Enjoy the healing power of Music Therapy

What is life without music, and how was it before music was discovered, one can only imagine. For years music is known to be a stress reliever, and it is extremely calming for the body and soul. Life is really incomplete without music and it is the reason why it is present any and everywhere in discos, restaurants, coffee shops, health clubs, department stores and so on.

Music is comforting, and a great way to relax after a hard day’s work, people listen to music before sleeping at night, to just absorb fantastic relaxation vibes. It is commonly known that music is an excellent therapeutic tool, the concept of the healing power of music was discovered in ancient times. Hippocrates a Greek physician and Father of Western Medicine is known to have treated his patients with music and Apollo was the God of music and healing.

Awareness about music therapy and how it is done:

The utilization of music as a source of therapeutic healing to treat psychological, physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of people is referred to as music therapy. A person who practices music therapy is called a music therapist, and once the therapist has identified the needs of the client, about the issues that are bothering them, he/she uses music as a medium of healing and how is this done. The therapist first identifies the issues the client is struggling with it and then uses music as a mode of treatment in the form of creating a lyrics, listening, playing an instrument, singing and so on. Here music is the atmosphere of treatment and comfort, and it helps clients and families express their feelings, it is hence different from talk therapy form of counseling.

History of Music Therapy:

The concept of music therapy is not only popular in current times, this practice was well known and practiced widely in the 20th century and even before that. The perception of using music as a healing medium to calm aggression and promote good behavior was present in ancient scriptures of Plato and Aristotle. During the 20th century music therapy was a popular practice post World War One and World War Two, here nurses and doctors hired musicians to play for war patients who were suffering from emotional and physical trauma.

The earliest medical reference of music therapy was sighted in 1789 and the article was published in Columbian Magazine and was called ”Music Physically Considered.”There were a couple of dissertations on the therapeutic value of music by Edwin Atlee in 1804 and Samuel Mathews in 1806 and both these were students of renowned physician and psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Therapeutic power of music therapy:

Music is fun and it can rarely be boring, and we all have our own individual taste in it, an important point to remember is, music is not only a highly enjoyable past time, it has excellent therapeutic properties. It is used to treat all kinds of diseases such as stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer’s and so on. A scientific evidence from 2011 issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry emphasized on the calming effect of music to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Scientists have also discovered the wonderful effect of music as  medicine to treat a wide range of symptoms in individuals suffering from heart condition such as pain, anxiety, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure.

Researchers have discovered the remarkable power of music to ease pain and anxiety levels in patients before and after a surgical procedure. It is a nerve-wrecking moment indeed to step into surgery and music is known to calm nerves and make patients feel less tense. Music is an excellent therapeutic model to treat stroke, and this was proven in a 2008 study revealed by University of Helsinki researchers in Finland, the results revealed patients with stroke who listened to music daily for two hours had better attention and verbal memory and positive thoughts compared to individuals who did not listen to music. In a 2013 study by scientists from Korea showed stroke patients who underwent neurologic music therapy for a month developed improved language ability compared to patients who did not listen to music. Music therapy has also proven to be extremely beneficial in treating Parkinson’s disease and autism.

Music is an excellent medicine for a healthy mind and body, it has a fantastic positive effect on not only physical illness but mental health as well. It sharpens mental ability and capacity by strengthening cognitive, social, emotional and physical defects and it also helps in improving mood and reducing stress and depression. It also improves memory and concentration, and the phrase Mozart effect was introduced from the result of an experiment that revealed college students were able to crack math problems while hearing music. Music therapy is often used to treat pain, and behavioral problems, paranoia and schizophrenia.

Feel better with music vibes:

There is no better feeling than to listen to some amazing music, especially after a hectic day. We are aware about music being a remarkable stress buster and it is among the favorite hobbies of many, we however do not utilize the stress relieving power of music to the optimum and we do not think of music while feeling depressed.

Individuals around the world are adept in musical instruments, for some it is a hobby and for others a profession. Why not soak into amazing tunes after a hard day’s work to just relax the mind and body. There are several stress situations we face in current times, there is a section of employees who work for hours and night shift has become common, and such individuals burn out easily. For those who are accustomed to long working hours and feel excessively tired, play a musical instrument, sing or listen to music from laptop or YouTube.

