Welcome to Ignite Music Therapy’s January newsletter edition!
Winter Sports TBI’s
During the winter seasons, we are finally ready for ski and snowboarding season, snowmobiling, and other exhilarating winter sports. Along with that excitement should come precautionary measures to ensure physical safety from a number of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. TBI’s are a topic that we have addressed before, but during the month of January it is Winter Sports TBI awareness month. Throughout this newsletter edition we will provide statistics and information to increase this awareness and also allow our readers to have more awareness of how music therapy interventions can help with some of the deficits these injuries may cause.
Show Me The Stats!
Brain injuries have a large range of symptoms and causes as well. At times it is also difficult to identify symptoms of a TBI. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, “Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury.” Some of the symptoms listed include a “headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, inability to awaken from sleep, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the arms and legs, or dilated eye pupils.”
As far as statistics go, winter sports have the highest number of head and neck injuries in comparison to summer sports according to a study by Vijay K Sharma and Colleagues. This study also reports that the number of injuries increases significantly from year to year.
How Can Music Therapy Help?
That leads us to the big question…how can music therapy help? First let’s explore what specific areas music in general can assist with. According to BioSound Healing, “recent advances in the field of neurology has proven that coordination, spatial calculation and response speed can be enhanced when auditory processing is improved.” Basically, music can help regain a person’s coordination, spatial awareness, and other automatic brain functions that might be compromised due to at traumatic brain injury. Knowing this information is important, but not as important as the knowledge a music therapist has on how to manipulate the qualities of music to help someone overcome these obstacles. Music therapists are trained in knowing how to change the music to achieve specific goals, and also have training and knowledge in understanding the negative effects music can have on a person (and how to avoid them). Through music, the therapists can also help individuals with their gait functioning, fine and gross motor skills, communication and language development (if that was lost), and can also help increase relaxation in various muscles to help promote healing.
There are so many ways that music could help an individual who has a traumatic brain injury from a winter sport. So many in fact that I couldn’t possibly mention them all in this newsletter! With that being said, if you have any questions or are curious about diving more into this topic, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!