Thursday, November 2, 2006
7 News Features: Sound Healing
Cancer patients are no strangers to being poked and prodded with doctors' intstruments. But now, some very different instruments could be saving their lives. In tonight's Special Assignment report, 7 News' Lynn Martinez shows us how Sound Healing is getting their bodies back in tune.
WSVN -- From Mozart to Metallica, music has the power to move us and soothe us. But some also believe it's instrumental in healing us.
For patients at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, this is their "sound healing."
Hope Manners: "Cancer just goes away when you're in there."
They're participating in an alternative therapy program based on the theory that music and movement can rehabilitate and reharmonize the body.
Cheryl Belanger: "We understand it's not about creating a cure or curing anyone's disease or cancer but healing their spirit."
What doctors have found is that music not only boosts your mood, but it also boosts your immune system.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor: "It's been shown after group drumming sessions, where they really feel that rhythm, that many aspects of the immune system that we know are responsible for fighting cancer are increased."
Oncologist Mitchell Gaynor is one of the leading experts on sound therapy. He believes it reduces pain and anxiety.
According to his studies, when people are sick, the vibration from different instruments helps get the body back in tune.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor: "The human body is made up of 70 percent water, so it is an excellent conductive medium for sound and vibration."
It can be any kind of music, as long as the sounds are soothing.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor: "Any type of music that patients found pleasing would bring those stress levels down."
For Ashley Brooks, drumming helps drown out her fears.
Ashley Brooks: "I felt like cancer didn't exist at all while I was in the drum circle."
It even helped numb some of her pain.
Ashley Brooks: "I had pain in my back before I went down there, and I don't have it now. It's gone."
The same is true of Rosemarie Hernandez. She would listen to music and chant while undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four cancer.
Rosemarie Hernandez: "It gave me peace. It took away pain. It took away sadness."
Today, she's cancer-free and credits the music for ultimately helping her heal.
Rosemarie Hernandez: "And I think it's one of the reasons that after 13 years I'm still here."
It's the same hope these patients hold onto every week, the chance to once again be in harmony both mentally and physically.
Studies show sound therapy can work in mere minutes. The people in the drum class attend for one hour. Separate studies also show sound therapy can help with everything from stress management to sleep apnea.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
12902 Magnolia Dr., MBC-PR
Tampa, Florida 33612
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor
The Healing Power of Sound
331 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10021