Music Therapy Activity and the Elderly

September 30, 2008

Music therapy activity and the elderly is a topic that has been researched thoroughly. There are many uses for music therapy in the medical field, and a lot of those uses apply at least partially, if not strictly, to the elderly. Some of the more useful applications of music therapy activity and the elderly are in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and general Geriatrics. But while these are the studies done solely on the elderly, there are other applications of music therapy that can apply to the elderly just as well as they apply to patients of other ages. For example, elderly patients with chronic pain, cancer, hearing impairment, or who have recently gone through a surgery or have lost a loved one can also benefit greatly from music therapy.

The most complete studies done on music therapy activity and the elderly have been done on Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s patients have tested higher in their cognitive abilities after being exposed to music therapy activity. While other kinds of therapy can also be applied to assist Alzheimer’s patients, only music activities quantitatively prove that there is a significant increase in the patient’s brain function.

Dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is much more limited research as to the proven effects of music therapy activity and the elderly who suffer from Dementia. This is not to say, however, that music therapy activity does not work with elderly people who have Dementia. Many music therapists have witnessed great positive effects on patients and their caregivers who are exposed to music and music therapy on a regular basis. Because Dementia has similar symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease, especially cognitive dysfunctions including memory and recognition problems, some of the research on Alzheimer’s patients can be applied to Dementia patients.

Music therapy activity and the elderly have been studied not only for specific diseases, but also for the general geriatric healthcare. Music activities such as dancing can greatly improve the social habits and wellbeing of both general geriatric patients and those with Dementia. Creating social connections with another person through activities like dancing can bring out the liveliness in elderly people, and this will greatly improve their mood and overall happiness.

Much of the research on music therapy activity and the elderly patients it helps focused on the problem of agitation. For many geriatric patients, especially those with Dementia, agitation is one of the most difficult symptoms to control. However, using soft music can help quiet the agitated mind of geriatric patients, thus improving their mood and their health.

SAD Light Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorders

September 28, 2008

In institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, SAD light therapy is considered a standard form of treatment for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Also referred to as a more serious form of “winter depression”, affected individuals suffer depression, lethargy, fatigue, and many other symptoms when shorter days and longer nights begin to raise their ugly heads in the fall and winter.

SAD has been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, in the DSM-IV as an official subtype of major depressive episode. Approximately 75% of those involved are women, with the most common age of onset being the thirties. A psychiatrist by the name of Norman Rosenthal in 1984 had published a paper SAD light therapy, with research still going on today in regard to it. From that moment in time in the early 1980s, SAD light therapy–also been called bright light therapy or phototherapy–and over the years has been associated with the disorder SAD.

SAD light therapy requires about 30 minutes a day of daily light treatments–with the light treatments working best in the mornings with some using it in the evenings. The amount of light and when it is to be used depends a lot on the individual and the type of light box. A 10,000-lux light therapy box requires only 30 minutes a day of light treatment as a SAD light therapy, with the initial treatments requiring full spectrum lighting. More recent studies show that regular fluorescent bulbs can work as well, with UV or ultraviolet lighting needing to be filtered out as it damages the eyes and skin. But people still prefer the full spectrum minus the UV, as it is the closest to natural lighting available for SAD light therapy.

There are three key elements combined in SAD light therapy: intensity, duration, and timing. As many people know, light therapy is best used early in the morning as compared to using it in the evenings, as it has been known to disrupt sleep or cause insomnia. How long of a duration may range from 30 minutes to two hours, with initial doses as low as 15 minutes and working up. The intensity is a little more complicated, as the lux of the light box varies. The term “lux” refers to the measurement of light received at a specific distance from a particular light source, with the average light therapy box running between 2,500-lux and the typical 10,000-lux. To put this into more clear terminology, the average living room in the evening is about 400-lux, and the bright sunny day runs about 100,000-lux.

Guided Meditation

September 26, 2008

Guided Meditation Will Help You Learn the True Art of Meditation

Meditation has been around for over 5,000 years as a religious and spiritual form of therapy, whether to gain our inner peace and well-being or to grow closer to Christ and bring him into our lives and bodies. Today meditation is used more than ever before. It’s used for many of the same purposes of years ago with many more goals that are successful today. With the help of guided meditation, many individuals are learning the art of meditation and using it in their daily lives. Guided meditation was used years ago when meditation was first used, but today it is used more than ever because of the ever-increasing popularity of meditation.

