Navigation Links
Music Therapy Helps Relieve Anxiety, Emotions of Cancer Diagnosis
Date:12/15/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One day Gisele Bigras was a college student finishing up another year of school. The next day, she was a cancer patient faced with having one of her fingers removed.

The diagnosis: epithelioid sarcoma in her middle finger. Bigras, 19, was in a state of shock and panic. But music brought her back.

"Music has always played a huge part in my life. Music therapy helped me focus on something else other than the traumatic events of the cancer diagnosis, and just forget for an hour or so, to just go into a different world for a little bit," Bigras says.

Bigras is one of many patients at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center who participates in music therapy. The idea is to use music to help patients cope with physical symptoms, such as pain, reduce their anxiety and find an outlet for their emotions.

"We find that patients are trying to cope with many things. They're trying to keep it all together, and sometimes if you give them a safe environment and permission to let go, a lot can come out through that," says Megan Gunnell, a music therapist at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Music therapy can be as straightforward as listening to recorded or live music. It could mean playing a guitar, piano or even just shaking a tambourine. It could mean writing songs or discussing the meaning behind lyrics.

For Gisele Bigras, music therapy turned into an opportunity to write and record her own song. The song, "Back on the Ground," covers three stages: the happiness before cancer, the chaos of diagnosis and the realization afterward that she could move on.

"Listening to it helps me realize I'm coming out of this. Everything's fine and I can move on from here," Bigras says.

Research in music therapy shows that in addition to helping with emotional expression, music helps reduce anxiety and perceptions of pain. Controlled studies also show that patients having music therapy show improved immune system functioning.

Gunnell points out that music goes back to the womb, where babies hear a mother's voice vibrating, her heart beating and the natural pulse of life.

"You don't have to have any musical background to experience music therapy," Gunnell says. "You're able to participate because you are naturally rhythmical. You have a lot of rhythms and melody already going on in your own system."

    Getting started:
    -- There are simple ways to enjoy the calming benefits of music. Start
       with these suggestions:
    -- Listen to soothing music. Your heart rate can change based on the tempo
       of what you're listening to.
    -- Bring an iPod or mp3 player to doctors' appointments to help pass the
       wait time and reduce anxiety.
    -- Listen to live music. Seek out local performances.
    -- Analyze the lyrics to a favorite song and consider what is meaningful
       to you at this time in your life.
    -- Find music that matches your mood. Music can support you through a
       multitude of emotions.

    Resources:

    Music therapy at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
    www.cancer.med.umich.edu/support/music_therapy.shtml

    Podcast: Music therapy session, with Megan Gunnell
    www.cancer.med.umich.edu/musictherapy.mp3

    Article: Finding comfort in music therapy
    www.cancer.med.umich.edu/living/easy_listening.shtml

    Complementary therapies at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
    www.cancer.med.umich.edu/support/complementary_therapies_intro.shtml

    Article: Complementary, integrative medicine offers healing
    www.cancer.med.umich.edu/living/mind-body-connection.shtml

    American Cancer Society: Music therapy
    www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Music_Therapy.asp?sitearea=ETO

    American Music Therapy Association
    www.musictherapy.org

    U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125

'/>"/>
SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Worlds Greatest Artists Help Launch (RED)WIRE, (RED)(TM)s New Music Service That Fights AIDS in Africa
2. Joyful Music in Tune With Heart Health
3. Barry Manilow Brings Valentines and Music to New York With Concert to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Research
4. Stars to Tell It Like It Is at MTVs European Music Awards
5. Video: 2008 US Olympic Gymnastic Superstars Join Todays Top Music Icons for Womens Cancer Awareness Network Special, Frosted Pink with a Twist
6. Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center to Host Highly Acclaimed Music and Medicine Program
7. Music Therapy Improves Well-Being of Very Ill Patients
8. Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)s Circle of Promise to Mobilize African American Women Against Breast Cancer at 2008 Music Festival
9. Country Music Star Trace Adkins to Be Honorary Chair of Nationwide Walk for Food Allergy
10. Using Music to Ease the Pain of Labor; New CD Featuring Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Provides Soothing Songs for Delivery
11. Live a Longer and More Peaceful Life With Chant - Music For The Soul
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors ... customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel ... style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services ... industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment center for ... Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This annual celebration ... world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often refer to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical ... the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan ... "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop ... the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research and Markets ... for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Companion Diagnostics The World Market for Companion ... medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: