After suffering an injury or medical condition, some patients are prescribed music therapy. This form of rehabilitation uses music to help individuals socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally or developmentally.
There are several brain-based reasons why music therapy works in patients. One is because sound and rhythm is a core function in the brain. This organ is able to respond and process music in individuals as young as day-old infants.
The body also recognizes rhythm. This means that an individual may be humming a tune in his or her head and notice he or she is also be walking to the same beat. This is because music enters the central nervous system from the auditory nerve and most of the sound goes to the brain for processing. Some of the sound also travels into the spinal cord which allows muscles to move to the rhythm.
Qualified therapists can also use music to stimulate patients that are in comas or to help an individual relax. The body has physiologic responses to music, so when you're listening to a song and your breathing quickens, your heart rate increases or your spine feels a shiver, it's the body physiologically responding to the sound.
An individual who reaches out to senior care services may want to discuss the possibility of music therapy to help the brain heal or lessen stress.