Rhythm challenged? Don’t worry, not all movement to music is dancing. Music moves people – in more ways than one. It makes people forget the actual work in a workout and leads to increased exercise enjoyment. Consider the runner wearing earbuds on the trail, or weightlifters in the gym motivated by loud music: it can move us emotionally, motivating us to move physically.
This Music and Movement exercise is an 18-minute video featuring Matthew G. Lloyd, a Neurologic Music Therapist at the VA Central Iowa Health Care System. Lloyd plays classic country music on his guitar while guiding the viewer through a series of warm-ups and a gentle set of exercises. This routine is designed for the core and improving lower body strength, endurance and motor control.
Want to know more about the benefits music offers in a health care setting? A 2015 article published in the Harvard Health Publishing Blog lists: improvement of patient experience during invasive procedures; restoration of lost speech for those with TBI or stroke; lessen the side effects of cancer therapies; aid in pain relief; and improved quality of life for dementia patients.
You also don’t have to be a musician to experience the health benefits of music. Find a good radio station, seek out live performers in your community, or join a ukulele or guitar class in your community or VA. Learn more ways to bring music into your life in this VA blog: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/55314/music-matters-bring-music-life/
Or, check out how one Veteran was able to take his post-traumatic stress conditions, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, and turn them into a song. VA board-certified music therapists work with Veterans and community partners, such as Operation Song, to provide opportunities for creative expression through song writing and other forms of music therapy: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/67104/veteran-turns-his-story-into-song/
Andrea Young is a Field Implementation Team Consultant with the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation