New studies show the power of music in the treatment of different diseases - Jornal O Sul

New studies show the power of music in the treatment of different diseases – Jornal O Sul

Sound processing site in the brain is responsible for relaxation and self-control. (Photo: Reproduction)

Rock in Rio is there to ratify the potential of music in entertainment, artistic expression and ability to unite. However, the use of sounds and melodies to help in the treatment of diseases grows. For pedagogue Kátia Cilene, 53, music therapy sessions helped her to get out of mental problems.

Katita, as she prefers to be called, had panic attacks and fell into a severe depression after an episode of bullying at work followed by dismissal. She says she lost ground, but thanks to the music therapy sessions she was able to learn to express her pain through sounds and even regain her own identity.

“Music was my ‘lifeline’, without it I wouldn’t have been able to move on. Mental health is a fine line, today you are well on your way, but if you don’t take care, you can go crazy. Music is now part of my identity,” she explains.

According to the National Therapy definition, “music therapy is the use of music to achieve therapeutic goals: recovery, maintenance and improvement of physical and mental health”.

Since the Second World War, when musicians were called to play for people who went to war and had sequels, the potential of melodies could already be seen.

Since then, the use of music in a scientific way has intensified, being used not only for mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, but also for patients in different conditions, such as those with chemical dependency.

Recently, in Brazil, professionals in the field came together to define therapy based on music. The Brazilian Union of Music Therapy Associations (UBAM) says that “the practice of music therapy aims to favor the increase of the possibilities of existing and acting, whether in individual work, with groups, in communities, organizations, health institutions and society, in the spheres of promotion, prevention, rehabilitation of health and transformation of social and community contexts; thus preventing damage or a decrease in the processes of developing people’s potential”.

“We must imagine that we have rhythmic sensations from the time we are in the mother’s womb until we die. Hearing is the last sense that goes out. So we can think that when all this power is used for therapeutic purposes, treatment, promotion of social participation or empowerment, there is enormous power”, explains the president of UBAM, Marly Chagas.

One of the most recent studies, conducted by the Federal University of Paraná, proved that music therapy significantly contributes to the reduction of hospital side effects, especially pain. A second work went further, suggesting that this type of treatment can repair brain damage. Thus, it can help people with Alzheimer’s, for example, to access lost memories, being able to sing a song when it is played.

Available in the Unified Health System (SUS) since 2017, music therapy is currently applied both in the community social area, as well as in mental health and in the hospital area. The type of technique applied varies according to the music therapy professional and also according to the patient.

“Each music therapist has a treatment profile, because each one has a field, be it aging or, for example, the development of neurotypical children, who have difficulties in schools, psychosocial care or motor rehabilitation”, explains Marly Chagas.

There is currently a bill in progress in the Chamber of Deputies to regulate the profession of music therapist. If approved, only professionals with college or graduate degrees will be able to exercise music therapy on patients.

Treatment through music is justified by the processing that melodies and sounds have in the brain, more specifically, in the neocortex region. There, in addition to being a place for processing sounds, it is also a region for controlling impulsivity and relaxation. That’s why music plays an important role in self-regulation.

“Music has a very positive effect for those who suffer from anxiety and attention deficit. There are times when it works as a tool to redirect the patient’s attention, which ends up indirectly controlling anxiety”, explains neuropsychologist Priscila Sertori.