Do you want Headphones or MP3 Player for your surgery music?

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Now that we’ve established what all the many benefits of music during are, what are the pros and cons of the pre-programmed headphones vs. the music that is downloadable to your MP3 player. For me, the most obvious benefit is that:
  • the headphones are totally cordless and the MP3 player or iPod has wires that connect the earbuds to the player
  • During surgery, or other medical procedure, you need to be able to move your head easily and many people report a problem with earbuds falling out.
  • Although many people take iPods and MP3 players into surgery and do not report a problem, I think the cordless, pre-programmed headphones are safer and less likely to become entangled with anything the surgeon or nurses might be doing for you.
  • Another advantage is that you don’t have to worry about where to put the MP3 player. Although surgical gowns often have a small pocket, it’s not really intended to keep an object in it and could easily slide out.

Of course either one is preferable to no music for your procedure. What’s the downside? Absolutely nothing! Let me know if I can help you!

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Music in the Hawaiian OR…continued!

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(See the previous post for the intro to this article.)

Eye-surgery patient Benjamin Semana went to sleep under anesthesia yesterday listening to Dr. Samuel Wong, the Honolulu Symphony’s outgoing music director, play Bach and Beethoven on an electric piano in the operating room.
Medical benefits of music
What: Pan-Pacific Conference on Music and HealingWho: Distinguished speakers and performersWhen: 2 to 6 p.m. tomorrow at the new John A. Burns School of Medicine at Kakaako, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall. Suggested donation: $100 per person.Sponsor: Dr. Samuel Wong’s Global Music Healing Institute
The unique, musical setup at the St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha is part of the hospital’s new Laser Tear Duct Center, which will be used for all kinds of eye surgery.
Wong, who is also an ophthalmologist, stopped playing to observe Dr. Jorge G. Camara perform laser surgery on Semana for a blocked tear duct. But the live piano performance continued with Dr. Arthur Harvey, University of Hawaii music professor and researcher, at the keyboard.
While Camara had help yesterday from guest musicians, he’s a classically trained pianist, as well as a surgeon, and he plans to play for patients while they undergo and awaken from anesthesia.
“I could hear it in the background,” Camara said after Semana’s operation. “It relaxed me. To have a live pianist is an awesome experience, and to have Dr. Wong by my side is incredible.”
The Laser Tear Duct Center was blessed yesterday by the Rev. Joe Specht, the hospital’s chaplain.
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Super Bowl and Surgery

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Are you watching the Super Bowl? I’ve got one eye on it and the other on my laptop where I’m working on ways to let people know about all the benefits of music during surgery. Each day brings more requests from people who’ve just found out that they need surgery and are looking for holistic tools to create a safer surgical experience and improve their chances for a speedy and healthy recovery.
In the recent past I’ve worked with patients having hip replacements, heart surgery, prostate surgery, hysterectomies, and C-sections. It’s a fact that listening to your favorite music through headphones greatly decreases patient anxiety and the need for benzodiazepenese and other potentially addictive medications.
It also reduces the amount of anesthesia you’ll require during the procedure and the amount of pain medication you’ll require after surgery! Is this wishful thinking or superstition? NO! This is documented scientific research that you can read about on my blog “Surgery with Music,” listed in the box below. Please check it out and share it with friends and family who might be having surgery in the near future. You can also sign up for a personal surgery consultation HERE. Give yourself every possible benefit for surgery with music chosen especially for you and your procedure.
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Should the patient choose his own music?

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Would you prefer to choose your own music for surgery? The responses I get are about 50/50. Many people do want to choose their favorite music because they have definite musical taste and don’t want to risk having someone else choose the music that accompanies them into a long (or even a short!) surgery. Then there are those who would prefer that someone else choose relaxing music for them. If you do want to choose your own music, keep these guidelines in mind:
1. Studies show that instrumental music is best. Lyrics tend to engage the left brain causing the patient to begin analyzing the music; not relaxing!
2. Choose some music that has the tempo of a healthy resting heart beat…between 40-50 beats per second.
3. Choose music that has positive associations for you. Music that you have loved for many years is always good.
4. You can choose music that you don’t know well or maybe have never heard. Just listen to enough of it that you know it isn’t upsetting or agitating.
5. Many people believe that slow classical music is best.
6. Some people really prefer slow and soft New Age music.
7. Personal taste in music is the key that opens the mind and body to a good surgical experience.
As soon as you know you’re going to need surgery, start listening to many types of music. You know what you respond to. Talk with confidence to your surgeon about what you want to do. There is plenty of research that documents the benefits. You won’t regret it! Let me know if I can help!
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iPod or Headphones in surgery?

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With all the news and research about the numerous benefits of music for the patient undergoing surgery, many people are wondering if actual headphones or iPod earbuds are best. At this point, I would say that overall, headphones are best, primarily because they will have a more secure fit. There are many cases in which the iPod would probably be fine but my experience is that with some patients they just don’t stay in the ear securely. Babyboomers and older are not used to earbuds and so are probably better off with full headphones that comfortably cover the entire ear. After all, one of the benefits is blocking conversations that the medical staff might be having that the patient doesn’t need to hear. Please write to me on this blog with your questions and concerns.
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