Mar Mar 13, 2017

Characteristics of the Ideal Music for Surgery

By |March 13, 2017|Surgery Music Characteristics|0 Comments

characteristics of the ideal music for surgery

choosing the ideal music for surgery

Do you know about the characteristics of the ideal music for surgery?  Many people believe that having the ideal music for surgery is a great idea!  But how do you choose that ideal music and know in advance that it’s going to be suitable?  How do you know that the music you choose will not only be pleasant and soothing, but will also decrease your anxiety at the time of surgery and reduce your pain perception and possibly even reduce the amount of anesthesia required.

Many people ask why they can’t just bring their own ipod in, and the answer is, of course you can!  But, iPods are fairly germy and depending on the part of the body having surgery, that could be a problem.  Also, iPods have a cord, and in the operating room, there are always lots of other cords that should not be tangled with!

So first of all, our pre-programmed, cordless headphones are a lot easier!

Secondly, how do you choose the best music?  Studies have shown that the ideal music for surgery is purely instrumental, i.e., no lyrics.  It also needs to be approximately the tempo of the healthy resting heartbeat.  Do you know what that is? 🙂  And it needs to be unfamiliar to you, so that any previous negative associations don’t barge in, and upset your subconscious.

And finally, if you find out you need surgery soon, like in the next week or so, do you really have time to put together a one-hour playlist, and make it loop,  load it onto a cordless player (and they are not easy to find!) and get permission to bring it into your hospital??  If you can, and you want to, that’s great!  And amazing!  If you don’t, and you can’t, why not order our patient-model headphones for LESS than $100.00  Just go to  You’ll be so glad you did!!

Feb Feb 16, 2017

How to Use Surgical Serenity Solutions in the Hospital

By |February 16, 2017|How-to use the Surgical Serenity Solution|0 Comments


How to use Surgical Serenity Solutions

Knowing exactly how to use Surgical Serenity Solutions in the hospitals is very important.  Sometimes I forget that just because I’ve written hundreds of blogs, articles, and Facebook stories about the Surgical Serenity Solutions preloaded headphones, doesn’t mean that everyone searching for music and surgery info even knows they exist or how they work, once purchased.

So I thought I’d do a little tutorial with pictures of the patient wearing them at every stage of the procedure.  Sooo, to your left is the patient wearing them after checking in to the surgical suite, early on the morning of the procedure.  Patient is clearly relaxed and not overly anxious about being stuck with a needle (IV insertion, anesthetized with Propofol, and probed internally with a camera and biopsies performed.


In the pre-surgery area. Gown is on, IV started and electrodes placed.

In this picture, patient has been taken back to the pre-op area, put into hospital gown, with IV inserted and electrodes attached, but, thanks to the beautiful, calming music is still smiling and not overly anxious about the procedure that is about to happen.  Nurse has already asked at least 5-10 minutes worth of questions, but patient could easily hear, because headphones are not noise cancelling,  merely muffling.  When patient is in the operating room, surgeon often has his own upbeat music, which is the opposite of what the patient needs to hear and entrain with.  Conversations, too, are often not what the patient needs to hear.



Sleeping peacefully after procedure, music still playing through headphones to entrain heart rate and breathing

Now, patient has returned from the Operating Room and is still sleeping.  The music is still playing, and although she is not consciously listening to it, she can hear it, and best of all, her heart rate and breathing are entrained or synchronized with the music, keeping her calm and relaxed until the anesthesia (propofol) wears off.





Gently awakening from surgery, alert, not nauseated, and fully oriented to time and place.

Now the patient is just beginning to awaken, alert, oriented to time and place, and best of all, with no nausea and vomiting.  Patient went home about 20 minutes after this picture was taken.

Did the proprietary music, delivered through cordless, preloaded headphones make all the difference?  Well, we think so.  Study after study has demonstrated these very things:

  • With the headphones, patient is much less anxious before the procedure and requires little or no benzodiazepines.
  • In the pre-op area, patient is shielded (sonic-ly) from other patients anxious conversations and overheard stress.
  • In the OR, patient enters in such a relaxed state that less anesthesia is required to still be asleep and comfortable.
  • Afterwards, patient awakens refreshed, not nauseous, and with little pain.  Patient is able to return home quickly and comfortably.


