When I first started attending sessions with an occupational therapist a few months ago she directed me to listen to ten minutes of music a day. Not just listen to music in the background, but listen to the actual lyrics. I was so confused because I thought an occupational therapist would help me brainstorm strategies to help make tasks easier to complete. Music therapy is often used in many circumstances – even to help chronic pain sufferers.
Music therapy has many benefits. It can help lower stress, reduce anxiety and can be used as a motivator. Do you ever turn music on when you are cleaning or working at completing another task!? Music motivates us! Music has many different genres – each genre has a different sound, beat and speed. Everyone likes different types of music . I often have music playing during the day. Music often brings me comfort and helps me relax.
Scientists actually conducted a study on how music could benefit people with fibromyalgia and the findings are rather interesting. The study revealed that music helps reduce pain and increases functional mobility. The increased functional mobility seemed to be highly related to the music induced analgesia. Researchers found that self selected music proficiently decreased pain levels versus music selected by the researchers for the patients. In other words, listening to music you enjoy helps decrease pain levels. In another analysis researchers found that there was a significant decrease in pain from day 1 to day 14. The participants in the control group – there was no significant decrease in pain. Listening to music you enjoy also releases opioids into your brain and spreads through out your body. This acts as a natural pain reliever – reduces pain levels while you enjoy music.
You can also use music as a means of meditation. I often listen to music when I walk. I was told listening to the lyrics attentively can act as a way to meditate. Meditation doesn’t always have to be sitting with your legs crossed with your eyes closed. I also used the music lyrics as a way to be more mindful. Instead of allowing my thoughts to take over, I concentrated on the music lyrics. Music is a great way to lower stress, anxiety and is proven to help stabilize one’s mental health. Experts often say people with fibromyalgia need to learn routes to help lower stress levels. If you enjoy music, why not use it as a way to help calm your mind!
For more information on this study visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920463/