A palliative holistic approach to MND using music therapy
This article details the role of music therapy (MT) in the palliative care of a 66-year-old woman (Liz) living with severe disabilities caused by motor neurone disease. It forms part of a small but growing body of case-related evidence designed to support the use of MT in palliative care. It describes how music gave Liz a renewed sense of meaning, purpose, control and usefulness that she thought had been lost to her. Through MT Liz was able to manage some of her most frightening emotions and symptoms because she was able to use the music and her new found powers of composition to travel in her imagination to a place where her suffering did not exist. That, she said, enabled her to endure severe breathing difficulties and undergo necessary but frightening medical interventions. Liz renewed her interest in singing and, with the aid of the music therapist, was able to develop new compositional skills, such that her original compositions were performed as full choral works for her family and in public, which was a source of great exhilaration for her.