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Music Therapy And Its Effect In Stress Management

This era of 21st century every other person is stressed, having anxiety, or depression. Adults have stress related to work and families, students have stress related to examinations, etc. There are 3 types of stress like acute stress, chronic stress, and episodic stress. Many approaches are studied to combat stress in a healthy way without the use of medicines like yoga therapy, meditation, breathing practices, exercise, music therapy, hypnotic therapy, etc like these therapies many other techniques are used. Nowadays music therapy is practiced much more frequently as it's the easy and enjoyable way to treat stress and anxiety. Music therapy is used in various places like in hospitals, schools, for cancer patients, and patients in coma, psychiatric hospitals, people who are having insomnia and also shows effect. Some research has shown the effect of music therapy on the brain and its mode of action. So this article is all about music therapy and its use in the management of stress.

Music Therapy, Stress Management, India, Types Of Music Therapy, Physiology Of Music Therapy, Benefits Of Music Therapy

Introduction To Music Therapy

Music therapy is a therapy in which music is used in a therapeutic way for the benefit of people and to treat certain disorders or to give relief to it. Music therapy is done by a music therapist who is trained clinically to give music therapy. Music therapy includes different types of activities like writing of songs, listening to music, dancing to music, composing the music etc.

The earliest reference of music therapy can be found in an unsigned article of 1789 named as ‘music physically considered’ in which for the first time some information about music therapy can be found. It shows that music therapy has been used for so long for therapy and in India it was established by Indian doctor Dr. Dinesh C. Sharma.

Music Therapy And India

Music therapy has been practiced in India since ancient times. In Ayurveda also Acharyas used mantras and some sounds for the treatment of certain diseases. In Rig-Veda also there are so many hymns and sounds which are said to treat many disorders.  ‘OM’ mantra is used for many psychogenic disorders and many other diseases. Some mantras and sounds are said to heal the chakras of our body. Chakras of the body can be correlated with the plexus of the body.  Many ancient scriptures are there which have some kind of music therapy in India.

Types Of Music Therapy

There are 2 types of music therapies known for now which are:-

1. Receptive Music Therapy

It can be understood as our response to music by listening, dancing, lyrics discussions,  or other movements which can reduce stress, anxiety,  depression and also decrease pain.

2. Active Music Therapy

It can be understood as taking active participation in music like singing, composing music, writing lyrics, playing instruments. People who take active participation in music also have positive effects on mental health.

Physiology Of Music Therapy

There are electrical impulses in the brain which are known as brain waves. Brain waves can be measured with the help of EEG there are 5 different types of brain waved recognized which are related to different emotions

  1. Gama (¥) 35 hertz - Busy , problem solving mind, concentration
  2. Beta (β) 12-35 hertz - Anxiety dominant, active, external attention, relaxed
  3. Alfa (α) 8-12 hertz - Very relaxed , passive attention
  4. Theta (θ) 4-8 hertz - Deeply relaxed, drowsiness, low level alertness
  5. Delta (δ) 0.5-4 hertz - In the state of coma, sleep or anesthesia

Different type of music have different  type of effect on our brain, different music produce different types of waves in brain which affects our emotions, the music which we like produce Alpha and theta waves in the brain and music which we don’t like  can produce  beta waves. Music which produces delta waves can induce sleep for insomnia patients. Person who is having stress and anxiety have beta waves in the brain and this can be relaxed with the help of music which he likes or music which produces Alpha and theta waves.

Benefits Of Music Therapy

Many benefits are proved with the help of researches like:-

  • Research have shown that continuous use of  music therapy helps in lowering the brain waves 
  • Also strengthen and improves new areas of brain
  • Increases blood flow to the cerebrum
  • It can also be useful for the process of music evoked memory recall and cognitive thinking
  • Long term music therapy on coma patients have seen that it increases their brain activity with the help of high frequency music
  • It can be beneficial in chronic pains with other therapies as it will distract the patient’s attention from negative emotions of pain.
  • Alpha wave music is also helpful to focus during studying.
  • Music may also improve heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure
  • Music has also shown benefits like physical and psychological in cancer patients.

Music Therapy And Stress Management

As discussed above music therapy has so many benefits, its one benefit that is stress reduction is the most useful benefits of all and also very effective for stress.  It not only uplifts our mood but cures stress. Also, many researches are done and some are in progress for music therapy. The music which a person likes have proven to strengthen the parts of brain, increasing blood flow, increase the level of happy hormone i.e serotonin which will automatically reduce stress, as the music have effect on the brain waves so music which is having Alfa type of waves will lowers the brain waves frequency and rexes the mind.

Om chanting have proven many benefits it stimulates the vagus nerve of the body which is responsible for internal organs regulation like controlling heart rate, respiratory rate, GIT tract etc. so it calms down the increased heart rate, and respiratory rate which are the symptoms of stress and anxiety as it also controls heart muscles so it will also lowers the blood pressure which is generally increased during the stress.

Our body has 7 chakras which are believed to be healed by certain sounds which are of different frequencies for different chakras. These sounds will heal the chakras which are directly connected to the brain and spinal cord. These sounds are either listened to or spoken in a rhythm which is very much helpful in managing stress, anxiety, depression and other types of psychological problems.

Dancing to music is enjoyable yet so much effective way to treat stress. Researchers say that while in stress or psychological disorders people should move their body doing some sort of exercises as it increases the level of serotonin in the body so dancing to music is the best way to relax the mind and energize the body.


Music therapy is the best way to manage stress related disorders, as it has its direct impact on the brain and body. It’s been practiced since ages when we didn’t know the name of music therapy. It is enjoyed whether it's active music therapy or receptive music therapy. Through research it has also been proved its benefits not only on stress but also on other types of physical disorders.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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