Music Therapy Newport RI
International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (IACT)
Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, Meditation, Past Life Regression
Possibilities Hypnosis Center
Songs in the Key of Health
The ability of music to engage the brain on different levels simultaneously gives it
By Allan Richter
The bedtime lullaby your mother sang. The rock ballad you danced to at your wedding. The hospital Muzak playing while you awaited the birth of your first child. The hymn sung at your parent’s funeral.
A lifetime of music surrounds us, though we each attach our own perceptions to which of it comforts, motivates, disturbs and uplifts. Teenagers playing air guitar to Van Halen’s “Panama” have an entirely different experience than Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega did when US soldiers blasted the same song through loudspeakers to rout him from his hiding place. Or just consider the dozing man and his enthralled wife at the Philharmonic.
Couple that subjective nature of music with its vast array of styles and instruments on which to play them. Then toss improvised versus structured approaches into the mix. It is little wonder that music therapy is still an evolving discipline and that the neuroscience of music—less than 30 years old but with mounting research on how music affects health—remains largely mysterious.
Music therapy is used in stress reduction and wellness maintenance for the general population, and in virtually all elements of early child development, including autism therapy. Music is also used to manage pain, to encourage healing before and after surgery, and among cancer, dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s disease patients.
Alan Turry, MA, MT-BC, NRMT, co-director of the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University, says his treatment of Maria Logis, a corporate manager who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, underscores how the many dimensions of music can be harnessed. When Logis was diagnosed, she was numbed by the news. Then, with no background as a singer, she decided she wanted to sing. With Turry on piano, Logis improvised lyrics that put her in touch with her feelings for the first time since her diagnosis. First she sang about the cancer, then about her relationship with her mother and other parts of her life that had not been unearthed in years.
“The music was very powerful for her,” Turry recounts. “She would actually cry as she was singing. She was getting in touch with feelings that were repressed.” The full realiza...