Sound Therapy for Mesothelioma Patients
Many mesothelioma patients seek alternative therapies to help them feel better during their course of treatment. Several types of alternative therapies can provide relief, including sound therapy. Sound therapy uses sound, music, and energy to promote healing.
The two main categories of sound therapy are sound energy therapy and music therapy. Although the latter has been studied more extensively, both can promote relaxation and reduce stress, two powerful benefits for cancer patients. This kind of therapy may also relieve pain, improve mobility, and promote overall well-being.
What is Sound Therapy?
Because sound therapy is not regulated, specifics of this healing method varies by practitioner. However, the general concept of sound therapy is that various frequencies interact with energy frequencies of the body to promote healing and relieve symptoms and side effects. This therapy is often referred to as sound energy therapy to distinguish it from music therapy.
Music therapy uses music to address physical, psychological, and emotional needs of patients. Music therapists are trained professionals who work with patients, getting to know them and their needs, and choosing the music and therapeutic strategies that will help them feel better.
Sound Therapy for Cancer Patients
Sound energy therapy has not been widely studied, but there is some evidence that it is beneficial for cancer patients by promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. Instruments used to create sounds during therapy include Himalayan singing bowls or crystal bowls, tuning forks, and gongs. Some therapists may also use their voices or recorded sounds of particular frequencies. Trained therapists can also find specific instruments that work best for individual patients.
The goal of sound therapy is to put the patient into an altered state of consciousness. In other words, practitioners want to create a state of deep relaxation that almost resembles hypnosis. Sound therapists believe time spent in this relaxed state reduces stress, which in turn helps heal the body.
Mesothelioma patients may turn to music therapy for the same reasons they use sound energy therapy. There is evidence that music therapy can reduce stress, which is a powerful benefit for patients going through cancer treatment. Extensive research music therapy shows it can do more than just reduce stress.
A music therapist is a trained and licensed mental health professional who uses music in different ways to help patients. A music therapy session may include listening to music, moving or dancing to music, or singing together. Music therapy may also engage patients in the creative process by writing harmonies, lyrics, or playing instruments. It is important to note that patients do not need experience with music or any inherent talent to participate.
Evidence from research shows that music therapy can help relieve pain, elevate mood, combat depression, motivate patients to move, improve sleep quality, lessen fear, reduce muscle tension, and induce relaxation. All of these benefits are great for cancer patients who may experience pain or stress and suffer from mobility issues.
Cancer patients who have worked with music therapists can better express negative emotions and communicate with others. They also report higher quality of life scores compared to patients who did not receive music therapy. In addition to these benefits, many music therapy sessions are conducted in groups, which allows for greater socialization and reduced isolation.
Stress and Cancer
Reducing stress may seem like a secondary benefit when fighting a serious disease like mesothelioma. However, reducing stress can have powerful effects. Although stress is often considered a psychological problem, it can also affect the physical body. Stress impacts the body in many ways. For example, stress depresses the immune system, which is needed to fight cancer and tumors. Reducing and eliminating stress for cancer patients is an important part of healing.
Working with a Sound or Music Therapist
Since music therapy is more established, and sometimes even provided in cancer treatment programs, it may be easier to find a music therapist. There are professional organizations such as the American Music Therapy Organization which can help you find a trained and licensed professional. There are also sound therapy organizations, including the International Sound Therapy Association, that can guide you to find sound therapists.
Check with your medical team and your treatment facility if you are interested in any type of sound therapy. Many traditional institutions work with alternative practitioners and can provide references to professional therapists. Although it comes without the guidance of a professional, you can also find sound therapy programs online. CDs can also be purchased for home use.
Sound Energy May Treat Cancer
Most types of sound therapy or music therapy are not treatments for cancer. They are additional alternative therapies that help patients feel better while promoting overall healing and wellness. They are not replacements for standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
However, there may be an emerging treatment that actually uses sound energy to target and kill cancer cells. Medical researchers in the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research are developing a treatment called high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU. HIFSU aims high-powered beams of ultrasound at tumors to kill cancer cells. Ultrasound is a frequency of sound too high for humans to hear. It has long been used in medical imaging to create images of soft tissue.
Researchers are already using HIFU to successfully treat painful bone lesions for patients suffering from bone cancer. They expect to expand the technology to other types of cancer, maybe even mesothelioma. HIFU is non-invasive and does not seem to cause side effects. The one major drawback of HIFSU is that it cannot be used to treat widespread cancer.
Sounds have the power to help us relax, de-stress, and heal. They may even have the ability to reduce pain. There are no risks associated with sound therapy or music therapy administered by a trained and experienced professional. As with other alternative therapies, sound and music therapy are not a replacement for conventional cancer treatment. However, they can be used in responsible ways to help relieve stress and provide other useful benefits alongside traditional treatments.
Page Edited by Dave Foster
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