You Are At: AllSands Home > Music > Music as therapy
Music has been linked to health and happiness for a long time. Now research is proving that it can really relieve stress, lower blood pressure and help to manage pain.

Even before we are born we are attuned to the rhythm of our mother's heartbeat and tone of voice. A human fetus develops hearing by the time it is 12 weeks old and may kick or calm down depending on the type of music played. Nowadays doctors and nurses are realising that music can relieve the isolation of illness and pain and lots of concerts are held each year in a medical setting. Elderly patients, stroke sufferers and the mentally ill can be helped to overcome speech difficulties through music. There have been cases where people who were previously unable to speak, joined in singing or socialising with musicians. People who stammer may find that words which they cannot utter can be sung instead.

Music also affects the part of the nervous system which controls things we do without thinking, such as breathing. Patients were found to have an improved heart rate and temperature after receiving music therapy. They also had fewer complications to their conditions. When we listen to music, endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, are released so the usage of painkilling drugs is minimised.

During therapy the client and a trained musician play or sing together, responding to each other and listening while they create their own way of communicating. And the best part is that you don't have to be a musician to benefit from music therapy. Clients are encouraged to experiment by using a wide range of instruments to express themselves.