This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Music therapy should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does music therapy involve?
Music therapy has been used throughout history by healers in many cultures, including the Greeks, Egyptians, Native Americans and Indians. Music can have therapeutic value when patients either sit and listen to music, improvise tunes, write songs, discuss lyrics, perform compositions and actively participate in its production. It can be beneficial for patients of any age, ethnic or religious background or stage of illness.
How is music therapy thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Proponents believe music has the ability to assist emotional and physical healing and enhance quality of life and well-being. Music therapy has been reported to reduce pain, anxiety and depression, improve mood, calm or sedate, induce sleep, counteract fear and alleviate physiological discomforts of illness.
What has been proven about the benefit of music therapy?
It is accepted that music has the power to affect one's temperament and how one feels. However, a clear explanation of how music therapy acts as a healing force does not exist. Music therapy may act in similar methods as meditation by reducing blood pressure, breathing rates and stress and providing distraction from pain. According the American Cancer Society, music therapy has some scientific support for its ability to contribute to the well-being of patients in many different clinical circumstances. It is thought to reduce symptoms, aid healing and rehabilitation and improve quality of life.
What is the potential risk or harm of music therapy?
Music therapy is a safe, noninvasive therapy with no known side effects.
How much does music therapy cost?
Cost will vary as music therapy can be practiced individually, in groups, with a therapist or by oneself. Music therapy can be used in a hospital, hospice, nursing home or home setting.
For additional information:
American Music Therapy Association
8455 Colesvilles Road, Suite 1000
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: (301) 589-3300
Web site: www.musictherapy.org
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.