Benefits of Music Therapy
Thanks to recent studies, music can add another benefit to its list of credentials. Music therapy has been increasingly prevalent in alternative medicine
regimens to supplement cancer treatments because of its positive effects on blood pressure regulation, stress reduction, and even breathing rate. As it concerns cancer patients, who are susceptible to a large array of psychological setbacks, musical therapists must be agile in their methodology to correctly identify and treat symptoms. This avant-garde form of therapy is considered a form of “alternative medicine,” or medicinal practice that supplements “clinical care.” Essentially, music therapy supplements conventional cancer treatments
to help alleviate pain, stress, and the various systemic shocks that usually follow chemotherapy
. As a supporting player in the staple components to cancer recovery, music therapy must not be misconstrued as a cure. While it does reduce stress, blood pressure, and vomiting, it cannot possibly address or reverse the cause of cancer.
As far as the process of a music therapy meeting, most music therapists will incorporate multiple musical aspects, beyond just listening, to increase the gratifying effects of the creative process for patients. For instance, a single session may include listening to different kinds of music, creating music, critiquing music, and even putting it to art. These sessions can take place in any setting with enough room for the patient, therapist and equipment.
History of Music Therapy
Historically, the use of music for healing extends thousands of years. The Greeks and Native Americans used it to encourage a harmony between mind, body, and spirit. However, it is only until relatively recently that the scientific validity of this therapy has been officially unearthed. Now, prestigious universities from all over the continent have music therapy degree programs. Health care institutions now have respective departments for musical therapy. The correlation of this therapy to improving cancer recovery has strengthened its validity even more.
Research on Music Therapy
Recent scientific studies can attest to the usefulness of music therapy as a holistic supplemental treatment for cancer patients of all ages. The results indicate that those who are struggling through chemotherapy showed decreased nausea and discomfort with music therapy. Also, pain in general seems to lose itself in the gentle reverberation of the music. This benefit is of great importance to those struggling with serious conditions, like mesothelioma
. As a disease with a poor prognosis and numerous painful side effects, mesothelioma patients can benefit greatly from this ancient therapy. In addition, music therapy’s ability to improve the lives of chemotherapy recipients makes it extremely valuable to those with mesothelioma, who often receive this chemical treatment. Beyond just cancer patients, end of life care has benefited from music therapy as well in similar ways. A study supported evidence that hospice patients were more at ease and comfortable when they had sessions of music therapy. However, licensure and certification is required for someone to administer musical therapy. Otherwise, patients may not reap the beneficial effects of the burgeoning treatment. Although this is an all natural treatment with almost no possibility of negative side effects, it will not yield results if not performed properly. Reference: The American Cancer Society