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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reducing Complexity

The desire to simplify clinical situations and variables is one of the important reasons that physicians often prefer highly refined and regulated prescription medication preparations, as opposed to less refined and regulated products, often marketed as "natural" (to imply safety).

Products from nature are essentially always complex mixtures of large numbers of different chemical agents, many only partially understood in term of usual desirable and undesirable responses, relationships of these effects to specific doses and with varying amounts of dose present within any given sample available.

The pharmaceutical industry highly purifies, concentrates and sometimes makes very controlled modifications of agents obtained from natural sources (there is no alternative source) so as to select out and greatly reduce the variables in the treatment agent offered. Ratios of relative responses, often summarized using the concept therapeutic index, are utilized to help understand and communicate treatment responses.

A pharmaceutical grade agent does not make the patient any more simple but it does greatly simplify, narrow and make more definable and predictable both the usual desirable and undesirable effects of the treatment agent, based on careful tracking of the responses of many individuals who have taken the agent, in widely varying amounts and situations, in the past. This purification can greatly improve the probability for both the patient and the physician that the resulting responses to the treatment are likely to be more predictable and controllable.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy — a treatment that focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives — can offer kids with various needs positive, fun activities to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; children, after all, do not have occupations. But a child's main job is playing and learning, and an occupational therapist can evaluate a child's skills for play activities, school performance, and activities of daily living and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with an individual's physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that may hinder an individual's functioning in different ways. This unique approach makes occupational therapy a vital part of health care for some kids.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What is Therapy?

Therapy (in Greek: θεραπεία), or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis. In the medical field, it is synonymous with the word "treatment".

In addition to (or in place of) the intended therapeutic effect of a treatment, a therapist may cause undesired (adverse) effects as well. When an adverse effect is weaker than the therapeutic effect, it is commonly referred to as a "side effect". An adverse effect may result from an unsuitable or incorrect dosage or procedure (which could be due to medical error). Some adverse effects occur only when starting, increasing or discontinuing a treatment. Using a drug or other medical intervention which is contraindicated may increase the risk of adverse effects. Patients sometimes quit a therapy because of its adverse effects. The severity of adverse effects ranges from nausea to death. Common adverse effects include alteration in body weight, change in enzyme levels, loss of function, or pathological change detected at the microscopic, macroscopic or physiological level.

Adverse effects may cause a reversible or irreversible change, including an increase or decrease in the susceptibility of the individual to other chemicals, foods, or procedures (e.g. drug interaction).

Music therapy in the United Kingdom

Live music was used in hospitals after both of the World Wars, as part of the regime for some recovering soldiers. Clinical Music therapy in Britain as it is understood today was pioneered in the 60s and 70s by French cellist Juliette Alvin, whose influence on the current generation of British music therapy lecturers remains strong. The Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy developed from the work of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins in the 1950/60s. It is grounded in the belief that everyone can respond to music, no matter how ill or disabled. The unique qualities of music as therapy can enhance communication, support change, and enable people to live more resourcefully and creatively. Nordoff-Robbins now run music therapy sessions throughout the UK, US, South Africa, Australia and Germany. Its head quarters are in London where it also provides training and further education programmes, including the only PHD course in music therapy available in the UK.

Music therapists, many of whom work with an improvisatory model (see clinical improvisation), are active particularly in the fields of child and adult learning disability, but also in psychiatry and forensic psychiatry, geriatrics, palliative care and other areas. Practitioners are registered with the Health Professions Council [3] and from 2007 new regisrants must normally hold a masters degree in music therapy. There are masters level programmes in music therapy in Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, and there are therapists throughout the United Kingdom. The professional body in the UK is the Association of Professional Music Therapists [4] while the British Society for Music Therapy [5] is a charity providing information about music therapy.


Music Therapy

Music therapy is an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health. In some instances, the client's needs are addressed directly through music; in others they are addressed through the relationships that develop between the client and therapist. Music therapy is used with individuals of all ages and with a variety of conditions, including: psychiatric disorders, medical problems, physical handicaps, sensory impairments, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, communication disorders, interpersonal problems, and aging. It is also used to: improve learning, build self-esteem, reduce stress, support physical exercise, and facilitate a host of other health-related activities.

Music therapists are found in nearly every area of the helping professions. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims.

The Turco-Persian psychologist and music theorist al-Farabi (872–950), known as "Alpharabius" in Europe, dealt with music therapy in his treatise Meanings of the Intellect, where he discussed the therapeutic effects of music on the soul.[1] Robert Burton wrote in the 17th century in his classic work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, that music and dance were critical in treating mental illness, especially melancholia.