Music Therapy

Rhythm and Movement

by Beth Haley

It seems that many milestones in our lives include music. We pick songs for our weddings. We include music in worship and meditation. We pick music for funerals. Music can reflect different cultures and eras. From birth to death, music is a memorable part of our life.

Music, used as an alternative and complimentary health modality, is the systematic method of using music or sound to help with relaxation and encourage changes in behavior, and emotions.

Due to water crystal photography, music is not only heard, it can be seen as well. Studying the shapes and patterns made by sound vibrations is called Cymatics. Because of cymatics, we can see how strongly sound vibrations affect water, and since our bodies are mainly composed of water, we can also see how music can have a deep effect on our bodies.

One use of music therapy is for rhythmic movement, which helps with agility, coordination, balance, joint mobility, strength, gait consistency, range of motion and breathing patterns. Not to mention, mood elevation and motivation along with the social aspect associated with dancing.

Movement is youthful. Watching children, you see them jump, bounce, cartwheel, run and spin. Spinning is such a youth-enhancing action (which children do automatically) that women who have stopped menses, can begin menstruation again by spinning. If this isn’t the goal, spinning should be handled with some moderation. And always, watch your balance!

And as to motivation? I get my house cleaned faster with up-beat music and Joplin makes me want to move!

The Maple Leaf Rag was one of Scott Joplin’s most famous ragtime pieces earning him the title, “King of Ragtime”.

American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)

Spirituality, Health, and Healing. An Integrative Approach, 2nd Edition. By Caroline Young and Cyndie Koopsen

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