Loneliness has become a common scenario in current times, and it needs to be taken care of, or else the consequences are severe to a point of being fatal. The common cases of loneliness are with people who are living in another city or country and are not able to cope with the ways of life of a different culture. Lack of friendship leads to loneliness and there are times when an individual feels stressed out or depressed about something and has no one to talk to. Heart break causes loneliness the affected person feels worthless and detached, aging too causes loneliness and people who are addicted to gadgets also tend to feel lonely. The feeling of being lonely can be devastating, and music is a great way to fight the feeling of loneliness it makes a person feel better. Music therapy alsp works extremely well in people who suffer addiction and for people in palliative care.

School, college and university going individuals can listen to music to beat exam stress, just spend few minutes listening to music in between study brakes and it does wonders to reduce stress and improve memory and concentration.

Millions of people around the world love music, but only a handful are aware of the therapeutic value of it. So whenever you feel stressed, depressed or isolated, or are suffering from an illness, listen to music and life becomes positive and content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Productive and Managing Bipolar Disorder

Are there moments when you are completely lost battling extreme emotions, when at one moment you are extremely energetic and have highly ambitious thoughts and other times you feel excessively drained and depressed. If you are constantly experiencing a drastic shift in energy levels, mood swings and activity, then you have bipolar disorder also called manic-depressive illness.

Signs of Bipolar Disorder

There are moments when we encounter extreme emotions, one day we are completely content and overly enthusiastic and the next day we are totally shattered about something. Such occasions occur because life itself is unpredictable, at one point we receive happy news and at another time a shattering news strikes. When individuals constantly experience mixed emotions of high-energy, happiness and depression, then it is a sign of bipolar disorder. The period of high-energy is called Manic episode and period of depression is called depressive episode.

The most important sign to watch out for in a person who is suffering from Bipolar Disorder is great variation in behavioral characteristics. At one moment a person will feel exceedingly happy and at the other moment sadness sets in. At one point thought process might move at a rapid pace, and at another time the same person will forget about the moments that have happened. At one point a person may do a lot of work at a time and later on feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are characterized into two types, Mania symptoms and depressive symptoms. A person with mania will experience his highest energy point and a person who is feeling his lowest will encounter depressive symptoms.

Mania symptoms:

The person has extremely high mood swings, and the thought process reaches another level to an extent that the thoughts are unrealistic. The individual dwells in false beliefs and can even appear to be unrealistically over-confident.

You will notice signs of reckless behavior, the person will spend excessively, engage in endless substance abuse, have sex with multiple partners and the person also has no control over temper, and his views on certain topics will seem nonsensical.

The individual will overindulge in activities, to a much greater than required extent, and is not too interested in sleeping.

When you interact with a person who has or is showing signs of Bipolar Disorder, he/she will get distracted easily and may not pay attention to what you are saying.

Depressive symptoms:

The affected person no longer enjoys the pleasurable activities he/she enjoyed doing

He/she will sleep too much or get very little sleep

The affected person looses interest in life and has suicidal thoughts

He/she looses self-esteem, and feels hopeless and unworthy

The affected person experiences fatigue and lacks energy to do activities

He or she may eat too much or too little and is either overweight or underweight

He/she finds it difficult to concentrate, make decisions or remember certain important tasks.

He/she suffers extreme depression, or has no mood for anything

A person suffering from Bipolar Disorder has his periods of mania and depression and the episodes of extreme high-energy (mania) and intense low period (depression) can vary and it signifies the type of bipolar disorder a person might be suffering from.

Types of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar 1

The main characteristic of a person suffering from Bipolar 1 is the presence of one manic episode, and the affected person will constantly experience a surge of energy enabling him to have drastic mood swings and disruptive behavior.

Bipolar 11

A person with Bipolar II will exhibit more intense mood symptoms oscillating between high and low mood over a period of time. Here the affected person does not reach his or her uttermost energy levels.

Rapid Cycling:

In Rapid Cycling the affected person experiences more severe episode of bipolar disorder, with four or more than four depression or mania episodes in a year. This kind of bipolar disorder affects 10 to 20% of the population.

Mixed bipolar:

A person with Mixed Bipolar will experience periods of depression and mania at a rapid pace and you will notice these symptoms happening rapidly in a short span of time. This kind of bipolar disorder is different from other forms where you will notice moments of depression and mania over a period of time.

