Music is medicine. That’s what we believe at BoStrong Foundation. It is the reason why we started this foundation, in memory of Bo. Music has a healing power that can help cancer patients on their journey to healing.
In the United States, there are an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2018 (National Cancer Institute, 2018). With cancer statistics on the rise, there is a need for increased means of therapies.
Music therapy is defined as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” (American Music Therapy Association, 2018). Music therapy is a holistic treatment, meaning it addressed multiple domains of functioning, including physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and social functioning. This is especially relevant to cancer patients, considering the physical effects of a cancer diagnosis are only half the battle.
According to Cancer Research UK (2018), benefits of music therapy include:
- Increased expression of emotions
- Increased coping with symptoms of a disease and its treatment
- Increased relaxation and feelings of comfort
- Improved emotional and physical well being
- Increased self-confidence and self esteem
- Increased or rekindled sense of creativity
Cancer patients often have many different challenges they face that extend beyond the physical piece of their disease, including chronic illness of disease (often secondary to their cancer diagnosis), emotional distress, increased feelings of guilt, anxiety, fear, loss of control, and anger, existential or spiritual issues, increased tension in relationships (specifically family members and caregivers), financial stress, decreased social support, and increased incidence of job loss or unemployment. Music therapy can help patients develop coping strategies to deal with the many complex stressors of living a life with a cancer diagnosis.
To find out more about Music Therapy, check out the links below.
American Music Therapy Association. (2018). What is Music Therapy? [website]. Retrieved on 6/20/18 from https://www.musictherapy.org/
Cancer Research UK (2018). Music therapy. [website]. Retrieved on 6/20/18 from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/music
National Cancer Institute. (2018). Cancer Statistics. [website]. Retrieved on 6/20/18 from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics