Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are making important discoveries about how music can help patients undergoing deep-brain stimulation procedures there:
Spinal and epidural anesthesia are being used more and more with childbirth, cesarian sections, leg surgeries and other surgeries where general anesthesia is not necessary. Doctors and anesthesiologists understand that general anesthesia carries many dangers with it and than the less anesthesia a patient can take, and remain comfortable, the safer the procedure will be overall.
Sometimes people are so afraid of the side-effects of anesthesia that they will refuse surgery when their lives could be greatly improved if they would have it.
Research is showing that adding music to the formula can actually help the patient use less anesthesia too. Listening to soft, slow and soothing music before, during, and after the procedure can decrease the amount of anesthesia required by up to 50%!
Watch this video, which will give you a medical perspective on how spinal anesthesia is administered and show you why it is preferable to general anesthesia, if possible!
How many thousands of people around the world have surgery or a surgical procedure each day? Considering that most municipal hospitals have at least twenty operating rooms that are in use for 12-18 hours per day, we can safely assume that there are at least 50,000 per day. Each day people have adverse reactions to the anesthesia associated with their surgery, whether a local anesthesia, a regional anesthesia or a general anesthesia. Common side-effects are:
Temporary loss of memory
Loss of appetite
Of course general anesthesia carries the most serious risks and as a direct result of the changes in blood pressure and heart rhythms, heart attack and stroke during surgery can occur. According to WebMD, “death or serious illness or injury due solely to anesthesia is rare and is usually also related to complications from the surgery. Death occurs in about 1 in 250,000 people receiving general anesthesia, although risks are greater for those people with serious medical conditions.”
But wait! Why subject your self to the risks and complications when you can add music to the mix and greatly reduce the amount of anesthesia you need to be given? The fields of music therapy and nursing research have conducted hundreds of studies documenting music’s benefit before, during and after surgery. The phenomenon of entrainment is incredibly powerful and easily synchronizes a person’s heartbeat and breathing. When delivered through headphones it is doubly powerful because the slow, steady instrumental music goes directly to the brain, through the 8th cranial nerve, and entrains the bio-rhythms while simultaneously blocking operating room conversations and operating room sounds which can be quite un-nerving. For example, during joint replacement, there is hammering, drilling and sawing! Even when a patient is under general anesthesia, some of sounds penetrate into the subconscious and can cause the patient to wake up with severe anxiety and even panic.
When the patient brings the ideal music into surgery with headphones or ear buds to deliver it, the patient usually requires less anxiety meds before, less anesthesia during, and less pain and anxiety medication afterward! it is such a simple intervention, but few hospitals provide music for the patient in the operating room. My goal is to educate the public and the medical community and this easy-to-implement, very low-cost, and totally danger-free procedure. Feel free to contact me if I can help you with your upcoming procedure.
Shakespeare once said: “If music be the food of love, play on.” the power of music on the human mind is enormous. Music therapy is the use of music for therapeutic purposes, administered by a trained professional or an ordinary human with loving intent. The idea of using music as a healing influence dates back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. In today’s world, the field of music therapy has emerged as musicians played as volunteers for war veterans being treated for physical and emotional trauma. Since most patients responded well, nurses and doctors began requesting the services of musicians for daily or weekly sessions.
Music therapy has become known as an effective and scientifically proven treatment. The graduate program of music therapy had been established by 1944 in the state of Michigan. An American-trained music therapist gauges the emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning and cognitive skills through the patient’s reactions to the music. After the evaluation is complete, a practitioner designs music sessions for individuals or groups. Therapeutic music is made and the client’s needs using music improvisation, song writing, lyric discussion, imagery and music therapy can be used for healing purposes. Music can be used to reach children and adolescents. elderly and disabled people in developing and studying people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and age-related problems and acute pain in humans also benefit from music therapy. Music therapy is an effective way to help people express feelings who otherwise would not have a good outlet. Professional music therapy is commonly found in rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric hospitals, medical hospitals, drug and alcohol programs, housing, prisons, schools and institutions.
Some people mistakenly believe that patients need some particular music ability to receive therapeutic benefit from music therapy but that is definitely not the case! Also, there is no one specific style of music that is more therapeutic than the rest. Every style of music can be just as effective, depending on what type of music the individual patient likes. Anybody can be a patient. We never know when illness or an accident might strike. The patient’s background, needs, and history will help determine the type of music is needed and wanted. Healthy people can also use the healing powers of music for simply energizing or calming themselves. Listening to or making music, playing, or drumming can significantly reduce stress and improve productivity. Studies show that music is extremely important to encourage physical exercise. Music therapy is even said to help those working in the hospitals, music therapy is used to relieve pain and is often used in conjunction with anesthesia or pain medication.
There are many populations that are particularly at-risk for the negative side-effects of general anesthesia during surgery. The elderly and those that suffer from serious and chronic health conditions are two major groups. Small children and especially those that are not healthy or already have serious disabilities.
Anesthesia is powerful but necessary reality in the world of medicine today. A lawyer just told me earlier today that an anesthesiologist that he represents said “an anesthesiologists job is 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror!” I thought that was an interesting and telling opinion coming from someone who administers anesthesia every day!
How does music help? I believe in a three-part process. If the patients is given the pre-programmed headphones between 30-45 minutes prior to surgery, their bodies and minds will begin relaxing right away. The music they are listening to is slow, steady and rhythmic, which entrains or synchronizes the heart rate and breathing with the music.
By the time they get into surgery, their body is already quite relaxed, muscles unclenched and mind drifting pleasantly. They will NOT need as much anesthesia in order to be put to sleep. Also, because their ears are gently covered with the headphones, they don’t have to worry about hearing conversations of the staff or hear the often un-nerving sounds of surgical equipment.
When they continue to wear the headphones into the recovery area, they are gently aware of the fact that they are out of surgery and now recovering from anesthesia so that they can be taken to their own hospital room. This happens around the world every day and music could greatly ease the process!
If you or someone you love is scheduled for surgery, please take a minute to go to www.surgicalheadphones.com and check out these potentially life-saving headphones. When you get home, you can easily change the music on them if you want and put your own favorite music on to enjoy for years to come!