“In the years following my cancer treatment, I began to see my life as a new opportunity. I began exploring new things – things that lit me up, excited me and brought me joy.”

In 2015, Lauren Aloisio, RN, in the MGH Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma. At 27 years old, she was convinced the diagnosis was a mistake – she was used to being the caregiver, the one comforting and advocating for her patients. Soon, she would have to learn to become a patient herself.

“I went through multiple surgeries and treatments,” Aloisio says. “I had a lot of support from doctors, family and close friends, but something was missing during that time. I couldn’t relax my mind.”

Aloisio experimented with meditation and reiki, but it wasn’t until she discovered sound therapy that she was able to truly turn off her “monkey mind.”

“Sound therapy is the meditative practice of calming the body and mind through sound,” Aloisio says. “Because humans are 70% water, we’re great conductors of sound. The different frequencies retune our bodies naturally, so even the smallest sounds can make a big difference in how we’re feeling.”

The sounds are created intuitively by sound practitioners using crystal bowls and various drums and chimes. Because sound therapy was such an instrumental part of Aloisio’s healing, she trained to become a practitioner in hopes of sharing the practice with others. Now cancer-free, Aloisio is the founder of New Moon Wellness and provides reiki and sound therapy to people across New England – including staff at the MGH.

“This was something I really wanted to share, especially here at the hospital,” she says. “At the end of 2020, a few nurses put together a retreat outside, and I played for about 20 nurses. One of them happened to be on the Nurses Week planning committee, so we were able to include a virtual sound therapy session in the 2021 programming.”

Aloisio brought her sounds to the Bulfinch Lawn for three weeks in fall 2021, and again to the O’Keeffe Auditorium June 1 as part of a special Nurses Week 2022 program.

“It’s an honor to be able to share this therapy with others, including my colleagues,” Aloisio said following the event. “It would be amazing to make this a regular offering for staff and patients. I hope attendees found a snippet of relaxation, whether it was five minutes or an hour. I hope they found a bit of peace during their workday.”