The Soothing Sounds of Music Therapy
The next time you find yourself feeling frustrated, restless or just plain down in the dumps, try playing one of your favorite songs. Choose something tranquil and soothing, something that may remind you of a more relaxing time or place and help you forget about the day’s stresses and demands. As you feel yourself unwind, you may come to a realization: music can be more than just entertainment—it can have a profound psychological effect on us that makes it exceptionally therapeutic.
The ups and downs of the scale after weight loss surgery can make emotions run high, so it’s important to learn how to cope with the many psychological stresses that can cause us to return to our former unhealthy habits. As you recover from surgery in the North Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area, your weight loss surgeon may suggest methods like support groups and nutritional counseling to accomplish this feat, but one method often overlooked by patients is music therapy.
Though music therapy has been around for decades, the practice has been gaining popularity recently as a unique means of treating patients with both mental and physical ailments. These days, music therapists can be found in just about any medical setting, including nursing homes, psychiatric centers, general hospitals, schools or correctional facilities—the list goes on and on.
What is Music Therapy?
Music has a unique capability to produce feelings of predictability, familiarity and security. Music therapists harness this sensory stimulation with instrumental and vocal techniques that are specifically designed to meet their patient’s unique needs. They design musical experiences for each patient in an attempt to help them reach objectives, supplement other treatments and keep them on track with their timeline for discharge. Most conditions can benefit from music therapy, regardless of whether they are social, psychological or physical in nature.
How Can Music Therapy Help with Weight Loss Surgery?
A study at Jefferson General Hospital in Port Townsend, WA showed a great deal of promise for music therapy’s efficacy in surgical patients. Rather than immediately administering a sedative to soothe pre-surgery anxieties, researchers played calming music for 25 different patients.
Music not only halved the overall amount of sedatives needed to calm these patients—it also reduced their blood pressure and heart rates. One researcher equated the impact of music to 2.5 mg of Valium, saying that patients who listened to music typically felt better after their operations and were able to return home sooner after surgery.
Music therapists are specially equipped to harness the positive attributes of music that can aid in your recovery. They can help with a number of issues that weight loss surgery patients face, including:
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Reduced length of hospital stay
- Better mood, improved emotional states
- Non-pharmacological pain management
- Increased positivity and patient activity in treatment
Ask your weight loss surgeon about the role that music may play in your recovery and treatment. If you’ve ever felt moved by music before, you know about the emotional impact it can have. Music therapists are licensed, credentialed professionals who study for years to acquire the skills necessary to give patients care via musical means. If you don’t have access to a music therapist, know that your own music collection can, at the very least, be a valuable resource in tackling any problem you face.