“Escuchamo’ a Páez, y Nacemos de Nuevo”- We Listen to Páez and We Are Born Again
Affiliation: Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, Germany; University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Keywords: Music, Musical Interventions, Music Therapy, Human Health, Pain, Nervous System, Anxiety, Paediatrics, Medical Treatment, Rehabilitation
Categories: News and Views, Life Sciences, Medicine, Performing Arts, Music
Languages: Spanish, Castilian
Historically, music has been used to maintain or restore people’s health across different civilizations, characterised by different uses and beliefs. Different methodologies involving music have been applied in pathologies varying from psychiatric disorders, to physical pain. Singing, playing instruments, or even passively listening to specific melodies were recognized by many societies as key in the rehabilitation of different pathophysiological processes. The scientific method applied to study the impact of music on human health has led to a deeper understanding of the potential benefits of music therapy applied as part of the formal medical treatment in specific diseases. In the last 30 years, numerous studies focused on analysing the impact of specific musical interventions in conditions such as pain associated with cancer and surgery, refractory epilepsy, anxiety, and neurological post-stroke rehabilitation. Nevertheless, only recently systematic reviews analysed the collected evidence over time. In this article, a historical background about the application of music on health serves as a basis for understanding how modern science currently studies the topic. Four different cases where the use of music shows clear evidence of positive impact are individually addressed: music and pain, music and nervous system disorders, music and anxiety, and music applied to paediatric patients in specific conditions. The specifications described in each case will hopefully contribute to the visualisation of the benefit that can be obtained by using music therapy as a complementary method to treat certain diseases.