“Music is what feelings sound like.” – Author Unknown
The connection between music and emotion has been acknowledged for thousands of years. Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle all wrote about how music affects health, behavior, and moods. A certain song can evoke joy or sadness, calm or vigor. Because music can have such an influence on our dispositions and outlook, it should come as no surprise that music therapy is beneficial for numerous medical conditions, including eating disorders.
Music therapy as it exists today began in the 1960s. At that time, scientists and doctors began to prove the healing power of music with clinical trials. In the 1970s, “new age” music emerged. This genre of music is intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is often used in yoga, massage, and meditation as a method of stress management. Today, music therapists work with a broad range of musical types and in a variety of different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, substance abuse centers, nursing homes, and private practice.
How does music therapy support the treatment of eating disorders? When eating becomes disordered, it can have significant physical, emotional, and cognitive impacts. It often results in loneliness and isolation, which can validate feelings of shame and self-hate, fueling the eating disorder. Music has unique qualities that can positively affect brain activity and help develop new avenues to regulate the mind and body. In essence, music therapy utilizes favorite music in various ways to create opportunities for healthy changes.
Create your own personal music therapy experience. Listening to music reinforces your mood, whether positive or negative, so it’s important to rid yourself of the stuff that fulfills the negative. Instead, think about the music that inspires you. What type of music encourages you and lifts your spirits? What songs bring you peace and joy? Seek out that music and find ways to put more of it in your life, whether that means singing along to the radio, writing your own songs, or playing an instrument.
To learn more about music therapy and how it can help you, please contact us anytime. We’re always here for you.