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Music therapy is a branch of alternative medicine that has only been marginally researched. Music therapy was introduced into medical practice in the United States as early as the 1950s and quickly caught on, even before randomized double-blind studies could demonstrate its benefits.

Today, music therapy has been shown to treat a wide range of conditions [1], as it :

- lowers depression,

- improves mood,

- reduces anxiety,

- improves quality of life,

- allows the expression of feelings,

- facilitates positive associations,

- facilitates socialization.

So what is this discipline? How can instruments like the tongue drum accompany this medical revolution? Why should it even replace flowers in hospitals? It is these questions that we will shed light on using the latest studies.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a form of psychotherapy that addresses not only a sick patient, but the individual in general [2]. Thus, music therapy plays a dual role:

- Therapeutic,

- psycho-pedagogical.

However, musical harmonies are numerous, and the question of what kind of music to listen to quickly arose. It was ARATP (Association de recherches et d'application des techniques psycho-musicales) that was the first to specify that the style of music should be adapted to the affective state of the person [3].

Thus, a depressed person will tend to prefer sad music, while a euphoric person will prefer much more rhythmic music. This cathartic or sedative music, aimed at achieving this divine harmony or universal harmony, was already sought by the ancient Greeks [4].

In the Middle Ages, the tarentaise did not arise by chance. Stung by a tarantula, the sick person, the taranti, was asked to dance alone or in a group to the rhythm of a wild music [5]. The taranti remains the archetype of cathartic music.

It is therefore a matter of finding the instrument that can be placed in these two musical modes - cathartic and sedative. With its soft and deep tones, the tongue drum seems to be this instrument.

The Tongue Drum as a Therapeutic Instrument

The tongue drum is not a difficult instrument to operate. As a percussion instrument composed of two metal elements that originally consisted only of parts of gas cylinders, it has stirred up the music scene.

A new instrument that emerged from the hands of American Dennis Havlena in 2007, the tongue drum is the instrument of the 21st century. With its extremely relaxing sounds, the Tongue Drum, when played as percussion, can unite all harmonies.

From soft, fundamentally soothing music to fast, even rousing music, the tongue drum can accompany catharsis. It thus becomes the equalizer of passions, the vehicle of music therapy.

It is, after all, precisely the interesting thing about music therapy that it assists the sick, the suffering, or the simply anxious. The positive effects of music have attracted scientific attention time and again, and evidence is mounting.

Well-being through music therapy
One would think that with 50 million people suffering from dementia worldwide and a projected increase to 75.6 million in 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050 [6] - and that's not even taking into account depressive conditions, which affect up to 280 million people worldwide [7] - music therapy would have been the subject of in-depth studies.

However, this is not quite the case yet. For this reason, a team of researchers from the University of Heidelberg studied the topic more intensively [8]. They found that music therapy led to more relaxation and less fatigue in palliative care patients.

Although it has no effect on acute pain, it is still effective, so much so that it is even used in operating rooms. This can reduce both postoperative pain and the use of analgesics [9].

Don't give flowers anymore, give a tongue depressor.

It is rarely said, but serious studies cast doubt on the pathogenic potential of flowers and the nosocomial diseases they can cause [10]. In this regard, intuition directs researchers to the water of flowers, which may contain a large number of bacteria [11].

This went so far that hospitals began to ban flowers from the hospital because the contagion could come from the hands of medical personnel who touched the flowers and then the patients [12].

Therefore, given the doubts that exist about the reflex that we all have, which is to give flowers, you should prefer tongue depressor. It is certainly not the same price, but also not the same result for the patient.

While flowers can worsen the condition of the sick person, tongue drum can bring the benefits of music therapy to the bedridden person. Even if the sufferer is not a musician, the Tongue Drum can be played without false notes, so the musical harmony is limited only by the imagination of the sufferer.

So don't hesitate to purchase such an instrument for your loved one in the hospital. You will do them a great favor and accompany them on their road to recovery, allowing them to relax and have better control over their state of exhaustion.

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[1] Symbolism, Synesthesia, and Semiotics, Mutidisciplinary Approach, Balla, Xlibris US éditions, 2012, Seite 189.

[2] La musicothérapie: la part oubliée de la personnalité, Rolando Omar Benenzon, éditions de Boeck, 1. Auflage, 2004, Seite 15-16.

[3] Musiktherapie, Verlag "Que sais-je?", Nr. 4111, François-Xavier Vrait, Kapitel 1, 2018.

[4] Pflege dank der Musik. La triangularité en musicothérapie et la place du musicothérapeute, éditions l'Harmattan, 2013, pages 11-12.

[5] Revue de métaphysique et de morale, A. Colin édition, Band 79, 1974, Seite 58.

[6] Living Well with Dementia Through Music, A Resource Book for Activities Providers and Care Staff, Acton, Barone u. a., Seite 9.

[7] Depression, World Health Organization.

Externer Link:,world%20have%20depression%20(1).

[8] Musiktherapie würde das Wohlbefinden von Kranken steigern, 07. Dezember 2015.

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[9] Music as an aid for postoperative recovery in adults: a systematic revie and meta-analysis, Hole, Hirsch u.a., 12. August 2015, doi 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60169-6.

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[10] Are plants vectors for transmission of infection in acute care?, La Charity, Mc Clure, doi 10.1016/s0899-5885(02)00037-0.

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[11] The evidence base and infection risks from flowers in the clinical setting, Gould, Chudleigh u.a., 1. Juni 2005, doi 10.1177/14690446050060030501.

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[12] Flosers in the clinical setting: infection risk or workload issue? Gould, Gammon, and others, 1 September 2004, 10.1177/136140960400900507.

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