Local News

Music Therapy Soothes Ailing Patients

Posted February 18, 2003 9:35 a.m. EST

— Health experts claim the sweet sounds of music can be a major factor in dealing with pain.

Music is more than soothing to Megan Hoyes' ears.

"It really helps to take my mind to somewhere else," she said.

That is not an easy accomplishment considering Hoyes has been a patient at Western WakeMed since last December. Music therapy is the newest addition to the hospital's pain management program.

Health officials believe the stress that comes from being in pain can slow the body's ability to heal. Music is a proven stress reliever that releases endorphins, which naturally help patients feel better.

Hospital chaplain Diane Cox uses music therapy with patients in pain.

"Pain, of course, is not just physical. There's emotional and spiritual pain that I also address," she said. "I take them back to the beach or the pond, where they were fishing help them escape their present realm for a while and find some people and gentleness."

Other patients choose more modern melodies.

"Everybody likes a different kind of music. The thing is to try and match the patient to the music and vice-versa," volunteer Fred Duthie said.

Besides music therapy, many hospitals' pain programs offer massage and meditation to patients.