Putting Your Music on Our Headphones


Are you think of putting your music on our headphones?  This afternoon I received an email from a lady who is having both knees replaced and wanted to use some music that she used 22 years ago for a heart procedure.  The problem is that the music, at that time, was on cassette tapes.  Can it be done?  Of course, but cassette tapes are in an analog format, so the music must be digitized.  It could be transformed into an MP3 file, or even a CD, which could be popped into a laptop and uploaded.

Will this lady be able to do that in time for her surgery?  We shall see.  She says she has some “young people” who can help and they are to call me tomorrow.  I certainly hope we can make it  happen for her, but this brings us to one of the main reasons I created these pre-programmed and programmable headphones in the first place.  When a patient finds out that they need surgery, or they decide that are going to have a procedure they’ve been putting off, creating their own music on headphones is not easy.  That’s why I’ve done it for you!  The classical piano music I’ve chosen is not familiar to most people and so there are no particular associations with it.

If you want to put your music on our headphones, you can certainly do it.  But you’ll need some basic skills with a USB cable and digital files.  If I can help or answer questions for you, don’t hesitate to email me here!!  Be healthy!


Surgery Music Now Available for Download!


We are so enthusiastic and excited about our Surgical Serenity Music, that we offer JUST the download if you feel that you cannot afford our lightweight, high-quality cordless headphone!  The download alone is only $99.  The headset with music already loaded onto it, is $197.97!

We believe that the Surgical Serenity Solution is slowly revolutionizing the way the surgery is being performed.  There are so many studies now, including a study on our own music and headphone (!) that there is absolutely NO doubt that music before, during and after surgery, can make a big difference in how fast and well the patient will recover.  Who knew that something as simple as choosing the right music for the patient could make such a powerful improvement to surgical outcomes??

Actually, I knew that back in the early 1990’s when I began reading the medical and music medicine literature.  It was quite obvious that, through the process of rhythmic entrainment, the patient’s heart-rate and breathing will begin to synchronize with the pulse of the music.  This relaxes the patient and keeps them relaxed through the procedure so that less medication is needed.  As a clinical musicologist, I know JUST the music to choose for the best results.  Right now the music is classical piano, but we are close to having a NEW AGE playlist, a children’s playlist, and one for elderly patients!

Don’t miss out on this!  You can download the music in minutes or order now for overnight delivery!  Just click on the picture of the headphones!


Music for Surgery: Headphones or Ambient Music?


What do you think is the best method for delivering music during surgery?  Many methods have been tried:  speakers on the wall, boombox in the corner, headphones, ear buds and even live music in the OR.  I actually used corded headphones connected to  a Sony “Walkman” back in 1994 when I had back surgery and the surgeon and nursing staff felt I had an exceptionally fast recovery.  I had the sense, even back then, that soothing music through headphones created a kind of “sonic cocoon” that was quite beneficial to the patient, not only delivering music directly to the brain, through the 8th cranial nerve, but also blocking out the sounds of surgery and the conversations that patients don’t need to hear.

For me, ear buds are definitely not a good option because they fall out so easily and don’t have the sound-blocking capabilities that headphones have.  Speakers in the wall or nearby are even worse because the patient can still hear conversations and the music playing is likely the music that the surgeon has chosen because of its upbeat, energetic nature.

Live music?  It seems like a great idea, but I question the practicality of that in surgery.  Operating rooms are not very big and to have a musician in the midst of serious surgery brings up all kinds of questions.  If all of those questions could be addressed successfully, I still don’t think that every patient who could benefit from music during their procedure would be able to have it easily.

Obviously, we believe that the pre-programmed, cordless headphones are by far the best choice.  This music has been scientifically chosen for the slow, soothing, steady pulse that engages rhythmic entrainment and allows the patient to relax naturally and thus require less medication.  Once the relaxation response is in place, the music coming through the headphones before, during and after the surgery, does the same job that anxiety medications, pain medications and anesthesia would do.  Make sense?  I’m happy to answer any and all questions you might have.  Just contact me through this blog!


Really?? Music DURING Surgery? Yes!!


Recently, there has been a lot in the popular press (Huffington Post, etc) about the fact that so many surgeons play music during surgery and that it actually does help them to cut and stitch faster and more accurately.  This is wonderful news!  But is the patient just lying there, anesthetized, not aware of the surgeon’s music?

