What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is not about learning to sing, or play an instrument.
In a music therapy session, you might:
Why people with cancer use it?
One of the main reasons people with cancer use music therapy is because it makes them feel good. Listening to music can be calming and relaxing. Music therapy can be a safe place for people to explore fear, anxiety, anger and the range of emotional responses to living with cancer.Some studies show that music therapy can help children with cancer to cope by encouraging them to cooperate and communicate.
What it involves
You work with your music therapist to plan a program that suits your needs. You decide together how often you should have the therapy and how long each session will be. Music therapy sessions usually last between 30 to 60 minutes. Your therapist might encourage you to play or listen to music at home between sessions.You might have regular therapy for weeks or months. You may want to see your therapist on your own, or take part in group music therapy sessions. Your relationship with your music therapist is very important. If you don’t feel comfortable with anything your therapist is doing, do talk to them about it.
History of music therapy
For many people, music connects them to their emotions and is often a way to be socially connected. That is why music can be an effective form of therapy for people with cancer. The use of music as a therapeutic tool in health and medicine dates back to ancient times. In modern Western medicine, music therapy started being formally used in the 1950s and is now often incorporated into conventional medical care. Music therapy is a key therapeutic tool used within most integrative medicine programs at large cancer centers around the nation.
Benefits of music therapy
When used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments, music therapy has been found to help reduce pain and discomfort; improve mood and diminish stress; increase quality of life, and allow patients to better communicate their fears, sadness or other feelings. Many Integrative Medicine Center provides music therapy for children and adult inpatients, outpatients and their families.
IStudies have shown that group singing improves mood, coping strategies and pain management, and has other health benefits. One long-term cancer patient says of her cancer diagnosis and experience with the singers, "I went through it all with the singers by my side. We met at every Tuesday evening and sang. This experience gave me a sense of healing on the inside of my physical body and in my heart and spirit, too."
When we arrive in this world, our bodies are for the most part in perfect balance. Since the beginning of man, most cultures believed that maintaining proper balance within our bodies was the key to health. The Greeks believed that balance within the four humors of the body gave them health. The Chinese believe that Yin and Yang must be in balance to be healthy. Balance IS everything. The term doctors use is homeostasis, the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. Unfortunately, everything we do today puts our bodies out of balance. We consume foods that are completely processed. We take all balance out of food that is in it in the first place. Nutrients are eliminated and then add a few back. The food industry adds artificial chemicals to almost everything we eat. Hormones, artificial flavors, preservatives, pesticides are all part of our daily diet. The food we consume today is as far away from the balanced foods our ancestors ate as it can get. Our daily activities are equally unbalanced. Exercise patterns are abysmal. Obesity is skyrocketing. Stress in our daily lives is higher than ever, and causing great harm to us. Why? BALANCE. The human body is not made to handle the stress our lifestyles demand of us. Our environment is toxic and polluted. Thousands upon thousands of toxic chemicals are dumped into our living space, daily. These poisons enter our bodies and create such devastating imbalances that, without recognition, will kill you.
Am I being too dramatic? If anything, I am understating the conditions in which we live. It is no different today than it was a hundred years ago, except, the way we approach health care today is very different; but the fundamentals remain the same. I believe there are three fundamental cornerstones to regain and maintain balance. They represent choices you have within your daily life. They are as follows:
1. Diet / Nutrition
2. Lifestyle/Daily Activities
3. Environmental Influences
When these cornerstones/lifestyle choices are paired with the 4 imbalances/dysfunctions within the body (Digestion/Absorption, Endocrine/Hormonal, Immune/Inflammatory and Detoxification/Elimination) it proves to be a highly effective means of controlling chronic inflammatory illnesses.
Properly implementing these fundamentals today is difficult in a culture that dismisses any of them as consequences of virtually all illnesses, a culture that promotes taking everything natural out of our foods and replacing them with man-made chemicals; a culture that requires lifestyles to work in favor of rapidity and ignores the simple influences of proper health; a culture that believes that thousands upon thousands of toxic chemicals dumped into our air, food, and water have little or no effect on our health as a whole; a culture that promotes that everything in time will and can be cured by a drug; it goes on and on. Our culture today, and our lack of taking responsibility for our own health, is destroying our quality of life and advancing diseases at an alarming rate.