Jan Jan 6, 2017

New Uses Emerging for Surgical Serenity Headphones

By |January 6, 2017|New Uses for Surgical Serenity Headphones|0 Comments


New uses are emerging for Surgical Serenity Headphones.  When I had the inspiration for some pre-programmed headphones for people to wear before, during and after surgery, I was literally thinking “surgery.” And I was thinking “surgery under general anesthesia.” Since then, so many other wonderful uses have been discovered and put into use.

The first major “other” use was dentistry. The second someone asked me if they could be used at the dentist’s office, I thought “Of course! What a great idea!” Now it seems like an absolute no-brainer, but because I was working in a major med-surg hospital at that time, I was totally focused on surgery and had previously been helping surgery patients to create their own tapes and CDs.

Now, in 2017, people are using our headphones for childbirth, endoscopies, anxiety, insomnia, and fear of flying.  I am so grateful to all my readers and customers for coming to me with suggestions of other ways that the headphones could be used.  The only place that I don’t think they could be used would be a MRI machine.  Our slow, soothing music would not like be that helpful there, if you could even hear it!

In 2005, MP3s were just really beginning to take over the audio field and CDs were beginning to be old-fashioned, clunky, and unnecessary. I was attending a wonderful seminar on product innovation and information marketing with Randy Gage, Ted Nicholas, and Ian Percy, sponsored by the National Speakers Association. When the idea popped into my head to create programmable headphones with the ideal music for surgery, I barely understood what an MP3 file was!

Now we have two different pre-loaded, cordless headphones model, both extremely comfortable and able to play continuously between 8-24 hours. In addition to being full of benefits for surgery under general anesthesia, regional anesthesia or local anesthesia, patients are coming up with lots of other uses. Surgical Serenity has been successfully used for chemotherapy, radiation, ICU, CCU, Emergency Department, ambulance rides, insomnia, and of course, dental procedures of all kinds.

Order yours today at!

Dec Dec 5, 2016

Learn about the benefits of music with surgery!

By |December 5, 2016|Benefits of music during surgery, Fear and Anxiety about Surgery|1 Comment

C-section Serenity Headphones

Benefits of music with surgery

The benefits of music with surgery are very great, but the majority of patients are not aware of them!  Nobody wants to have surgery and that’s a fact!!  I’ve had just a few procedures under the knife and with general anesthesia and it is not a pleasant experience. But now we know that using the right kind of music for the patient, before, during, and after the procedure can make a huge difference in how the patients feels, and even in how the procedure goes!

In the early 1990’s I was given the amazing opportunity to work at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, conducting clinical research on the healing powers of music.  It was such a dream job for me because I knew that music was powerful medicine in all kinds of situations, but my boss, Dr. Joel Elkes, said that the medical world now demanded empirical evidence that this was the case, and that I would be the one to gather this empirical evidence!  Jump to 1994 and I was told that I need back surgery for a bulging/ruptured disc.  By then, I know that I was going to have specially chosen music (by me!) to listen to before, during and after the procedure.  I asked my surgeon, Dr. Wayne Villanueva if I could bring in my Walkman with three difference cassette tapes to listen to, and he that if I could also bring a friend to change the tapes at each juncture, that would be fine.

In July, 1994, I arrived at an excellent hospital here in Louisville, KY for my surgery.  I had put together a tape of my my favorite slow, steady, soothing and comforting music for the entire procedure, ending when I was released from the recovery room.  A friend changed the tapes for me as I left pre-surgery, and again when I arrived back into the recovery room.  The doctors were amazed!  They said that my procedure was faster than expected and that I required not only less pain medication and anxiety medication, but I actually used less anesthesia!  I felt nothing of course, but I did really enjoy the music as I was wheeled into the operating room and the anesthesia began to take effect.  In no time, I was waking up in recovery with the awareness of where I was and what had happened, but without the usual nausea and dizziness/confusion/brain fog.

