This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Studies have found that music therapy is effective at promoting relaxation, relieving anxiety and stress, and treating depression. Music therapy allows people with emotional problems to explore feelings, make positive changes in mood, practice problem solving, and resolve conflicts. It can strengthen communication and physical coordination skills, and improve the physical and mental functioning of those with neurological or developmental disorders.
As far as pain management goes, music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth and to complement the use of anesthesia during surgery. It is also used to help ease the pain of chronic ailments such as headache.
Music therapy can also improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients and enhance the well-being of the elderly, including those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. It has also been used to complement the treatment of AIDS, stroke, Parkinson's, and cancer. Those with learning disabilities and speech and hearing problems may also find music therapy helpful.