Your Favorite Tunes Can Treat Cancer

woman listening to her headphonesWe've all jammed out to our iPods or banged on some drums for stress relief at some point or another, but now there's proof that music might just be more of a lifesaver than we realize. Playing an instrument, singing, or even just listening to music may be valuable therapy for cancer patients.

Researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania did an analysis of 30 previously published studies that included 1,891 adults and children with all different types of cancer. They found that music-based therapies have measurable benefits on pain levels, mood, and certain vital signs (like blood pressure). What's more, music has even improved anxiety and quality of life better than other standard therapies!

How awesome is that?! What I love so much about this is that their findings led them to suggest that music could even be a complement to medication and other standard treatments. Score one for "alternative" medicine!

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Granted, the Drexel researchers aren't the first to make this conclusion, of course, but every confirmation we have on the power of music helps make it more widely accepted as a form of therapy for cancer patients.

While some studies have focused on specific types of music -- say, classical or jazz -- interestingly, this analysis concluded that the style of music that's most helpful is basically whatever you prefer! In other words, if you're most laid-back while getting your groove on to Lady Gaga, then by all means, "Bad Romance" it out! Or if Bob Marley-ish vacation-ready beats are more your thing, you could just tune in to Pandora's Reggae station.

Either way, with hope, these findings will make way for even more cancer patients to get relief in a totally natural, completely side effect-free way.

What do you think about this study?

 

Image via Shawn Allen/Flickr

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