Into the Groove: Seducing the Anxiolytic Effects of Dance Music

Author: Joanne V. Loewy

Pain and restrictions on movement are often inextricably linked. The pain of movement and the tendency to hold oneself still in order to avoid further pain can have a residually negative impact in a disease trajectory. Compelling research in music and medicine illuminates the therapeutic benefits of 'coupling' and movement in groove to heighten feelings of pleasure, build resilience, and extend one's capacity to cope with pain and its ensuing anxiety and stress. The convergence of advancement in personal technology fosters heightened self-awareness of individuals to be active players in their own modulation of pain, and has substantiated that accessing the 'groove' in music is a tangible and enjoyable means of self-treatment. Music as an active resource, and most particularly groove's hooks, can therapeutically impact those living with pain. We will explicate and 'sample' this idea through new research as evidenced and practiced by music therapists in the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. In this eye- and ear-opening presentation, we will discuss: the applicability of groove-based music toward resilience and wellness in everyday life; entrainment and groove in the treatment of acute pain; and rhythmicity's means to increasing fluidity in those living with the trauma of pain.

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