Music Therapy For Cancer
Mesothelioma disease along with its treatment side effects can cause pain, distress, and anxiety to the patients. It is an incurable and rare kind of cancer caused by the exposure to asbestos. There are several curative and palliative treatments working hand-in-hand to remove the tumors, alleviate the symptoms and pain. Music therapy is one such complementary palliative therapy that tackles the psychological, physiological, physical as well as spiritual needs of the patients. Several doctors especially the oncologists use music to encourage healing and improving the quality of life, social interaction while alleviating chronic pain.
Music is no more limited to singing or chanting in cultural settings. For thousands of years, music is used for healing purposes. The Native Americans and Greeks used it to bring the body, mind, and spirit back together. Recently, as this theory attained scientific validity, some esteemed universities started offering music therapy degree programs. For instance, Michigan State University launched the first music therapy degree program over 65 years ago. A music therapist needs to be certified by Certification Board of Music Therapists. Other advanced music therapy degrees include RMT (Registered Music Therapist), CMT (Certified Music Therapist) and ACMT (Advanced Certified Music Therapist). Even the hospitals and healthcare facilities include a separate department dedicated to this therapy.
Music therapy is much more than listening to music. The therapists can incorporate various musical phases to it like music analysis, creating a piece of music, song improvisation, musical discussion, playing a musical instrument as well as singing to express emotions. This creative process enhances the patient’s permissibility towards the whole cancer treatment. It can be done anywhere spacious enough to accommodate the patient, therapist and the musical equipment.
Why Choose Music Therapy?
There are multiple studies attesting that music therapy is a useful holistic complementary treatment, which effectively brings harmony and comfort to the cancer patients despite their age. It can reduce blood pressure, depression, nausea, discomfort caused by the chemotherapy. It is very common with mesothelioma patients as they often have to undergo chemotherapy. In the gentle musical notes, they seem to dispose of the pain, sleeplessness and breathing problems. According to a few other studies, people need fewer pain-relief medications after receiving this ancient therapy. Apart from these, it is seen that music therapy leaves a positive impact on people’s quality of life.
Expected Cost For Music Therapy
Many cancer centers offer music therapy treatment for free of charge. Ask your doctor or the hospital if they offer it or where you can enroll for one. They can suggest you voluntary organizations who offer it for free or at a reduced cost.
You can either participate in a group or one-on-one session. The cost would differ depending on the area, therapists’ credentials and training. According to AMTA, an hour of a group and individual session by a Bachelor degree holder therapist would cost you $55 and $60 respectively on an average. Music therapists with a Master’s would cost you closer to $90 and the Ph.D. level therapist would cost you $100 or more for an hour’s individual session. Group sessions are likely to be cheaper. Also, check with your insurance company if they cover the cost of music therapy, for some doesn’t.
Benefits of Music Therapy
Like any treatment or therapy, there are some risks. However, it is extremely rare. There is a possibility that the patient can experience a strong emotional reaction while participating in the music therapy session. Commonly, people get emotional and shed tears while listening to music. A music therapist is supposed to help people to deal with these emotions. If required, the therapist may refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Just make sure the therapist is certified by the board and has a previous experience with cancer patients.
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