LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Lying in bed at Norton Audubon Hospital, Martha Bishop closed her eyes, clapped her hands and tapped her toes as music therapist Kerry Willis strummed a guitar beside her and sang an old country song.
Bishop is an 87-year-old patient with arthritis who recently had abdominal surgery. She said the song helped relax her.
Music therapy is on the rise both locally and nationally, as researchers, doctors and hospitals increasingly embrace it as a way to alleviate pain and anxiety, aid rehabilitation and help general healing.
Last week, Norton Healthcare opened a $400,000 expansion and renovation of a therapy area at Norton Audubon that includes performance space, a spot for patient classes, a music library, offices, a concert grand piano and storage space for musical instruments.