Amazing Outcomes from Music and Massage Therapy Co-Treatments

Music therapy is awesome by itself. But did you know that it can also be given along other therapies? Music therapists work along recreational therapists, art therapists, massage therapists, dance movement therapists, and more! When combined with other therapies it can give an added benefit to the patient. Recently, Jessica Bogacik from Nationwide Children’s Hospital told us about music and massage therapy co-treatments and sent us some stories.


Jennifer Bogacik


“This quarter, I’ve increased my efforts to co-treat with my massage therapy colleague.  She and I go to visit patients at the same time and combine our interventions, with some really amazing outcomes. Sometimes the combination of sensory stimuli offered by music therapy and massage therapy can create the right environment to encourage a patient to engage or focus on what’s going on around them.”


Music and Massage Therapy Stories

But of course, the theory it’s one thing and the practice another. That’s why stories are so important. Luckily, she was able to send us some of those! Here they are:


“A toddler patient who I originally visited by myself was always difficult to engage in music therapy interventions.  She had to move her body constantly around the room and had significant difficulty focusing on the interventions I had brought to her.  I was not seeing her making eye contact with me, visually tracking instruments, reaching out, or interacting with the music in any other way.  The massage therapist often had a similar experience, describing having to walk around the house massaging the patient.  When we began to co-treat, it quickly became evident that the combination of different sensory input helped the patient’s body to relax and remain in one place.  She would rest her head in the massage therapist’s lap, reach out for instruments, smile, and become very calm.  Combining our interventions helped us both do our jobs, and it helped the patient gain more benefit from our visits.


We also visit an older infant with a degenerative disease and a very loving family.  This patient struggles with pain and often clenches his fists and other muscles in response to this pain.  During our co-visits, the massage therapist holds the patient and gently massages him.  The family had mentioned a special song on our first visit, so I prepared it for our next trip out.  While the patient received his massage, I quietly played the special song that his parents used to sing to him.  The family gathered around and tearfully sang along, talking about their love for the patient.  Meanwhile, the patient had become so completely relaxed that his muscles went limp and he fell asleep.


A fun and exciting visit that we get to do together is with an older child who has some difficulty focusing.  During solo massage therapy visits, the patient usually has at least two electronic devices keeping him busy, and during solo music therapy visits, the patient requires constant redirection to remain focused.  However, when we combine our efforts, the patient amazingly forgets about his devices and remains focused on the music therapy interventions for the entire visit.  Because of this focus, we are able to play musical games, create ways for him to deal with the anxiety that he struggles with, and have a lot of fun together!”


All Thanks to You!

Jessica visited 19 families for a total of 62 visits between April 1st and June 30th. She goes to the patients’ homes for a unique service that is not often seen in other hospitals or communities. This is all thanks to our Sam’s Fans! Thank you so much for reading and supporting Jessica’s work!

L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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