Meditation comes in many different forms and techniques. When many of us think of meditation, we think of an old Indian chief sitting on the bottom of a mountain with his leg crossed, deep in thought for hours. However, meditation is much more than that today. Even the medical profession has done a lot of research on meditation as a means of gaining good physical health. It’s been proven that some forms of meditation affect our brain waves. Testing has also been done to prove if meditation has helped with other health problems such as heart disorders, high blood pressure and more. This is, of course, provided the patient was receiving guided meditation.

Guided meditation is available from many different sources for those interested in learning the art. Many individuals have heard the positive about meditation but don’t wish to see a specialist in the area or join group sessions. They are able to order courses of guided meditation either online or on a cd or DVD. Many inexperienced people believe meditation is nothing more than sitting on the floor thinking about something for a long time. Meditation is much more than that. While it may involve sitting and thinking, there is much more to it than that.

There are techniques on how to sit, how to relax your body and what to focus on and for how long. Meditation has helped many people to find inner peace and happiness. Stress and anxiety are a very real part of our every day lives. Stress, anxiety and depression have been proven to contribute to many illnesses and disorders in the human body. With the help of guided meditation, you can learn how to relieve your stress and anxiety, therefore, bring peace to your emotional well-being, which will help your physical beings.

Acupuncture Point: The Right Place Matters

September 23, 2008

acupuncture_points

An acupuncture point is the location on the body that is targeted by the acupuncturist. In this Chinese medicine and alternative treatment, tiny needles are placed into the skin at these points. In doing so, it is believed that they can restore the normal flow of qi, or the energy force within the body to its normal state. When that happens, the body can heal and overcome the ailments that it is currently facing.

The term for an acupuncture point is acupoints. It can also be used in similar, though different types of acupuncture including acupressure, sonopuncture, and laser treatments that are now available. In the study of acupuncture, it is believed that the body is connected through various points. These connected points are referred to as meridians. Each meridian can be targeted to a specific organ or area of the body. Other acupuncture point locations are found throughout the body that is not connected to meridians.

When you visit an acupuncturist, or a professional who performs this type of alternative treatment, the first step is to assess your condition by giving you a thorough exam. During this process, they will determine where the potential problems are. Based on their study of your body as well as the specifics of this type of treatment, they can determine the best acupuncture point or points to place needles. In this treatment, needles are placed on the appropriate meridian to trigger the specific condition needing to be treated. In most cases, several locations will be targeted at one time.

An acupuncturist will know the proper acupuncture point based on his or her experience as well as training in this treatment. The locations of these treatments are done the same from one person to the next.

There are also various categories of points throughout the body. For example, there are the Five Transporting acupuncture points. In this category, the qi flows much like a river through the body. In this method, there are several types of treatment administered, each associated with these points. The five methods are called Jing well, Ying spring, Shu stream, Jing River and He sea.

When you visit an acupuncture location, take notice of any charts that they may have on the walls. These are a great reference to learn where the best acupuncture point to treat your condition is located. Yet, also realize that only after the acupuncturist performs an assessment of the body can he assign the proper treatment. You can often ask questions to learn why one area is located over the others.

Herbal Medications for Stress

September 21, 2008

Herbs have been around for a long time and have been used to treat various medical problems. The natural properties of herbs have been known for centuries and modern science is continuing to study them. With advanced medical technology, it is possible to increase out knowledge of plant and herb extracts and discover the medicinal qualities present in each herb. Stress problems are no exception. While it may be tempting to go to a doctor and get a prescription drug to help combat excessive stress, using a natural remedy as a first line of defense can be a lot safer.

With herbal medications for stress, you reduce the risk of side effects from the drugs. Also, there is a less likelihood of adverse reactions when used in conjunction with other medications you may be on. While there are some natural remedies that may have addictive qualities, the odds of these are much less than with the chemical medications commonly prescribed. Herbal supplements are proven effective and are safer to the body that their chemically based counterparts. In addition, herbal supplements tend to be a lot less expensive than prescription medication. They also do not require a visit to the doctor, a fee for the visit or exorbitant prescription costs.

