Music therapy helps patients at BMC - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Music therapy helps patients at BMC

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BOSTON (WHDH) -- Harnessing the healing powers of music.

It’s a type of therapy, that's hitting just the right notes with patients at Boston Medical Center.

Harpist Linda Lasalle, a trained music therapist, plays for patients at the hospital.

“Especially in a hospital setting, where the sounds that you’re hearing are more the beeps of the monitors and people talking, some of that human element can be missing, and the music can draw you back in to who you really are as a person,” said Lasalle.

She says live music has an extremely calming effect.

“Sometimes I get people that are in pain, an oncology patient, who was just like, ‘I just don’t feel like talking today’, and that’s ok, you just close your eyes, and I’ll play and that’s what they needed. They didn’t need to come and have a whole dialogue they just needed to hear the music. Other people do need to talk, do need to share, it depends on the person, or the person is unconscious and the family member is there,” said Lasalle.

Nurses at BMC see first hand the positive effect is has on patients.

“We had a very interesting patient, in one of our intensive care units who had not spoken to anyone on the staff over a period of about 3 weeks, as he was a patient with us, due to some emotional type problems. She really got him to open up, and around the harp, he was able to really talk to her,” said Deborah Whalen, a nurse practitioner.

Linda LaSalle doesn't sit in the hallway - she checks in with the nurses on each unit to see what patients would like to hear in a one-on-one concert.

The feedback has been incredible.

“It lets my mind just float,” said patient Christopher Paschal.

“Sometimes just listening to music, closing your eyes, and going somewhere else, you are away from whatever it is you are in here for,” said patient Melissa Davis.

Lasalle plays for ten hours a week at Boston Medical Center, everything from folk, to traditional, to classical.

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