Hum a Little Tune-The Benefits of Music Therapy

Music is a very powerful and beautiful thing. It can lift one’s mood, inspire and even comfort those who hear it. It is no surprise then that music therapy has such a positive impact on those who partake in it. Many cancer patients and their friends and/or family experience the additional battle of depression in their fight for recovery. Therapists and treatment organizations have started music therapy as a way to relieve some of the symptoms of depression and help to relieve stress and anxiety.

 

According to the Music Therapy Association of Ontario music therapy is “the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities

 

Although the full benefit of music therapy is not yet known, research has found a definite increase in the mood of the patient, especially children, from pre- to post-treatment. According to Li, XM., Yan, H., Zhou, KN. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2011) in a study conducted at the Surgical Department of Oncology Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University from March to November 2009, it was found that music therapy helped reduce the Pain Rating Index (PRI) in breast cancer patients who received Personal Controlled Analgesia (PCA) after a mastectomy. Music therapy not only relieved the short term or current pain, but those patients who underwent music th

Music is a very powerful and beautiful thing. It can lift one’s mood, inspire and even comfort those who hear it. It is no surprise then that music therapy has such a positive impact on those who partake in it. Many cancer patients and their friends and/or family experience the additional battle of depression in their fight for recovery. Therapists and treatment organizations have started music therapy as a way to relieve some of the symptoms of depression and help to relieve stress and anxiety.

 

 

According to the Music Therapy Association of Ontario music therapy is “the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities”

Although the full benefit of music therapy is not yet known, research has found a definite increase in the mood of the patient, especially children, from pre- to post-treatment. According to Li, XM., Yan, H., Zhou, KN. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2011) in a study conducted at the Surgical Department of Oncology Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University from March to November 2009, it was found that music therapy helped reduce the Pain Rating Index (PRI) in breast cancer patients who received Personal Controlled Analgesia (PCA) after a mastectomy. Music therapy not only relieved the short term or current pain, but those patients who underwent music therapy had reduced long-term pain as opposed to patients who had not undergone music therapy.

Music therapy is becoming increasingly popular among cancer patients as the studies on its effects continue to yield good results. Some researchers suggest that if a patient cannot undergo music therapy, listening to music and taking up a musical instrument may also be a means of yielding similar results. It is recommended that the patient listens to, and hums or sings along to, music that the individual finds most soothing.

Let the music comfort you and may it give you a reason to smile.

 

Author:  Mary-Anne Elizabeth Wright

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