Gait Training: The Science
Have you ever noticed how you naturally start walking to the beat if music is playing in the grocery store? Or if you’re anxious and you listen to calm music, your heart rate calms down? These are examples of entrainment. Our bodies are naturally wired to become in tune with our natural rhythm and the rhythms around us.
Medical professionals worldwide have observed that individuals with Parkinson’s display improved gait when provided with the beat of a metronome. Music therapists have taken it one step further to develop rhythmic auditory cueing with music tracks that prove even more effective than a singular metronome click. New studies are emerging that show even non-rhythmic elements of music (i.e. pitch, dynamics, harmony, etc.) can be applied to improve various aspects of walking such as stride length, velocity, arm swing and posture. The multi-sensory nature of music can literally create new neural pathways!
The Role of the Music Therapist
Partnering with the physical therapist, we will assess the patient’s steps per minute and create a customized music track at the appropriate beats per minute. Based on the physical therapist’s goals for the patient, a ground walking track will be created in addition to a treadmill walking track. The goal is to not only use this track on the treadmill in a physical therapy session, but also at home in between sessions.
We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to growing in this exciting area of music and the brain!
Do you have any questions about gait training at Metro Music Makers, or know someone who might benefit from this innovative therapy? Call us at 678-637-7293, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.