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

s 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
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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