EMDR, Music Therapy, and Somatic Disorder

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Upon waking up in the morning and being completely drawn into the proper performance of his or her daily activities, a modern human being today will surely notice that the environment of the 21st century has evolved from a silent and simple setting to an area that caters to competition and continuous improvement in order to survive the challenges imposed by the current global status (Corey & Corey, 2006). Pressure from work, conditions inside the family, and personal relationships all contribute to the multitude of factors that characterize the stressful environment of this modern milieu.

Unfortunately, stress cannot be eliminated, but one can resort to various stress management methods in order to monitor the psychological and physiological effects of stress, thereby reducing the negative effects that are attributed to these events (Corey & Corey, 2006). In connection to this, the goal of this assignment is to discuss the effectiveness of different stress management methods like music therapy and EMDR in alleviating the unwanted effects of stress and other somatic disorders. Hence, the discussions of this assignment are significant in the confirmation of ways to create a healthy lifestyle from a stressful atmosphere.

This assignment will be divided into three parts and each part will be composed of approximately three pages. I. Summarize the mechanisms, underpinnings and beneficial effects of the following: A. Music Therapy Entertainment and aesthetic values are the usual reasons that account for the importance of music in the lives of humans (Scott, 2009). However, recent studies and historical findings suggest that music can be used for medical and therapeutic purposes; the earliest documented example of this process is the Kahum Papyrus (Dileo & Bradt, 2007).

At present, a growing number of patients are claiming that music therapy was able to help them with their diseases which include cancer, ADD for children, and other hospital-related medical infirmities such as pain management, calming of patients, reduction post-surgical depression and anxiety, promotion ease of muscle movement as a consequence of tension, and many other benefits (Scott, 2009). To further investigate the nature and dimension of music therapy, it is important to discuss the theoretical underpinnings and mechanism of this stress management method.

Music therapy is technically defined as the “systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change” (Dileo & Bradt, 2007, p. 520). This means that the prerequisites of this intervention include an expert music therapist, a patient, the goal that must be reached, type of music therapy approach, materials or music, and the evaluation of the therapy after its complete implementation.

Specific approaches of music therapy include the following: process of passive listening of the client to low frequency music with or without verbal instructions from the therapist in order to reduce stress which is technically termed as listening experiences, the act of performing, practicing, and/or learning musical voice or musical instruments, the process of inventing music using instruments and/or voice spontaneously based on initial thoughts on the message of the music (improvisational experiences), the procedure of writing revised lyrics of popular songs or composing original lyrics (compositional experiences), and finally, the combined arts experiences which incorporate music in relation to other forms of art (Dileo & Bradt, 2007).

Direct effects of music therapy to stress management are manifested by positive alterations of overall heart rate, respiration rate, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, body temperature, anxiety reduction and mood enlightenment (Dileo & Bradt, 2007). However, it must be emphasized that these effects are not identical for all the people who were exposed to music therapy because music experience is said to be influenced by the personal and unique experiences of the person (Dileo & Bradt, 2007). Hence, the range of positive effects that can be achieved by patients after exposure to music therapy is dependent on the specific responses of their physiological and psychological systems. B. Eye movement desentization and reprocessing (EMDR) Eye movement desentization and reprocessing or EMDR was first introduced by Francine Shapiro in 1989.

It was intended to serve patients who are victims of posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD), anxiety disorders, and other traumatic experiences (Hyer & Kushner, 2007). From then on, the application of EMDR has expanded to cover specific areas of psychology including panic disorders, spider phobia, claustrophobia, somatoform disorders, blood and injection phobia, crime phobia, recovery of patients who were exposed to crime incidences and sexual assault, and also in the rehabilitation of patients who became addicted to gambling and drugs (Hyer & Kushner, 2007). In order to further assess the effectiveness of this stress management method, it would be necessary to examine first the theoretical foundations and process mechanisms of this specific method. As mentioned earlier, Dr.

Shapiro was the primary proponent of EMDR and he was also the man that formulated the underlying concepts of EMDR. He said that adaptive processing of the brain makes it possible for the processes of EMDR to occur because this is the method that permits the creation of novel concepts from traumatic experiences, allowing for free flow of information, recuperation, restoration, and improvement of the overall personality of the person. The conceptual framework of EMDR makes use of the following constructs: placebo usage, rapid eye movement, relaxation response, counter-conditioning, adaptive processing, neurobiological homeostasis, and assimilation techniques (Hyer & Kushner, 2007).