Anecdotal reports abound from patients who say that, even though they were under general anesthesia, they heard conversations that they wish they had not heard.  Statements such as “oh, it’s worse than we thought,” or “this lady is not going to last very long with that tumor.”  People report that, even under general anesthesia, they heard the drill, the hammers, and the saws that replaced the knee, the hip or the shoulder joints.

Not only do patients often hear these anxiety-provoking sounds, but their bodies do respond to the music that the surgeon is playing.  Now there are many surgeons that play perfectly wondering music, but often it is upbeat and loud and with lyrics that are not positive in nature.  One local surgeon was reported to play the Queen song, “Another One Bites the Dust!”  I would be furious if I thought my surgeon was listening to that!

Now we have numerous studies that document benefits of music DURING surgery:

1.  “Music Eases the Stress of Surgery”  Damir Janigro, Neuroscientist, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Results: Listening to melodic music decreased the activity of individual neurons in the deep brain, says Janigro, adding that the physical responses to the calming music ranged from patients’ closing their eyes to falling asleep. Some patients even settled into a nice round of snoring. And when lead neurosurgeon Ali Rezai needed patients to perform an action, such as lifting a limb, during the procedures, he simply removed their earphones and relayed instructions. Once the music resumed, patients returned to their snoozing

Conclusion: With the right music patients can be more relaxed in the operating room. And that relaxation may mean not only that procedures involve less medication — to control blood pressure, which increases with stress — but perhaps that patients have quicker recovery times and shorter hospital stays. Janigro anticipates that following institutional approval, music will be used during certain neurosurgical procedures at the clinic as early as 2010. He hopes other hospitals will soon follow Cleveland’s lead. “This type of surgery can be a traumatizing experience, and using music can decrease anxiety,” he notes.

2. ” Listening to Music decreases the Need for Sedative Medication during Colonoscopy” Department of Gastroenterology, Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode 673 008, Kerala Published: Indian J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan-Feb;25(1):3-5

3.  “How music therapy may benefit surgery patients” SCOPE blog of Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers (from the University of Kentucky, Dept of Music Therapy) say that music selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines should be followed to maximize the positive effect on patients, however the patient’s musical tastes should still be considered.

The researchers suggest that several playlists be offered so the patient can choose the one that best suits their tastes.

The researchers also note that the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music should be carefully controlled to maximize the positive effect. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients, they said.

– See more at: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2012/11/20/how-music-therapy-may-benefit-surgery-patients/#sthash.mYSPtnPW.dpuf

Tomorrow’s post will review the use of music during recovery!



The Magic of Rhythmic Entrainment


Have you heard of rhythmic entrainment?   Most people have not, but it is at the heart of the Surgical Serenity Solution.  It may sound complicated and mysterious, but actually, it’s quite straightforward!  You know how you feel when you walk into a room and some really powerful, rhythmic music is playing?  Or you’re sitting in a concert and one of your favorite upbeat songs starts playing.  You cannot resist moving to that music!  It sucks you in and you’re happy when you start to move to it!  THAT is rhythmic entrainment.  It was so-named back in the 17th century when it was discovered in a lab by a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens.

Huygens observed in his laboratory that metronomes set to ticking would eventually all be ticking together!  Rhythmic entrainment is so powerful that it happens with inanimate objects as well as with living beings, human and animal.  It is a VERY powerful phenomenon!

The human body tends to entrain with any powerful rhythm that is in their environment.  Even when that rhythm is erratic, as in an MRI machine, the body tries to find a pattern that makes sense with some.  The body easily entrains with a steady, strong beat.  That’s why music that has a stead 4/4 beat is so easy to march or clap to.  Classic rock is full of strong 4/4 tempos.  What does this have to do with the Surgical Serenity Solution?

The reason is that rhythmic entrainment works with a slow pulse as well as a fast one.  Again, whether the body is aleep or awake, the heart and breathing will tend to synchronize with a strong, steady pulse, entering the brain through the 8th cranial nerve.  The music comes through lightweight, cordless headphones and works like a charm.  So far, we’ve had people from all over the U.S., Canada and many European countries, Australia and New Zealand, order and successfully use the Surgical Serenity Solution!  Will you be next?


