Music Therapy Improves Well-Being of Very Ill Patients

"I've seen music be very comforting, relaxing, healing, calming and helpful with patient pain," she said. "It may be hard to put into words, because it's often a visceral reaction that people feel. But music can transport people, because they can really relate to it. So, it can distract from pain. It can even help regulate breathing, as a patient's breath comes in line with the music or tempo of the music. And if that music is tranquil and soothing, it can help quiet them down if they're anxious. So, I have to say that these findings are completely in line with my experience."

More information

For more on music therapy, visit the American Music Therapy Association.

SOURCES: Lisa M. Gallagher, M.A., MT-BC, music therapist, Cleveland Music School Settlement and The Cleveland Clinic's Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine, Cleveland; Katherine Puckett, L.C.S.W., Ph.D., national director, mind-body medicine, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, Zion, Ill.; Sept. 9, 2008, American Academy of Pain Management Meeting, Nashville, Tenn.

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