Cyclothymia:

Cyclothymia also referred to as cyclothymic disorder is a mild mood disorder, where the affected individual suffers milder moments of depression and mania than a more extreme type of Bipolar Disorder.

What triggers bipolar disorder:

There is no scientific proof to determine the factors that trigger bipolar disorder, based on experimental observations, experts are of the view that the condition is caused by physical, social and environmental factors.

It is our lifestyle and the situations within it that trigger bipolar disorder, and the common cause is stress.

Bipolar Disorder is triggered whenever we faces these moments

When we are subjected to trauma such as emotional, sexual or physical abuse

Relationship issues

Death of a loved one

Stress related issues with relationship, finance and employment

The physical factors that trigger Bipolar Disorder are

Disturbed sleep and physical illness

The disease worsens in people who excessively indulge in substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol.

There have been cases where Bipolar Disorder runs in families, if a family member suffers from the disease, there are chances of it passing on to relatives. However, until now there is no scientific evidence linking a particular gene with Bipolar Disorder.

Chemical Imbalance in a person with Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar Disorder is caused from a result of chemical imbalance in the brain, the brains functions are controlled by neurotransmitters, that are brain chemicals that communicate information from one neuron to another. In a Bipolar Brain there is a chemical imbalance in levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrin, dopamine and seratonin.

Helping a person with Bipolar Disorder:

A person with Bipolar Disorder feels extreme emotions, mood swings and energy levels, and when your mind and body is going through these extreme scenarios, it creates a feeling of being confused and lost. Only a person with Bipolar Disorder can perceive feelings of extremes.

An important point to note is the disease affects men and women in equal measure, and it starts between the ages of 15 and 25, and till today scientists and medical experts are unable to predict factors that cause Bipolar Disorder.

Life will seem confusing for a person with Bipolar Disorder, at one moment, he feels extremely lethargic, depressed, and has no interest in any kind of activity he once enjoyed, and at another moment he experiences extreme highs with the feeling of having the highest energy he possibly can, will indulge in extensive substance abuse, experience racing thoughts and so on. For another person an individual with Bipolar Disorder may appear under-confident at one point, and over-confident at another time.

A person with Bipolar Disorder requires abundant comfort and care, Ensure to sit with a person affected with the disease, spend quality time with him and be patient with his extreme behaviors and feelings. Ask, what is really bothering him and find out about his lifestyle and whether there is a sudden change in his personal or work life. He may have experienced disappointment with personal life with regard to loosing a loved one or a broken marriage. Extend your support and advise him about his strengths and gradually encourage him to move on in life with a content frame of mind.

A person could have had a bad employment phase, he could have done something that could have majorly cost the company. Encourage him to slowly overcome the feeling of worthlessness and guilt by enabling him to re-discover himself, help him discover the life he once lead or desires to lead. For example if he had a passion for writing and has given it up, persuade him to start writing again. If he is a techie freak, recommend him to follow up on new app designs. If he is into fashion convince him to emerge with new unexplored designs. A person who is suffering from a terminal illness will enter into a state of deep depression, give him a sense of hope and spend time with him doing activities he enjoys.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder is treated with medication and psychotherapy, and there are also so many activities you can do to manage your condition. The activities will help a person manage manic and depressive episodes. When a person enters a high-energy manic phase it is important to chose an activity that is enjoyable, but not a task that enables a person to enter a state of mania. Instead of indulging in reckless activities like racy driving or endless spending spree, do fun activities which you enjoy like cleaning your house, writing a short story, poetry, crossword puzzle, browse through online riddles, reading through latest news and so on. The energy boost you get from these activities will make you attain a confident and positive frame of mind.

Exercise is an excellent therapy for a person with Bipolar Disorder, the activity helps to reduce high-level energy during the mania phase and it releases a positive boost of energy during the depressive phase and it also releases feel good hormones called endorphins. A continuous exercise process is known to have a greater effect in tackling the disease, like yoga, swimming, jogging than tennis where there is a still phase in between. You can go for a brisk walk and just relax or even walk with your dog.

If you are feeling lonely join an association or dance class

If you are a creative person, paint and develop intriguing craft designs

You can make a tasty and creative dish

Spend time dancing or with a musical instrument and develop new tunes and lyrics.

Bipolar Disorder can be managed well indeed, with medication and psychotherapy, the affected person can enjoy life to the fullest by just maintaining a content and positive frame of mind.