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Music Therapist Eva Hamer (vegan): The Compelling Health Benefits of Music Therapy, Part 1 of 2



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Ms. Hamer received her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University in the United States, and became a certified music therapist after the completion of her internship at a hospice. With many years of experience in music-related treatment, Ms. Hamer sees great potential in music to enrich people’s lives and provide comfort. Currently, she extends her compassion to the people of the animal kingdom by being part of the animal-people rights movement as Legal Coordinator for Direct Action Everywhere, a Shining World Courage-Compassion recipient.

“Music can be used for wellness as well as to treat illnesses and disorders and music therapists can work on enhancing wellness in addition to treating disorders.” “Music therapy’s origins happened around the 1940s.” During the course of treatment, many practices can be employed to suit the needs of individuals, including listening or dancing to music, singing, playing instruments, or discussing music.

“I think basically anyone can benefit from music therapy or from music wellness programs. It's particularly beneficial to babies and mothers in the NICU, for people on hospice, for kids in special education programs, for people with physical disabilities, for people with brain damage, and for people with emotional disabilities or emotional disturbances. In coordination with qualified psychotherapists, music can really be used to kind of provide a safe container for exploring psychological issues. When we think about music that makes you cry, sometimes we can kind of have emotions that are really pent up.”

“Often religious music is used in hospice, music that's particularly important to a person in their faith; it can kind of bring up a feeling of sacredness and safety to be able to really examine some of these things that we need to deal with while we're coming towards the end of our lives.”

When we are absorbed into the melody of music, it seems as if we are enclosed in a sphere where we can temporarily forget all the stress. Sometimes, it even lessens our pain mentally and physically. “And when the music, and the breathing, the biological rhythm are synced up, the music therapist has the ability to actually slow down that music, and thus slow down the biological rhythm that we’ve synced up to and actually make the breathing slower and longer in a way that really relaxes patients and reduces pain and respiratory distress.”
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