery in those who listened to music. The conclusion was that perio-operative music therapy decreased stress. Furthermore, the style of music appeared to be of significance in reducing stress. This strongly suggests that music therapy can bring on positive effect on patients about to undergo surgery if they are allowed its style and type. Hence, perio-operative nurses and managers should consider including music therapy as part of their surgical routine.

Reiss, V. (2007). The Soundtrack of Your Life. Natural Health: Weider Publications

Reiss writes that a playlist can be created to unleash the power of music and use its ability to nurture oneself, whatever the mood. Music therapists suggest compiling and organizing CDs for whatever chosen effects. These can be music to relax, music to excite, and music to bring back memories. One can pay attention to his own breathing as he listens to a particular music a few minutes a day.

Christian M.A. (2006). The Positive Power of Music. Jet: Johnson Publishing Company

Music has much positive power. It makes one dance, sing, smile or cry. It cools off, calms and comforts. One of its major uses is as a form of therapy. Health care professionals use it to address physical, emotional, mental and social needs of patients of all ages. One major music therapy setting is the Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland.

Each person is exposed to music throughout his existence. Even in the womb, an unborn infant is already exposed to the rhythmical heartbeat and liquid sounds. In life, music has a way of verbalizing what is unsaid or badly said. This is done through a melody. It is a special aid to those with speech impediments, like stuttering.

Music has the power to uplift, inspire and communicate what words cannot. Cultures, such as African-American and African, use music in almost all the aspects of their daily life for its strong positive energy. It is part of their work, play, ceremony and worship. Music makes work easier or more enjoyable. Play becomes more pleasurable because of music. It adds meaning and purpose to ceremonies. It adds power to praise in worship. To many, music is one of the powerful things God has given man. It helps make one realize His presence. It reaches a person's mind which does not reach his heart.

McRee, L et al. (2003). Using Massage and Music Therapy to Improve Post-Operative Outcomes. AORN Journal: Association of Operating Room Nurses, Inc.

Anxiety before surgery can negate desired outcomes. Increased anxiety can raise the level of circulating hormones, prostaglandin and free fatty acids. Such increase can also lead to myocardial and other organ ischemia, dysrhythmia, hypercoagulability, malnutrition, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, decreased wound healing and immunocompromise. Anxiety increases oxygen use, cardiac output and blood pressure.

A malnutrition, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, decreased wound healing, and blood pressure. It also requires higher doses of anesthetics and sedatives, a condition that can produce negative effects on recovery. There too are the fear of pain and the fear of pain to contend with. Surgical teams must, therefore, consider interventions, which can decrease anxiety and pain.

Music therapy is the use of music to address certain mental and emotional conditions in order to change them. In the 1800s, music was used to induce sleep, decrease anxiety before surgery and help in administering anesthesia. A pilot study of 30 patients about to undergo orthopedic surgical procedures was conducted to investigate if listening to music reduced their anxiety. The respondent patients said that music facilitated the surgery, covered background noise and kept their minds from the dreaded surgical procedure. Hospital staff members said that the patients were calmer throughout the surgery and the pulse and blood pressure were more stable.

Another group of researchers studied the physiological effects of music therapy on 22 critically ill patient respondents in an intensive care unit. They found that the therapy reduced the heart rate, systolic blood pressure, pain and anxiety. A six-month study was also conducted to determine the effect of music on painful procedures after making the patients listen to music. It showed that those who did needed 30% less pain medication than those who did not listen. Another study examined the perception of music of 25 participants who were administered local, spinal or epidural anesthesia. At an interview 20 hours after surgery, they said that music reduced their anxiety, distracted them and increased their tolerance for pain.

One study looked into the effect of music on pain among patients who had thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy or modified mastectomy. Those who listened to music could tolerate pain much longer than those who did not listen. Those who listened also perceived their experience as more pleasant than did those who did not listen to music. Still another research was conducted on the effect of music on anxiety of groups of patients undergoing heart surgery. Anxiety levels before and after surgical procedure were recorded and then compared. Members of all groups said they experienced reduced anxiety and improved moods. Their heart rate and blood pressure also significantly deceased. And a study on the effect of music on the anxiety of 42 ambulatory surgery patients 10 minutes before surgery. Findings showed that those who listened to music had significantly lower heart rates than those who did not.

The studies recommended the adoption of music therapy to help decrease the overall stress response of patients. Nurses must acquire an understanding of this non-invasive and cost-effective approach in improving outcomes and patients' experiences.

Natural Health (2003). Tune Out Your Back Pain.Weider Publications: Gale Group recent study revealed that those who suffer from back pain, perform physical therapy, use guided imagery and listen to music will have substantially less back pain than those who only perform physical therapy. Guided imagery consists in focusing on relaxing images. Professor. Guenther Bematzky of the University of Salzburg in Austria said that guided imagery in combination with music calms the nervous system and reduces muscle tension. There is as yet no evidence that music or guided imagery alone will produce the same result. Therapists recommend listening to calming music and performing guided imagery for pain or relaxation about 30 minutes before bedtime.

Ambroziak, P. (2003). Use Music to Improve Health and Performance. American Fitness: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America

Research has discovered the awesome benefits that can be derived from listening to music. Music can energize, soothe, modify one's emotional outlook, increase immunity, decrease pain, hasten recovery, reduce blood pressure, improve one's focus and IQ and help reduce weight. All this goodness is within hearing distance. It involves the ears, the brain, the body itself… [END OF PREVIEW]

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