News of Note: Art, Music, and Dance

August 22, 2022


Artistic self-expression helps people resolve emotional conflict, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem, enhance self-awareness, and achieve personal insight. Art therapy is among one of the recommended therapies proven to reduce anxiety and stress for breast cancer patients. Furthermore, art therapy can help cancer patients strengthen their coping mechanisms to achieve an improved quality of life. Art therapy is a mental health service that employs the creative process of artmaking to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals, of all ages, with a variety of diagnoses, including chronic illness, physical disability, mental illness, and cancer. To read more, click HERE. To find an art therapy counselor, click HERE .


Music therapy is frequently used as a complementary and creative arts treatment in cancer care. The general goal is to relieve symptoms of distress and to improve quality of life for patients in various stages of an oncological disease. Particularly in advanced cancer populations and palliative care, music therapy has recently received high attention in both research and clinical care. One of the major reasons music therapies is so effective is that music can shift your focus away from a stressful or uncomfortable event to something pleasant and soothing. In that way, it serves as a distraction. But music therapy does more than just that; music can help to reduce stress and anxiety through multiple pathways. It affects physiological factors like heart rate and hormone levels, modulates the nervous system, and has psychological effects, as well. To read more, click HERE or HERE. Visit the website of Tidewater Music Therapy as a great resource for music therapy in the Tidewater area of Virginia.


Dance therapy is a type of physical exercise that uses movement as a therapeutic tool to promote connectedness between an individual’s body and mind. When performed with music, this can become especially motivational. In this way, dance therapy can have physiological benefits that improve physical and mental health. The mental aspect of dance therapy utilizes the expressiveness of an individual’s spontaneous movements, based on the assumption of connection of body and mind. This can allow the release of their feelings at that moment in their life. Additionally, dance movement helps the release of mood enhancing chemicals such as serotonin which can help with depression. To read more, click HERE.


Bradt, J., Shim, M., & Goodill, S. W. (2015). Dance/movement therapy for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 1(1), CD007103.

Clark, C. (2020). Music Therapy Can Provide Natural Anxiety Relief and Treat Depression. University Health News.

Costa, N., Silva, A., Melo-Neto, J. (2022). Effects of dance therapy in women with breast cancer: A systematic review protocol. PLOS One.

Elimimian, E.B., Elson, L., Stone., Butler, R., Doll, M., Roshon, S., Kondaki, D., Padgett, A., & Nahleh, Z. (2020). A pilot study of improved psychological distress with art therapy in patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. BMC Cancer 20, 899.

Kohler, F., Martin, Z., Hertrampf, R., Gabel, C., Kessler, J., Ditzen, B., & Warth, M. (2020). Music Therapy in the Psychosocial Treatment of Adult Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Psychology.



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