Music therapy is a complementary therapy that consists of listening to or playing an instrument as part of a broader treatment. Various studies demonstrate the positive effects when it has been used in people with cancer. They also highlight the few side effects and the good reception it has in the majority of patients who practice it. This article talks about music therapy and its benefits kambo healing.
What is music therapy
Music therapy is part of the so-called alternative or complementary therapies . In this case the term complementary seems more appropriate because it is a type of treatment that complements others. It consists of listening to music, playing an instrument or singing with a therapeutic purpose. It is notable that the patient establishes interpersonal communication with the therapist through music.
Music therapy has been successfully tested as part of treatment in many fields of psychology . Cancer is one of them. And science has wanted to study if it really has relevant benefits for patients who practice it. This intervention of science is important to avoid incorrectly interpreting the benefits of this technique.
The advantage of music therapy is that it is suitable for everyone , regardless of musical knowledge. Your goal is not to play well , but to play to reap the benefits. Therefore it can be useful to people of all ages and any musical level. You only need an instrument and a professional who can provide the accompaniment. Usually it is a male or female nurse, or a musician trained to work with patients.
Music therapy is subdivided into two types, depending on the role the patient plays.
In passive music therapy the patient listens to the music played by another person.
In active music therapy it is the patient who sings or plays an instrument. Studies suggest that it would be more effective than the previous one.
From here you can look for variations, such as trying both modalities, doing it in a group or individually, with or without an audience, etc. It can also be done at home, in the hospital, at a music center or anywhere else where there is an instrument. The possibilities are many and its popularity has caused the alternatives to increase.
For music therapy, the patient needs to have a minimum level of alertness (if they are unconscious, semi-conscious or with a lot of attentional fatigue, they will not benefit). It is also necessary that your hearing level is adequate and that you are willing to get involved. It is necessary to explain what advantages can be obtained and which ones are outside the objectives. That is, music therapy does not cure cancer , but it has a series of benefits that I will explain below.
Benefits of music therapy, according to science
To look for the benefits of music therapy I have based myself on this review . Its results, supported by scientific studies, can be summarized as follows:
- Physical symptoms of cancer: Music therapy reduces the intensity of the patient’s pain and the need for opiates (analgesic medications such as morphine). It also facilitates the feeling of having control over the pain. In other words: the patient knows that he has resources to reduce pain when he wants to do so.
- Side effects of treatment: Digestive symptoms (nausea and vomiting) decrease. They are also reduced when they are conditioned , that is, when they occur before treatment because the patient anticipates them (for example, when approaching the hospital).
- Health and quality of life: The immune system is strengthened and the general quality of life improves.
- Psychological symptoms: Facilitates the expression of emotions, concerns and fears. Reduces anxiety and stress and improves sleep. It may also reduce anxiety before radiation therapy. Helps relaxation and improves mood. It allows a feeling of peace and balance of emotions, even when the patient is undergoing palliative treatment. In children with cancer, it benefits self-esteem and facilitates acceptance of the disease, while reducing anxiety in their caregivers.
- Relationships with other people: Music therapy helps to improve the relationship between patients and family members (sometimes difficult situations arise in this regard). On the other hand, it generates positive opinions in those who practice it.
- Benefits for health professionals: Strengthens hope and facilitates relaxation in the face of stress. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as blood pressure, decrease. Promotes the expression of emotions and feelings and improves communication. In palliative care professionals it facilitates the grieving processes.
Aspects to take into account in these evaluations
On the contrary, it does not seem that music therapy has a significant effect on physiological measures such as heart rate, respiratory rate or blood pressure in patients. As for the side effects, these are minimal, but not absent: in some people it can awaken negative feelings if they cannot carry out the therapy (for example, due to lack of dexterity with their hands, or due to difficulties holding the instrument).
The author of this review, Alberto Menor Ramos (University of Jaén), warns that the studies he has taken into account have been carried out with small samples and that more research is needed to validate the results. But the high number of coincidences in the various works suggests that the mentioned benefits exist.