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Healing music

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Who doesn't appreciate relaxing music to unwind with at the end of the day? A new pilot study suggests music's healing ability to calm and soothe can also assist recovery of bone-marrow transplant patients

Who doesn't appreciate relaxing music to unwind with at the end of the day? A new pilot study suggests music's healing ability to calm and soothe can also assist recovery of bone-marrow transplant patients.

Twenty-three cancer patients at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester, met twice weekly for imagery and relaxation sessions with music; they reported it helped significantly with pain and nausea. As well, transplanted bone marrow was accepted faster, thereby cutting risk of infection during a vulnerable time. Bodies produced white blood cells after an average of 13.5 days, compared to 15.5 days in the 19-patient control group.

Increasingly embraced in hospital and clinical settings, music therapy techniques can range from composing or dancing to simply listening. The Canadian Association for Music Therapy Web site, musictherapy.ca, notes music may also help with many other conditions such as brain injury, autism and other developmental disabilities, emotional trauma, geriatric and neonatal care, mental health, obstetrics, and substance abuse.

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