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Music as medicine: UT professors examining power of music

Two University of Toledo psychology professors are looking at how classical music might be able to help treat people who suffer from PTSD.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Two professors at the University of Toledo are beginning to look at how classical music could help treat those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra originally brought the idea to the psychology professors, who focus most of their studies on human emotions. Once it was brought to their attention, Professor Matthew Tull and Jason Rose said they were excited to begin researching.

Professors Tull and Rose said they are specifically looking at whether certain types of music, like classical music, can be used as additional treatment in patients.

"We'll be working with clients who are receiving empirically supported treatments for PTSD and adding this component to see if it does help better access their emotions," Professor Tull said.

There are many avenues they are looking to get information from because there's a lot of research on music and emotions, but not a lot on music in relation to PTSD.

"I think we also hope to learn a little bit more about how different types of music can elicit different types of emotions and whether those can trigger different types of processes downstream," Professor Rose said.

The professors went on to say that they will be looking at different reactions while playing recordings compared to patients listening to live music.

It's important to note, they are not looking at whether music can be the only treatment, but whether or not music would be helpful alongside traditional PTSD treatments.

Currently, they are only in the planning stages. In 2020, they hope to have some more results on whether this music can help with PTSD.

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