Damaging Effects of Cortisol: yes, YOUR body makes it too!

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What does CORTISOL have to do with surgery?!  Cortisol is produced in the body as a direct response to stress and it has damaging effects on your body organs.   When most people find that they are going to have to have surgery, they immediately feel a tremendous surge of stress and that stress caused an immediate surge of cortisol through the body.  The damaging effects of cortisol can be mitigated by the use of soothing, steady, purely instrumental music, played through cordless headphones.

According to many doctors, cortisol can do everything from ravage and break down internal organs to lowering the immune system, to causing inflammation in the body, to producing more belly fat and breaking down muscle.  We all produce cortisol, but the less we produce the better off we are!

Music therapy and music medicine have been studied extensively in regard to their ability to decrease the amount of cortisol a body produces in different stressful events.  Specifically, I’ve looked for studies documenting music’s ability to decrease cortisol production in surgical patients.  Here is a recent one that shows music’s power in this particular setting.

Effects of Music Listening on Cortisol Levels and Propofol Consumption during Spinal Anesthesia

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110826/

The authors conclusion is :  Our data show that listening to music during surgery under regional anesthesia has effects on cortisol levels (reflecting stress-reducing effects) and reduces sedative requirements to reach light sedation.

This is the reason that the Surgical Serenity Solution exists!!  If YOU are having surgery and are feeling anxiety, please consider using music!

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About the Author:

Dr. Alice Cash is one of the world’s few clinical musicologists. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, she brings to her work over 40 years of professional experience as a college professor, clinical therapist, solo and chamber music performer and composer. Since 1990, Dr. Cash has been in the field of Music Medicine and conducted clinical research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, under the guidance of Dr. Joel Elkes, Dr. Leah Dickstein, and Dr. Rif El-Mallakh. Her clinical work at the University of Louisville lead to her career in music medicine. In addition to her work with the University of Louisville, Dr. Cash lead the development of using music a hospital setting at Baptist East Hospital, Louisvile, KY. She has founded 3 companies: Healing Music Enterprises, Surgical Serenity Solutions and Crescent Hill Counseling.

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