Grinnell Regional Medical Center will offer music therapy to patients at the hospital and for Grinnell Regional Hospice. Music therapists develop a therapeutic relationship with their patients with the use of music to maintain, restore, and improve mental and physical health.
Music therapists are trained to assess how music impacts the brain and body in physical, cognition, and emotional outcomes. They conduct and analyze how specific music impacts parts of the brain’s functioning. The research-based interventions of therapy can include singing, moving, playing instruments, and listening to music.
“Music therapy is also extremely useful for those who may find it difficult to express themselves in words,” says Stephanie Johnson, NMT, MT-BC, music therapist. “Music therapists give patients and clients a unique way to improve functioning abilities and quality of life.”
“Research has proven that music therapy is especially useful for hospice patients by decreasing anxiety, reducing pain, and helping dementia patients’ memories,” says Becky Pryor, GRMC director of home health and hospice.
Two therapists, Crystal Berkenes, MT-BC, and Johnson, begin therapy at GRMC in April. Johnson explained how beneficial she has found music therapy to be especially in patients experiencing confusion or psychological conditions such as dementia.
“The rhythm and structure of music helps patients to organize their thoughts and have more success when working toward the goals the care team has set in place,” Johnson says.
Music therapy has been successful in reducing nausea and emesis during chemotherapy. It also reduces pain perception, reduces the need for medication, and increases comfort and relaxation. Music therapy has facilitated verbal communication and memory to those with neurological impairment that have otherwise been unable to verbalize.
Music therapy is goal focused, with certified music therapists using their expertise to plan customized sessions that help their patients achieve the goals they had in mind. This could include better organization of thoughts, more lucid thinking and communication, decreasing pain and anxiety, or even increased mobility and coordination. Therapists can work with patients to assess their needs, draft goals of therapy, execute live music, and then evaluate and document their progress
“This is a wonderful chance for patients of many walks of life, from children to elderly patients, to benefit from music therapy. Music is a universal language that can appeal to one’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs,” Pryor says.
For information on the music therapy program, call Grinnell Regional Wellness at office at 641-236-2998 or check out Johnson’s website at www.musicspeakstherapy.com.