With the increasing popularity of herbal medications for stress, though, unfortunately come those who want to exploit the trend. They often make unfounded claims and charge more money than the supplement is worth. Claims of miracle cures and companies that do not have independent research backing up their claims should be avoided. As tempting as it may be, do not buy into the hype of a particular product. Instead see what proof there is of success in its use.

PureCalm is a product that has cited success cases. It is based on lavender, Melissa Officinalis and Passiflora Incarnata to help calm the patient. The results are nearly immediate. Anxius is another product that claims to be a lot more effective than the prescription medication. Triple Complex Mood Tonic is another positively reported product on the market today that helps alleviate stress. In addition to these pre made and pre mixed herbal supplements, there are also various oils and extracts of herbs that can be used to combat stress including passion flower, vaerian, kava, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Magnesium, B vitamins and chamomile.

Herbal supplements can be found in supermarkets, health food stores, vitamin stores and online. In addition to using the herbal medications for stress it is also advisable to use other natural treatments in tandem. This includes natural body cures and holistic treatments such as yoga, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, visualization and aromatherapy. The combination of herbal stress medications and other remedies can increase the effectiveness of the overall cure to where prescription medication is no longer necessary.

Exploring Angel Meditation

September 18, 2008

Angel meditation is a means to contact the angels that look over you. As one of the guides that protect and surround you, angels can be very useful in assisting you with daily activities, feeling better, healing and guidance. Angels, however, do not actively interfere in your lives in any capacity unless they are asked to do so. The act of meditating to contact these angels allows you to request particular intervention from your spirit guides and allows them access to assist you with your needs. The angels in your life know everything there is to know about you, they understand your weaknesses and fears as well as your strengths and desires. This makes them particularly qualified to help you navigate through difficult issues in your life.

There are several ways angel meditation can help you. If you are feeling a particular negative emotion such as anger, stress or greed, your angel guides can help you overcome these feelings and calm you so you can react to situations in a more positive light. This will help you more rationally make decisions instead of allowing your emotional responses to drive you. Some angels are more versed in specific issues and can be called upon in particular situations. For example, if you have a business problem you can call on an angel who can assist you specifically with that. If you are feeling depressed, soar with the angels by visualizing you are flying with them. This can be an incredibly uplifting experience and one that will lift your spirits.

If you are familiar with meditation, you will see the similarities between angel meditation and any other form of meditation. You are focusing your energies and calming yourself so you are open to soaking up the healing powers. However, in angel meditation you are specifically calling to a particular entity to help you with the process. In order to this, you will need to start off in a calm room that has a relaxing ambiance. Take the phone off the hook and make sure you do not have any outside distractions. You need to concentrate on the process.

Start off with some deep breathing exercises to clear your mind and relax. Close your eyes and visualize yourself in a calm, peaceful setting outdoors. Take in the beauty of the place and concentrate on the surroundings, particularly the clouds and sky. Let your mind open to see the images of the angels around you, the wispy beings of light that you can feel though not clearly define visually. Call to them and ask them for their help. Express to them your issue and request they assist you with solving your problem.

Continue to breathe deeply and remain open to your guides. Once your angels have contacted you, sit quietly and listen to what they have to say. You may hear a clear conversation, you may get particular ideas or you may simply get a feeling of overall well being and healing. Absorb this and let it wash over you. When you are done and the angels are finished guiding you, thank them politely and kindly.

Begin the process of coming back to consciousness, slowly retracing your steps until you are no longer outside but in the room where you started. Concentrate on your breathing for awhile as you slowly open your eyes. You will have a sense of peace and strength. When you are ready, get up and go about your day. You will continue to feel the presence of your angel guides as you embark on your daily routine and you will have access to the information they gave you to help with any issue you may have. This will give you a sense of strength and happiness that will benefit you during the course of your day and will help guide you into making positive decisions.

Alternative Medicine Schools

September 16, 2008

If you are interested in learning all there is to know about alternative medicine, you should check into attending an alternative medicine school. Also called holistic health schools, these learning centers offer courses and degrees in many of the subjects those who are into natural healing will appreciate.