Jump to 2005 and a fabulous conference in Cancun, Mexico that I went to, sponsored by the National Speaker’s Association.  This was a conference on Product Innovation and this is when I came up with the idea for Surgical Serenity Solutions!  To have pre-programmed headphones for the surgical patient, ready to go and deliver beautiful music, specially chosen for surgery, is a gift that is truly priceless!  We now have models for the patient to buy as well as for the hospital to have on hand for the patients.  I hope you’ll get yours today!  Don’t wait til you need surgery?  People are now using them for dental visits, insomnia, long plane rides and many more options!!

Oct Oct 31, 2016

Music in the Ambulatory Surgical Center

By |October 31, 2016|Music and Ambulatory Surgery Centers|0 Comments

Anesthesia + music through headphones

Dr. Cash at BeckersASC conference in Chicago

I have just returned from a wonderful conference on Ambulatory Surgery Centers!  You know, the free-standing surgery centers that are springing up around the world to do smaller procedures such as cataract surgery, colonoscopies, and now, even joint replacements?

We have several here in Louisville and when I found out that they are usually less expensive for the patient, and have fewer restrictions (sometimes, depending on how successful they are) on expenditures.  I thought it would be a grand idea to go to this big conference in Chicago, called BeckersASC conference.

I decided to take 5 of my new “patient model” headphones with me to Chicago to give to companies and surgery centers that demonstrated a strong and sincere interest in our product.  Needless to say there was so many seriously interested companies and doctors and nurses that I gave them away quickly!  Unlike other conferences I’ve been to, this conference had many, many wonderful tracks of presentations and the people that were most receptive and enthusiastic, were the presenters at these conferences!

I learned so much about the medical side and the business side of these ambulatory surgery centers and our pre-programmed headphones fit beautifully into both sides.  The neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons thought this was a wonderful idea from the standpoint of patient anxiety and pain levels.  On the business/regulatory side of things, everyone concerned remarked that HIPAA was probably being violated with patients in these centers being separated only by a thin curtain.

I know this from personal experience recently I took  a friend for cataract surgery at the ambulatory center here.  While being prepped for surgery and in the recovery area, I could hear every word that was being said to the patients on either side of him.  He could not hear, because he had the Surgical Serenity headphones on!  When I mentioned this at the surgery center, they all nodded in agreement and admitted that it probably is a violation.

Dozens of physicians and anesthesia companies said that they will be in touch!  I’ll keep you posted!

Oct Oct 1, 2016

More about the Cloud Kits

By |October 1, 2016|The Cloud Kit|0 Comments

The Cloud Kit openbox

The Cloud Kit for hospitals

As the Cloud Kit is beginning to get some traction in hospitals around the country, I’d like to share more about the Cloud Kit.  Like all of our Surgical Serenity Solutions products, the Cloud Kit was intended to be used in the Surgical Suite.  The benefit of the Cloud Kit over individual headphones is that you have 10 ready-to-go, fully charged headsets, all in one place, and with disposable earpiece covers available in a dispenser on the side.

The headphones sit on a USB hub that keeps them charged.  These are the premium, hospital model that will play for 20-24 hours continuously.  The playlist is a little over 90 minutes and loops continuously.

Currently the Cloud Kit is being used at major hospitals in Florida, Cleveland, California and soon Texas and Chicago!!  Although created for surgery, doctors, dentists, and nurses have quickly recognized all of the other possible uses for these ingenious headphones.  The Cloud Kit is being used with a chemotherapy department at one hospital, pain management research at another, endoscopy suite and ambulatory surgery at another.

Many hospitals have purchased individual headphones to use through the entire hospitals such as the Veteran’s Hospital here in Louisville, which purchased 100 individual headphones!  Then there are the individual patients that have purchased headphones for their surgery, labor and delivery, dental procedure or whatever.

In terms of the music, it’s important to remember that the music is NOT for entertainment purposes!  The whole point of the pre-loaded music is to have music which engages RHYTHMIC ENTRAINMENT in the patient.  When this happens, the patient is quickly calmed by the slow, steady, soothing tempo of this music.  Currently it is classical piano music which lulls the patient into a state in which the vital signs of heartbeat, pulse, blood pressure and breathing are stabilized and balanced by our proprietary music.  Of course this process works with the brain to balance both hemispheres, through the corpus collosum!  Once the Surgical Serenity Solution is in more hospitals, we will create more playlists in other genres, as music that engages rhythmic entrainment can be found or created in any genre.  Stay tuned!  Exciting times!

