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Harp therapy helping cancer patients

Published On: Jun 18 2014 03:03:59 PM CDT
Harp therapy

Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic News Network

The Reverie Harp® is a therapeutic lap instrument that's comfortable to hold and easy to play, and its pentatonic scale ensures a pleasant sound. So, Tom Vaughn and Dana Lochner decided to share the soothing melodies and vibrations with patients at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse in the form of harp therapy.

Vaughn says it's very helpful for those dealing with pain and anxiety. “It’s meditation without having to go to the classes. You can play a tune while the other harpist is doing the typical therapy of the harp on the patient. The vibrations are very important.” The harp therapy can even be used to substantially help lower blood pressure in high-anxiety patients. Vaughn described a particular patient in the ICU whose blood pressure dropped by 60 points in just 15 minutes.

Within six months the therapists went from treating 25 patients to playing for nearly 200. One of those patients is Lois Przywojski, a retired Mayo Clinic intensive care nurse. She helped start the program a few years ago and now she's benefiting from the melodic tones as she deals with the pain and anxiety of lung cancer. She says the harp therapy helps her reflect during her chemotherapy treatments.  “You can feel the vibrations, it seems to just kind of settle things down ... it just helps a person relax.”

Source: http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/the-soothing-sounds-of-harp-therapy