Alternative medicine schools can be an option for the young person who wants a career in medicine, but is not too keen on the idea of spending so many years of his life earning a degree. They are ideal for someone who is already involved in the conventional medical field and would like to branch out. And, they are a fine choice or anyone who is just interested in learning about one or more of the branches of alternative medicine.

No matter where you live, there is an alternative medicine school of one kind or another not too far away. Using the Internet, it is easy to research the many different schools. You will find comprehensive lists of the schools and their courses, laid out in such a way as to be simple for you to find the type course you are looking for.

What kinds of courses are available at alternative medicine schools? Some of the most popular include –

• Massage Therapy
• Chinese Traditional Medicine
• Acupuncture
• Homeopathy
• Nutrition
• Chiropractic
• Herbal

It is certainly possible to have a career based on what you learn at alternative medicine schools. In fact, alternative medicine careers are among the fastest growing careers in the nation. This is because more and more people are beginning to realize that conventional medicine is not for them. They want to get back to nature and away from the side effects of the prescription drugs that allopathic doctors hand out so freely.

You could feel very proud of yourself for going to an alternative medicine school! Once you earn a diploma or are certified in whatever discipline you choose, think of how you could help others. There will be a real need for your services as a natural nutritionist, massage therapist, or chiropractor. People will be eager to for you to instruct them on what herbal remedy would be useful for whatever complaint they might have if by chance you study homeopathy. Taking a course in Chinese Traditional Medicine would make you quite popular, as requests for your services would climb once people discovered how much you could help them.

If the alternative medicine school you are attending is an accredited institution, you can get help in paying your tuition. Attending any accredited school makes you eligible for Federal tuition aid from your state and from the government. You can receive grants, loans, and participate in work study programs just like at any other college.

Look into alternative medicine schools if you want a satisfying career!

Music Therapy Activities

September 14, 2008

What are Some Music Therapy Activities?

Music therapy activities are much more varied than it seems.  Though it would be reasonable to think that music therapy would consist of music, the extent to which music can be used is far more expansive.  From lyrics to dance, musical backgrounds and song sharing, music therapy activities can be custom fit to the patient they are meant to help.  But learning more about each of these techniques can help patients and therapists get ahead of the problem and start getting to the solutions.

Using song lyrics is one of the more common music therapy activities in rehabilitative and counseling sessions.  By writing lyrics about difficult things in your life, you might be able to see connections and solutions to your own problems.  The therapists might have to rewrite the lyrics to a particular song you enjoy or to a song that you feel is similar to your feelings at the time.  You might also be asked to write lyrics to a song about the life you want to create for yourself – whether this is related to psychological or physical changes.

Dancing to music is another way to encourage people to work through a number of problems.  In the physical therapy setting, dancing and moving to the music are music therapy activities that can bolster strength as well as moods.  By slowly working your way up to more strenuous activities, a patient can begin to feel more confident in their ability to move while also gaining strength and stamina along the way.  With upbeat music, it’s easier for people to continue working out too as they can feel inspired by the tempo or the lyrics in the songs they choose.

Just playing soft music in the background of a therapeutic session can be considered one of the more positive and practical music therapy activities.  Every wonder why elevators always play soft and soothing music?  Because this helps people relax and not worry so much about the elevator malfunctioning.  On the opposite side of the music gamut, playing harder, louder and faster music can increase the heart rate and cause the person listening to make decisions more quickly than they should – that’s why many stores play loud and penetrating music.

Therapists might also use music therapy activities that include sharing songs that the patient or the therapist feel are relevant to their discussions.  By taking time to share a song, the patient doesn’t have to talk as much about what they feeling, letting the music speak for them.

There are many music therapy activities that can help the patient reach their goals and the therapist to communicate in a positive and successful way.

Does Alternative Medicine Work?

September 11, 2008

In today’s modern times, many of us no longer believe in alternative medicine, natural remedies, the use of herbs or anything that does not involve the use of traditional modern medicine. We have made so many advances in modern day medicine, that most of us don’t trust or want to believe in anything else. The question I ask myself constantly is; “if traditional medicine has become so much better than other alternative, more natural medicine, Why are we still getting sick?” Why do some people get better when they use alternative medicines? Why do traditional medical professionals see so many ¨unexplained healings,¨ as they like to call them. Is it all because of miracles, or is it thanks to Alternative medicine?

