"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."
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.