Surgical Serenity Solutions: a few words about our music


Surgical Serenity Solutions exists to create a surgical experience that is less stressful for the patient, speed recovery, and that will improve over-all outcomes!  That said, what exactly is our proprietary music all about?  Well, I’ll go so far as to say that they main idea is to get rhythmic entrainment established through the use of slow, steady, soothing, music.  As a concert pianist, musicologist, and therapist, I have chosen music that fits that definition, in a variety of genres.  Our first playlist is still our primary playlist and it is the one we’ve sold the most of.  It is a classical piano playlist and contains 23 lesser-known classical pieces that I purposely chose because of their ability to help the patient entrain, or synchronize their heart-rate, breathing, and emotional state, quickly and easily.

When patients put the headphones on for the first-time in my presence, they invariably get a smile on their face, close their eyes, and say “ahhhh…that’s beautiful!!”  I purposely chose music that is not well known, because people have such strong association with music, and, just in case it’s a piece that someone might have a negative association with, I chose music that the average piano student would not have encountered.

However, it is not at all necessary to love classical music or even be familiar with it, to greatly benefit from this playlist.  The only time you’ll really hear it is as you’re going to sleep (under general anesthesia) or as you’re waking up.  If you have access to the headphones or to our proprietary music (we do sell JUST the music!), before your procedure, then you can practice relaxing while listening to the music, and condition your mind and body to relax as you lie down and start the music.  By the time you’re ready for surgery, you will quickly relax by the end of the first piece.

Soon we will offer a New Age playlist, a jazz-style playlist, a folk-style playlist, and more.  Eventually, we’ll have multiple options within each genre!  There is literally no other company that offers such a powerful, yet simple  solution.  To buy, just click on the link www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/buy.


Three Questions you’ll want to ask when considering Surgical Serenity Solutions? Some FAQs


The concept of using music for the patient during surgery is still a new concept for many people.  But the research is coming in!  Even when you are asleep from anesthesia, your body STILL responds to the slow, steady pulse of the right music!  How do I know this?  Because I am a clinical musicologist who has spent the past 25 years studying this phenomenon and helping surgery patients create their own playlists from their favorite music, and then creating the Surgical Serenity Solution for those that either don’t have time to choose their own preferred music or would rather get something that is ready to go and proven effective!!  Here are some more of the questions I often get:

Q1.  Why should I use music before, during and after surgery if I’ll be asleep anyway?

A1.  When you listen to soothing, steady, instrumental music before surgery (or other anxiety-provoking medical procedure) research documents measurable decreases in anxiety medications; when music continues into surgery, there is not only less anesthesia, but stabilized blood pressure, body temp, heart rate and respiration rate.  The body synchronizes with the slow, steady tempo of the music and has a lower report of pain perception.  After surgery, into the recovery room, the patient awakens with less nausea and vomiting, better oriented to time and place, and requiring less pain medication!  This is big!

Q2.  How can talk to my doctor about wanting to use the Surgical Serenity Solution?

A2.  If you go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com, you will see a link to the blog.  Click on that and in the right-hand margin you will see a link to our complimentary report “How to Talk with your Doctor about using Music in Surgery.”  The brief report includes research studies that have been done, documenting all the positive benefits to patient when the right kind of music is used during surgery.

Q3.  Why can’t I just bring my own iPod with earbuds of headphones?

A3.  You can probably do this, but then the surgical team has to try and avoid the cord that is hanging down to connect iPod with headphones or earbuds.  Our pre-programmed headphones are totally cordless and do not transmit any signal that could interfere with other devices in OR.  Also, our headphones will be brand-new for you and completely sanitized and disinfected.  And while your music may be favorite music and enjoyable, our proprietary classical blend has been specifically chosen to entrain or synchronize with your heart-rate and breathing.

At the request of many potential surgery patients, I will be publishing more of these Q and As so let me know what YOUR questions are!


What are some of the surgeries that our headphones have been used with successfully?


Patients wearing our headphones

Patients wearing our headphones

This is a questions that I’m frequently asked when people are planning to use music with their surgery.  The concept of using music during surgery is still a very new concept and many patients are confused about whether it is primarily for them or for the doctor.