Hence, the underlying concepts of EMDR are grounded on the notion that EMDR “is a theoretical integration model that offers different perspectives at the level of theory and practice,” with emphasis on the idea that the current mindset of the patient is essential in reprogramming the old thoughts and formation of more beneficial present experiences (Hyer & Kushner, 2007, p. 548). Inherent in the process of EMDR treatment is the utilization of eight phases that include the investigation of the client history, preparation of the client, assessment, desensitization, installation, double check, closure, and re-evaluation (Hyer & Kushner, 2007). Bilateral focus or the simultaneous exposure to internal and external stimuli with therapist directed eye movements accounts for the therapeutic reduction of the negative effects that have resulted from the traumatic memories (Hyer & Kushner, 2007).

Consequently, the effectiveness of EMDR is backed up by its international recognitions from the Department of Veterans Affairs Practice Guidelines, American Psychiatric Associations, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and psychiatric groups from Britain, North Ireland, Israel, and Sweden (Hyer & Kushner, 2007). C. Why might these forms of stress management be effective in managing stress? Explain how they manage to decrease stress. Based on the above discussions, both music therapy and EMDR help in the management of stress and traumatic disorders, respectively. Music therapy, in particular, helps in reducing the muscle tension felt by the patients which is also reflected in the significant positive alteration of the vital sign values such as temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate (Dileo & Bradt, 2007).

EMDR, on the other hand, aids in the reduction of the negative effects of traumatic experiences, a process that is accomplished through bilateral focus and adaptive processing (Hyer, & Kushner, 2007). Stress reduction as a consequence of EMDR is manifested by affecting the sensations, formation of constructive perceptions after exposure to events or people that have triggered trauma and general promotion of relaxation for the patients (Hyer, & Kushner, 2007). II. ‘Coping with stress: the effectiveness of different types of music’: Summary of the article and usefulness in clinical practice. (hypothesis, method, and outcome) Music plays an important role in the lives of teenagers and young adults nowadays.

It is believed that music significantly helps in dealing with stressful academic and personal daily lives (Labbe, Schimdt, Babin, & Pharr, 2007). Aside from this, it is also said that music is a very effective way of expressing emotions, concepts, and a multitude of other feelings that members of these age groups find hard to express in communicated language (Labbe et al. , 2007). However, there is a lack of scientific studies that can strongly support the significance of music in the very dynamic lives of the today’s young generation. Furthermore, there is also an absence of substantial studies that can reveal the profile of the types of music genre that can effectively perform stress reduction and mood alleviation for teenagers and young adults (Labbe et al. , 2007).

In connection to this, the goal of this paper is to establish a formal investigation of the direct effects music on the reduction of negative emotions experienced by young adults and teenagers and to provide a profile of the music genres that can most effectively elicit the positive effects in relation to stress management (Labbe et al. , 2007). It is also important to emphasize that the effects of pre-determined attractive music in relation to the self-perceptions of the participants as opposed to the theoretically proven favorable genre of songs will also be investigated (Labbe et al. , 2007). The hypothesis of this study works under the notion that the positive effects of music to its listeners is also a function of the nature of the music type and its degree of attractiveness for the participants (Labbe et al. , 2007).

Consequently, the findings that will be generated in this study are important in the production of benchmark studies of the psychophysiological effects of music and its related counterparts in stress management, a factor that may be exploited in hospital and other medical settings. This study made use of an experimental research design that is characterized by a random pretest, posttest experiment wherein participants were asked to answer same sets of questionnaires before and after exposure to anger-inducing variables. In particular, 56 college students who are currently enrolled in a southeastern university participated in the study. They were told that they will receive an additional 5% credit for their psychology courses if they will participate in this study (Labbe et al. , 2007).

A total of 15 males and 41 females joined the study, and they were randomly selected for their inclusion into four different music groups which are composed of the following: self-selected music, classical, heavy metal music, and silence (Labbe et al. , 2007). Prior to the experimental procedure, all of the participants were asked to answer the demographic questionnaires and trait scales, and they were also exposed to pre-test physiological testing in order to obtain a baseline profile of their body processes under normal conditions. The Relaxation Rating Scale (RRS), Music Rating Scale (MRS), State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAIX-2), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Form Y (STAI-Y) were the specific measuring scales that were utilized in the study in order to provide an empirical measurement of the mood alterations of the patients (Labbe et al. , 2007).

The anger-inducing element that was used in the study was described in the administration of “mentally challenging test” to the students, an event that was expected to alter the mood of the students and create a depressing outlook in them (Labbe et al. , 2007, pg. 165). After this step, the participants were accordingly separated to their music groups as signified by their exposure to four types of music for about 20 minutes (Labbe et al. , 2007). The same set of measuring scales and physiological tests were employed to the participants after their exposure to heavy metal music, classical music, self-selected music, or silence (Labbe et al. , 2007).

Result showed that individuals who were exposed to self-selected and classical music after exposure to stressors manifested a more significant reduction in state anxiety levels and increase in state relaxation levels as compared to those who were exposed to heavy metal music or no music at all (Labbe et al. , 2007). This is supported by the significant differences in the values of several testing of the 4×2 mixed designs which compared the state anxiety, state anger, and overall relaxation achieved by the participants after the exposure to the four music groups. Aside from this, physiological measurements of heart rate, respiration rate and skin conductance have shown that those who were exposed to self-selected and classical music achieved more stable rates for these parameters as opposed to those who were exposed to heavy music and no music at all (Labbe et al. , 2007).

In general, it was shown in this study that listening to different music genre can significantly elicit positive responses on the emotions and cognitive states of the listeners as supported by the relaxation responses values and steady state anxiety values (Labbe et al. , 2007). It was also confirmed by this study that the sympathetic nervous system arousal of the participants was reduced upon exposure to classical and self-selected music (Labbe et al. , 2007). Moreover, critical analysis of the data achieved from this study will show that the pre-conceived notion of the beneficial effects of a specific song or music-related element can affect the actual physiological and psychological consequences on the body of the listener (Labbe et al. , 2007).

Hence, it is strongly recommended by the researchers that people should expose themselves more often to classical music or other music types of their choice whenever they are experiencing traumatic events or stressing experiences (Labbe et al. , 2007). These findings are important to clinical practice because they can serve as a strong evidence to the use of music therapy in helping patients recover from the effects of surgical procedures or other stressful events. The knowledge gap on the availability of scientific literature that will attest to the therapeutic and medical effects of music is addressed by this study. III. Applying Stress Management Interventions A. Application of stress management interventions

Several applications of stress management techniques, such as the use of relaxing music, have already been considered and utilized for improving the conditions of those with somatic disorders. In relation to this, cases of asthma would be an excellent example of how stress management techniques are applied. During an asthma attack, an individual suffers from a considerable difficulty in breathing as brought forth by inflamed air passages (Giardino, McGrady, & Andrasik, 2007). Hence, in order to help the patient with asthma, stress management-based approaches in intervention must be able to alleviate the abovementioned effects and conditions.

However, individuals with this disorder are presented with different means of stress management and relaxation which may encompass techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, music-based relaxation, as well as breathing-based relaxation such as Yoga (Giardino et al. , 2007). Expectedly, such techniques are taught to patients at a suitable pace so as to enable them to eventually apply such in a functional manner. Aside from asthma, hypertension is also another significant health concern. Interestingly, such a disorder is commonly associated with stress and thus means of stress management and relaxation would expectedly provide beneficial effects to hypertensive individuals.

For example, it has been established in previous studies that biofeedback techniques in conjunction with other approaches have resulted in appreciable improvements in maintaining blood pressure at an appropriate level (Giardino et al. , 2007). However, biofeedback requires devices in order to become a feasible mode of treatment, and stress management approaches for hypertension does not necessarily require complex instruments so as to become effective. To further expound, educational means as well as training sessions focused upon learning to reorient one’s emotions in a positive manner are also considered as effective especially in the context of the workplace (Giardino et al. , 2007). Thus, it is appropriate to assume that the aforesaid means of stress management and relaxation may be applied with flexibility in terms of financial and technological requirements.

