Music Therapy: Healing Patient’s Body and Heartpublished by Lianhe Zaobao on June 30, 2020
With the theory and methods of psychology as a basis, music therapy uses the unique physiological and psychological impact of music, and a planned and systematic approach to improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients.
Music therapist Tammy Lim, who also has a degree in psychology, explained that with the theory and methods of psychology as a basis, music therapy uses the unique physiological and psychological impact of music and a planned and systematic approach with the involvement of the music therapist to improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients.
Music Helps Patients Express Their Feelings
In Assisi Hospice, besides doctors and nurses who provide medical care, physiotherapists, music, speech and art therapists and medical social workers form the palliative care team, ensuring that patients receive psychological, emotional and spiritual care holistically, preserving their dignity and quality of life.
Assisi Hospice’s music therapist Tammy Lim said, music includes sound and words, helps patients to relax, express their own feelings clearly, accept and face their feelings honestly.
She said, “Music therapists mainly uses music to enable patients to express their innermost feelings. Using music as a way of expression is an innate ability of human beings.”
For example, she will use a song “A Lovely Life” as a conversation starter, guiding patient to express how they feel about life, or even encourage them to put their feelings into the lyrics. She may also encourage them to compose songs with their families, or play an instrument, to leave beautiful memories.
She said, “During music therapy, the therapist mainly uses live singing, the sound waves from the instrument and human voice would create a natural effect on the human body, helping the patient to relax and feel the vibration of the music.”
For example, for patients who are breathing too rapidly, the therapist can use the song’s rhythm and volume to help them to adjust and slow down his breathing speed.
Cancer patient: She discovered her potential through music
Low Keng Yun (48 years old) was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018. Last year, she discovered the cancer has spread and there is a tumour in her brain. She had two brain operations and underwent radiation therapy. When she was admitted to Assisi Hospice in April this year, she was initially sceptical about the effect of music therapy, but when she saw some seniors participating in music therapy happily, she thought, “Music made them happy.”
She discovered her interest in music when music therapist Tammy Lim started doing one-to-one music therapy with her. She remembered one when Tammy was playing music and asked her to close her eyes, to tell her what she saw in her mind, and to draw it out. She said, “I saw flowers blooming in the night and I drew that.”
She likes Xinyao but did not play any instruments, and never thought that she would be able to write lyrics one day. She is also learning ukulele from Tammy. “Music therapy discovered my potential in music, and I grew in self-confidence.”
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