Your Health: The magic of music

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 4:24 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Being hospitalized is a difficult and often traumatic experience for anyone, but for children, it can be especially challenging.

Many children experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional challenges while in the hospital. Now, therapies that don’t involve any medications, needle pricks, or painful surgeries are helping kids heal.

Emmett’s mother Rylie Bleyle was told her baby boy would not live to his first birthday.

“Emmet’s official diagnosis is PMM2 congenital disorder of glycosylation,” Bleyle said. “They didn’t think he had another six months in him. And here we are.”

Now 5 years old, Emmett averages two to three hospital stays each month with a team of more than 18 specialists. Bleyle believes Sara Schmidt, a dance and movement therapist, was a key to his survival.

“I started seeing Emmett when he was like 18 months old,” Schmidt said. “He was so small and he couldn’t sit up.”

Expressive therapists at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital believe music, dance, art, and play helps hospitalized kids through the physical, emotional, and psychological issues that come with illnesses and long hospital stays.

“Music access is a different part of your brain than other modalities do,” said Katie Lahue. “And so through music and the arts, we’re able to accomplish different goals.”

They can use music to help motivate children to work on different developmental goals.

“And also, it’s a way for him to express, kind of, his process being here and a way for him to express how he’s feeling, what he’s going through,” said Eliana Rivera.

Studies show expressive therapies help children manage their pain and anxiety, boost immunity, and contribute to faster physical healing.

The magic of music can be a powerful took in helping children heal.

More: Your Health

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