Natural medicine does work! Or at least I am one of those believers. But as even the best alternative medicine professionals believe, it should be used in conjunction with traditional medicine. Natural, or alternative medicines allow your body to heal itself, and to balance itself out, without the use of so many chemicals. Even studies done by traditional medicine experts show that many life threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart problems are caused by stress and anxiety. If the cause is stress, and they agree that one of the best ways to fight this stress and anxiety is through alternative medicine, then how can they also say that alternative medicine doesn’t work. Why do so many in the medical profession say that alternative medicine doesn’t work? Well, your guess is as good as mine! But whether it’s the natural medicine, herbs, therapies or just the patients faith, what is true that something is working, and it’s more than just traditional medicine.

Recently, in a conversation with a friend, who was once a stage IV cancer patient, I asked him what he attributed his healing too. This man should be dead, he is in the 3% survivor rate and was stage four! He told me the doctors had sent him home and told him to make his final plans. Instead he used his faith, tried alternative medicine and is still alive today! If you ask him, whether he believes in alternative medicine or not, he will say, ¨I don’t know what I believe in, but I am still here. Does that answer your question?” ¨It might have been the natural herbal treatment I take, it might be people’s prayers, it might even be traditional medicine. The good thing is I’m still here for a few more years and enjoying every minute of it! I don’t think I could have ever written a better analogy as to the effectiveness of alternative medicine.

The truth is that there are two types of people. Those who truly believe in the natural healing wonders of alternative medicines, and others who believe that natural medicine is a matter of “old wives tales” and these old techniques that have no effect at all.

It is difficult to say which is true and which is not. But we are left with something to consider. If alternative medicines do not work, then why have they been around for thousands of years, and why do we still use them? Why do people who use them, survive life threatening diseases? Is it truly just a matter of faith, or is there really something to these alternative medicine techniques? Those questions I will leave you to answer.

Light Relief Therapy

September 10, 2008

Carry Around “Light Relief” Therapy

Light Relief is a natural pain relief device that offers light relief therapy to emit infrared spectrum energy, providing topical heating to get the body going again. The infrared pain relief is for maintaining of the body’s tissue temperature, in addition to the elevation of the tissue. Muscle pain, join paint, stiffness, and any other area that offers problems with personal comfort will find relief with Light Relief Therapy. Radiation and X-rays are not used with this alternative procedure, allowing a silent treatment that provides very gentle and soothing warmth to the body and areas being treated.

When used as instructed by the manufacturer, the FDA has designated it to be safe and effective for temporary relief of the body and aids in muscle relaxation. The body’s range of motions will be increased temporarily due to the relaxation and pain relief, brought upon by the Light Relief Therapy application, which provides a temporarily increase in the body’s blood circulation. The more the unit is used, the more the pain will leave the area and the muscles will continue to relax and become more flexible over time.

The Light Relief Therapy unit contains 59 colored and infrared light emitting diodes, or LEDs, which consist of a total of 24 infrared, 31 red, and four blue, which provide to each and every painful body area a gentle stream of soothing energy. Heat buttons are on the unit, which can be turned off and on depending on the body’s acceptance of the energy massage. There are four frequency settings–start, low, medium and high. For best results, the Light Relief Therapy unit should be applied directly on the targeted skin area for instantaneous relief in a safe and gentle manner.

Many people consider purchasing more than one unit in order to apply them to different body targets at once, or to keep one at home and the other one at the office. And for those who did purchase this item, within fifteen minutes they stated they felt instantaneous relief upon treating the injured muscles with the high frequency function of the Light Relief Therapy.

When ordering the Light Relief Therapy product, a two-year warranty will cover the product, with a travel bag, a Light Relief body band, a Light Relief Guide, adjustable handles free strap, and a Light Relief Battery Operated Unit. Fitting into the palm of the hand, it is durable, lightweight and portable. Made of the highest quality standards, this little unit can fit into the palm of the hand while being flexible of the entire body.

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