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Risks and Contraindications of Music Therapy

Music therapy is relatively safe and has virtually no safety issues or risks associated with it. It is an effective nonpharmacological therapeutic modality that can be used by people of all ages, cultures, races, and religions. Even people with developmental delays and impairments can use and benefit from this type of therapy.

However, caution should be taken with patients who have hearing difficulties. Although some claim that music therapy is contraindicated for deaf people, these individuals, or their therapists, are able to use sign language to express their feelings and emotions. In addition, sound is vibration, and often rhythms and vibrations can be felt without having to be "heard."

Another safety issue can occur when music therapy is used for people who are emotionally imbalanced, such as a child who is crying or upset. Certain music may increase crying due to fear or lack of understanding. The therapist may need to intervene by changing the tune of the music to change the therapeutic environment. Negative music in particular may be contraindicated with certain health care procedures and problems. Such music should be used with caution.

According to Florence Nightingale (1859), it is the professional responsibility of every nurse to use music therapy when appropriate to promote an environment that will enhance holistic healing. when used appropriately and safely with clients' permission, nurses can take advantage of the benefits of music therapy without any legal or ethical problems. The American Holistic Nursing Association has also noted that when music therapy is used within a holistic framework and within the scope of nursing practice, it can be used therapeutically and safely to promote self-healing, especially when used with other therapies such as relaxation and guided imagery.

Source: Holistic and complementary Therapies


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