Aug Aug 14, 2016

Dental Pain eased with Surgical Serenity

By |August 14, 2016|Dental Pain and Music|0 Comments

dentistry music

Calming down with SSS music through cordless headphones, waiting for implant procedure to start.

Dental Pain is one of the most frequently encountered pains in today’s world.  We all know that we’re supposed to go to the dentist at least twice a year, but no one really wants to go.   Who would?  Psychologists tell us that lying on your back, with a relative stranger in your face, is a very stressful position to be in anyway; then the high-pitched drill starts and your whole body tenses up, in preparation for the pain which can be excruciating at any time!  It’s a wonder that ANYONE goes to the dentist willingly!

One of the things we know about pain, and the anticipation of pain, is that it makes people tense up every muscle in their body, in preparation for fight or flight.  The problem is that when the muscles are tense, the pain is worse!  The more relaxed the body can be, the better the anesthetic will work, whether novocaine or, in the case of many dental surgeries, general anesthesia.

For decades now, dentists have been offering nitrous oxide as a way of helping patients relax but nitrous oxide brings it’s own perils.  One of the biggest is Lack of Oxygen
Lack of oxygen is the most serious Nitrous Oxide side effect. Medically known as ‘hypoxia’, it occurs when someone stops breathing or breathes too shallowly or too slowly to meet their oxygen requirements- usually because they are overly sleepy from the nitrous oxide drug sedation. While this is a very rare side effect of nitrous oxide, it does occur. The majority of the time, this reduced oxygen is caught very early, the patient is given oxygen, helped to wake up more, and there is no lasting damage. But if the hypoxia goes unnoticed for too long, then brain damage and even death HAS occurred. Again, this is a VERY rare nitrous oxide side effect, but it IS real. (see

That is why our Surgical Serenity Solutions scientifically chosen music, through our lightweight, cordless headphones, is the ideal way, not only to relax the body, but also to greatly reduce the NOISE of the drill and other high-powered equipment being used.  If you or a family member have a dental procedure coming up, please get yourself and your family to use through the procedure.


Aug Aug 11, 2016

Colonoscopy greatly eased with Surgical Serenity Solutions

By |August 11, 2016|Colonoscopy with Music|0 Comments

Surgical Serenity w colonoscopy

after the colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a common procedure these days, and one that is very helpful for diganosing colon cancer in its earliest stages.  BUT, it sure is not a pleasant procedure, even after you’ve done the cleansing prep!  I was told that it was time for my every 10 years colonoscopy and I was not looking forward to it.  Of course I knew immediately that I would use my Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones and music.

I decided to start preparing myself 10 days in advance by limiting the amount of meat that I ate, and for the last four days, had no meat at all.  I wanted the prep cleanse to be as easy as possible and, although, it wasn’t pleasant, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the previous ones.   The last 36 hours before my colonoscopy, I had no solid food at all and that was definitely not pleasant.  I bought plenty of chicken broth, jello (but nothing red, purple or orange!) apple juice, ginger ale, and black coffee.

I had to be at the hospital by 7:30 a.m and was up for much of the night before going through the cleanse process. ;-(  As soon as I checked into the hospital colonoscopy suite, I put on my Surgical Serenity headphones and immediately began to calm down and relax.  By the time they called me back about 30-40 minutes later, I was almost asleep!  The nursing staff was so interested and wanted to know all about them and even try them on!!

So after the anesthesiologist had checked in with me and the nurse had inserted the IV, I was wheeled away for the colonoscopy procedure, headphones still playing the beautiful, soothing, calming music.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room and asking for some coffee and asking if I could go out for breakfast!!  I was starving!  Unlike previous procedures, I had absolutely no nausea or grogginess.  I do believe that the Surgical Serenity headphones made a huge difference and I continued to wear them all the way to breakfast!

Jul Jul 27, 2016

Cataract Surgery Case History with Surgical Serenity Solutions

By |July 27, 2016|Cataract Surgery with Music|0 Comments


Cataract Surgery:  Our headphones continue to be used with a wide variety of surgeries and procedures.  One of the most recent was a cataract surgery with a 65-year-old male patient.  The patient was moderately anxious before the procedure, primarily because he didn’t want to be sidelined too long with anesthesia related “brain fog.”  When he heard about the anesthesia-sparing benefits of music, he was eager to try them.