Of course, one of the BIG benefits of the Surgical Serenity Solution is that both patient and doctor can each have their ideal, preferred type of music!  Usually the surgeon wants music that is

*  Energetic

*  Familiar

*   Upbeat

*  Positive

The patient needs music that is

*  Calm

*  Slow and Steady

*  Purely instrumental

*   Unfamiliar

So why does the patient need unfamiliar music and the surgeon gets to use familiar favorites?  Primarily because the surgeon is wide-awake, needing to focus and aware of what music does that for him.  The patient, on the other hand, needs to brought down in energy level, consciousness, and awareness of surroundings.  Something slow, steady and soothing will best do that; and because music is so often associated with specific events and people, we need to choose music that is not widely known and associated with pop culture or well-known events.

The music that we use on our pre-programmed, cordless headphones is classical music that the average person will not know.  In all the hundreds of people that have used the headphones, only one person at the last minute had a negative association and asked that headphones be removed.

We do have samples on our sales pages that give you a representative sample of what our music sounds like.  See  http://www.surgicalserenity.com/purchase.htm

So, back to the question “what surgeries have successfully incorporated the use of music through Surgical Serenity Headphones?”  So far we’ve been present for:

Abdominal Aortic Anerysm


Labor and Delivery

Heart by-pass surgery

Pacemaker implantation

Knee replacement

Hip replacement

Breast cancer surgery

Lung cancer surgery

Root canal surgery

Dental crowns

Dental cavities


Shoulder replacement surgery

Hernia repair and tummy tuck

Hand surgery

and many, many more!

If YOU are having surgery and want to ask questions before buying, please contact me through my website or this blog.  Thank you!!



Music during surgery: for patient or surgeon?


Many people ask me if the music on our Surgical Serenity Headphones is for the surgeon or the patient.  Actually, quite a bit has been written about music for the doctor, whether focusing on the surgeon or the anesthesiologist.  Very litle has been written about music for the patient!

The article that I will cite, shortly, is from 2011, and is written for the general public by an M.D. in San Francisco.   Although this article is very interesting, no mention is made of the powerful phenomenon known as “rhythmic entrainment” which is at the heart of the Surgical Serenity Solution!  When people or medical personnel think about music during surgery, they are mainly thinking of  music being broadcast in the OR through speakers or perhaps an iPod on a speaker.  The music is usually chosen by the surgeon and is in accordance with his taste.

How the patient might respond to it is not really foremost in their mind.  The field of music therapy has conducted hundreds of scientific, empirical studies on the use of music in healthcare, medicine and wellness.  Recently there has been an increase in the number of studies focusing on the use of music with the patient during surgery.  Often these studies are looking at the use of a music therapist playing live music for the patient during surgery!  Although it sounds wonderful, I’m not sure how practical it really is.  The operating room is a rather small space as hospitals work to accomodate as many ORs as they safely can.

In any event, the music therapists are working with the patient before surgery to determine the patient’s taste in music as well as the music that will be most beneficial to them during their procedure.  Then, a music therapist usually plays the chosen music on guitar and possibly sings?  Music therapist friends, please correct me if this is wrong.  If I were having surgery, I would love this!  However, in a busy hospital with dozens of surgeries going on daily, I think it’s not likely to be available.

For that reason, knowing how to choose the music that will best entrain, or synchronize your heart-rate and breathing is so important.  Or, you can always get the pre-programmed cordless headphones, with the ideal music already on them and waiting for you.  That way, the surgeons and other staff can still have their music of choice!  Your choice!

For more information on music in surgery, see  http://www.salon.com/2011/03/07/poprx_music_in_operating_room/


Case Study: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair


This 70-year-old gentleman had undergone surgery many times and, although he wasn’t excessively anxious about his procedure, he was quite intrigued by the idea of using music with his surgery, especially since he is a huge fan of classical music.  Here is his story:

Jim came to my office for about 30 minutes, a week before his surgery.  We talked about his procedure and how music might positively affect the total experience.  Jim is huge classical music afficianado, so when he found out that our proprietary music is classical, he was thrilled.  When he was told that after his surgery, he could put any music he wanted on the headphones and continue to use them for probably another 5-10 years, he was excited!

After his serious surgery, Jim wanted to come back to my office to tell me his story.  You’ll hear his story in the video above, but just let me encapsulate by saying that he was told before the surgery that it would probably take 4-5 hours.  It took slightly less than 2!  He was told that he would be in ICU for probably 3-4 days.  After one night in ICU and continuing to wear his headphones, he was discharged from the hospital to his home in exactly 24 hours!

Of course Jim attributes all of this to his headphones and we are agreeing with him!  Don’t you want to try them too?

To purchase your own:  www.SurgicalHeadphones.com