Arguably more worrisome than both asthma and hypertension, cancer is also regarded as a disorder which may be managed through the use of relaxation-based approaches. An example of stress management and relaxation-based approaches used for patients with cancer would be positive group therapy. In particular, this technique in therapy highlights the use of self-hypnosis for pain management (Giardino et al. , 2007). Group therapies are without a doubt among the most generally considered approaches for stress management for those with cancer, especially for women. Hence, in addition to positive group therapy, supportive-expressive group therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction have also been noted as potential complementary treatments for such patients (Giardino et al. , 2007).

Given the concerns associated with cancer are quite extensive and numerous, encompassing both physiological and emotional aspects of an individual, which may not entirely be understood by individuals without such a condition, it is definitely understandable as to why group-based approaches have been widely considered as the most ideal mode of stress management and relaxation-based treatment. B. Role of Techniques in Treatment Not only has a myriad of approaches in treatment been studied and tested but there is definite logic in the purpose of using such treatments for healing, recovery, and improving the patient’s quality of life. In the case of asthmatic patients, the effective learning and use of stress management techniques have been known to affect them in a beneficial manner, evidently decreasing the extent and frequency of occurrence of the disorder’s symptoms (Giardino et al. , 2007).

Furthermore, the need for medication has been lessened as well in some cases. To further expound, upon practicing Yoga, patients have required less medication in order to manage the effects of the disorder due to the fact that slow breathing techniques have resulted in a significant improvement in the flow throughout air passages (Giardino et al. , 2007). Thus, it is easy to understand as to why the techniques noted beforehand may be regarded as vital tools in managing cases of asthma and lessening the burden imposed upon patients with such a somatic disorder. The role of stress management and relaxation-based treatment in hypertension serves a similar function.

In particular, due to the improved control of emotions through such means which result in an appreciable decrease in blood pressure, hypertensive individuals are less likely to suffer the detrimental effects of the disorder (Giardino et al. , 2007). On the other hand, cancer cannot be as easily controlled and managed through relaxation-based therapies. As a matter of fact, throughout tests which involve group-based therapies, no beneficial changes to cancer-relevant immune cell counts have been established (Giardino et al. , 2007). Nonetheless, it must be emphasized that while positive effects upon cancer proliferation may be accomplished through such means, managing its symptoms is still of vital concern for cancer patients.

On this note, the effects of group-based stress management and relaxation-based therapies have been noted to result in a decrease of both physiological and emotional symptoms. For example, through the use of self-hypnosis, women with breast cancer have been noted to be less concerned with pain and had a more positive outlook; furthermore, improvements in terms of survival have also been established through past studies (Giardano et al,, 2007). Therefore, while stress management and relaxation-based therapies are not necessarily a significant tool in attempting to completely cure cancer, it cannot be refuted that they provide superb potential in improving the quality of life for patients with the aforesaid terminal illness. References Corey, G. , & Corey, M.

S. (2006). I never knew I had a choice: explorations in personal growth. California: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Pp. 147-150. Dileo, C. , & Bradt, J. (2007). Chapter 20: Music therapy: Applications to stress management. In P. M. Lehrer, R. L. Woolfolk, & W. E. Slime (Eds. ). Principles and practice of stress management (3rd ed. , pp. 519–544). New York: The Guilford Press. Giardino, N. D. , McGrady, A. , & Andrasik, F. (2007). Stress management and relaxation therapies for somatic disorders. In P. M. Lehrer, R. L. Woolfolk, & W. E. Sime (Eds. ), Principles and Practice of Stress Management ( 3rd ed. , pp. 682–696). New York: The Guilford Press.

Hyer, L. , & Kushner, B. (2007). Chapter 21: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and stress: Research theory and practical suggestion. In P. M. Lehrer, R. L. Woolfolk, & W. E. Sime (Eds. ), Principles and Practice of Stress Management (3rd ed. , pp. 545– 578). New York: The Guilford Press. Labbe, E. , Schimdt, N. , Babin, J. , & Pharr, M. (2007). Coping with stress: the effectiveness of different types of music. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32 (3-4), 163–168. doi: 10. 1007/s10484-007-9043-9. Scott, E. (2009). Music and your body: How music affects us and why music therapy promotes health. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from

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