Cataract Surgery w Music

Waiting for cataract surgery

Before the Cataract Surgery

Waiting to be called back; wearing headphones

The patient put the headphones on as soon as he arrived at the surgery center for outpatient surgery.  As you can see from the picture, he was comfortable enough with the fit and the music to start working immediately on his iPhone!  Patient reports that one of the things he appreciated most about his nearly 60-minute wait prior to prep, was that he didn’t have to listen to other people’s conversations or the TV that was playing in the waiting room.

When patient was finally called back, he continued listening to the soothing, rhythmic music as gown was donned and IV inserted.  The next photo reflects his calm and readiness to go into cataract surgery:  Patient reported that in addition to cataract surgery, he was also getting an implant to improve his near-sightedness.


After cataract surgery with Surgical Serenity Solution

After the surgery, the patient said that the music had accompanied throughout the entire surgery and that when he woke up from the anesthesia, he immediately remembered where he was and why he was there.  He said that in previous surgeries he had awakened not knowing where he was and feeling nauseous.  This time, he felt calm, alert, focused, and ready to go home.

The operating team said that he had taken a minimum of anesthesia and no pain medication at all.  He was sent home with nothing more than the usual eye drops every few hours, eye protector and advil, if needed, and which he did not need.  Patient says that he is so glad that he used the headphones and that he will always do so in the future!

To get your own Surgical Serenity Solutions pre-programmed headphones, go to  We have two different models.  Both have the same proven successful music on them.  Buy some today for your family to use.  Dental work, blood work, MRIs, any procedure that causes anxiety or potential pain will be improved when wearing these lightweight, cordless headphones.


Jun Jun 27, 2016

3 Things to consider if you’re going under general anesthesia

By |June 27, 2016|Anesthesia and Redheads, Anesthesia and the PACU|0 Comments


RecoverySliderAre you having surgery sometime soon?  Are you concerned about going under general anesthesia because you’ve heard that general anesthesia is dangerous?   General anesthesia is probably safer than it’s ever been.  There is certainly a direct correlation between the amount of anesthesia a person needs, and the speed with which they recover.   If you have had a previous bad experience with anesthesia or are elderly, frail, or red-headed (yes, redheads react very differently to anesthesia!), OR, if you’re just a little anxious, then there are few basic facts you should know.

  1.  Ask your doctor if you absolutely need general anesthesia.  Many procedures can be done under a regional block or even local anesthesia.  But if you’re having open-heart surgery or other surgeries that require general anesthesia, then find other ways to reduce the amount, like supplementing with slow, steady, soothing music.
  2. Your chances of dying under general anesthesia are 11-16 per 100,000 and much does depend on the age and general level of health of the patient before the procedure.  The anesthesiologist is closely monitoring every aspect of your body rhythms and levels and has many ways of keeping you safe.
  3.  If you can meet with the anesthesiology team before the procedure, to discuss any concerns or previous surgery issues, or problems related to anesthesia that run in your family, that will let you rest easier.

Anesthesia is administered safely every day around the world, but if you’re having surgery for the first time, or have had a difficult experience with anesthesia in the past, then you want to be as well prepared as possible.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the use of music as an adjunct to anesthesia. Just last August (2015) the esteemed British Journal “The Lancet” published a huge meta-analysis of over 4000 studies on the use of music with surgery.  The overwhelming verdict is that music is a powerful and easy to administer adjunct to anesthesia.  And NOW, the study that was done last year at the VA Hospital here in Louisville, KY, is just about to be published in the International Journal of Anesthesia an Research (IJAR).  Our product is poised to be in every OR on the planet within 10 years and we are working day and night to get the price down to where individuals can afford it, as well as hospitals when they order in bulk.  Surgical Serenity Solutions has created cordless, pre-programmed headphones for the patient to wear, starting pre-surgery and continuing on through surgery and into the recovery room.  To learn more about these and purchase them, go to  You can reduce the amount of anesthesia required, have a safer procedure, and recover faster.