Jan Jan 12, 2018

Orthopedic Surgery Post-Op Pain, quickly improved with Surgical Serenity

By |January 12, 2018|Orthopedic Surgery|0 Comments


Orthopedic surgery post-op pain is a reality for people of all ages, but especially the babyboomers.  Late last night I received a text message from a lady here in Louisville, KY.  She was in pain as a result of having knee replacement surgery the day before, and did not want to take opioid pain medication any longer than she had to!  She told me that if she could get some of our Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones and starting listening and responding to our therapeutic, proprietary music, she could get off of the medication a lot sooner!  I agreed, of course.  Research in the British medical journal ” Lancet”  documents a significant decrease in pain during and after surgery, as well as a significant decrease in the anxiety level of the patient.  In a study done on our headphones and music at the Robley Rex VA Hospital, a 20% decrease in pain perception was documented.   The lady told me that she had “thought about” getting the headphones before the surgery, but decided “no, I’m a big girl, I can handle it” but after she got home, she realized that she needed something for pain and that the pain medication the doctor prescribed was “just a little too scary, in terms of addiction potential.”  As a professional healthcare provider, I would NEVER tell a patient not to take pain medication after surgery.  Cutting into the body for whatever reason is painful and that’s a fact.  But using non-pharmacological treatments, such as therapeutic music, to help with pain management is an excellent, well-documented, and proven idea.

Our knee surgery patient is well acquainted with the concepts of music medicine, music therapy, and the power of rhythmic entrainment as it affects the relaxation response.   When she texted me last night, I knew that a winter storm was predicted to hit Louisville, so I got a new pair out for her, loaded the music onto them, charged them overnight, and delivered them to her at 8:30 this morning, just as the freezing rain was beginning to fall!  I wish I had a video of her putting them on for the first time.  She IMMEDIATELY gave a sigh of relief as she put them on, and said “oh!  that music is so beautiful!”  She then closed her eyes and went to sleep.  Even I was a little surprised at how quickly  she began to benefit.  Her sister smiled and said, “I think she’ll be off the pain meds really soon!”

So what is the moral of this story?  If you KNOW in advance that you’re going to be having surgery of any kind, dental, physical, colonoscopy, etc., order your Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones NOW!  They are less than $100 and can be used for months and months after the procedure.  You can even put your favorite music on them afterwards if you wish.  The music I have chosen is music that easily and quickly engages rhythmic entrainment and allows the body to experience the relaxation response.

These headphones are being used in hospitals and dental clinics around the world and doctors and patients alike love them.  Go now to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com and click on BUY!  You’ll be so glad that you did!


Dec Dec 9, 2017

Do YOU have a fear of Anesthesia or Surgery?

By |December 9, 2017|Fear and Anxiety about Surgery, Fear of anesthesia|0 Comments


Do YOU have a fear of anesthesia or surgery?  So many people have an intense fear of anesthesia and surgery that they postpone needed surgery, that could greatly improve their quality of life, because they are afraid that they will be in a worse condition, or not wake up at all!  Why do people experience fear this intense?  There can be lots of reasons.

Perhaps you come from a family of people who do not like going to the doctor because “the doctor always finds something wrong.”  Perhaps you know someone who has had a bad experience with surgery or anesthesia.  Perhaps YOU have had a bad experience with surgery or anesthesia.

The fact is, mistakes do happen, but in today’s medical world, surgery and anesthesia have never been more safe.  Fear and anxiety are rampant!   Everyone who is about to have surgery, has an extensive history taken by the doctors and nurses, about how you and other family members have responded to anesthesia in the past.  Thanks to the internet, there is LOTS of excellent, reputable information on the internet.

Still, fear and anxiety are not always rational.  If you have had an unexpected reaction in the past, or a close friend or family member has, you are probably going to be really scared and concerned.  I don’t want to diminish that or say that it’s silly or unwarranted.  How does our Serenity Music help with that?  Research has shown that when slow, steady, soothing music is played for a patient that has a racing pulse and rapid, shallow breathing, the music can actually slow the patient’s heart and breathing down, and keep them steady!  When this happens, the “relaxation response” kicks in, and then “rhythmic entrainment” can work for you.  The more relaxed your body and muscles are, the easier it is for the doctors and nurses to do what they need to do to help you.

If your muscles are tense and stiff, it’s going to take more medication to relax you, and more medication to wake up from and recover from.  Yes, you also have to recover from the medication!!

We have two different styles of headphones you can purchase.  The more expensive one holds more music, but both can be used long after your surgery and you can load your own favorite music onto it!  You can also purchase a download of our Serenity music and use on your iPod or iPhone for relaxation or insomnia!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions at all!  Our email is DrAlice@SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com

Oct Oct 9, 2017

Another VA Hospital Adopts a Surgery with Music Program

By |October 9, 2017|Benefits of cordless headphones, Benefits of music during surgery|0 Comments


When the VA Hospital in Louisville, KY decided to purchase 100 of our headphones and conduct a clinical study on the benefits of music with surgery, we, Surgical Serenity Solutions, were thrilled!!   At the time, we were not aware of any other Veteran’s hospitals that had a music with surgery program, but that has now changed!!

The VA Hospital in Durham, NC has started a program for music with surgery and it’s very similar to ours, but also different.  They are using iPods that are loaded with a variety of surgery playlists, connected to disposable headphones.   Their music was selected based on veterans’ preferences whereas mine is chosen specifically for it’s ability to induce rhythmic entrainment.  Both methods are good, I think, but I do like the aspect of cordless headphones that already contain the music that will be used for surgery, loaded onto headphones!

I’ll probably be talking to them about trying our our headphones later this week!  Will keep you posted!!  Meanwhile, which would YOU prefer?

Oct Oct 4, 2017

Surgical Serenity Solutions and insurance coverage

By |October 4, 2017|Surgical Serenity and Insurance coverage|0 Comments


How great would it be if the Surgical Serenity Solutions headset was completely covered by health insurance?  This Monday morning, I’ll be talking to an executive with one of the major insurance companies.  He is very interested in knowing more about the Surgical Serenity Solutions and understanding how music brings improved surgical outcomes.

Of course, those of us that have believing in and using music during surgery, KNOW about the multiple and rich benefits it brings.   But this is an old, old story.  Something new appears in our world, and people say “oh that will never work!”  “It’s just an old wive’s tale”  “there’s absolutely no scientific proof!”

Interestingly, these are the very reasons that caused Dr. Joel Elkes, professor of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, to hire me in 1990.  He knew how powerful music can be in medicine, and he said  “all we really have is anecdotal evidence, Alice, and I want YOU to start doing the research that will provide empirical, scientific, evidence of music as medicine.

From 1990-2005, I focused on toning, chanting, music with Alzheimer’s disease, and music with preemies.  All through that time I was becoming increasingly aware that music before and after surgery was powerful in reducing anxiety and pain perception, but also that very few people realized this.

Fast forward to 2017:  hundreds of thousands of people now understand that music in the peri-operative period is valuable, but patients would prefer that the hospital would stock the pre-loaded, cordless,   headphones and that insurance would cover that.   My original plan, was to start the marketing of the headphones in plastic surgery practices, where people expect to pay out of pocket.  I’ve started that process, but getting in to see plastic surgeons is not easy.  I’m always eager to hear your ideas!!

Aug Aug 29, 2017

What clinical research shows about music with surgery

By |August 29, 2017|Music and Surgery Research|0 Comments


Have you wondered about the clinical research behind our concept for music with surgery?  There are few other musicians, scientists, or music therapists seriously investigating the benefits of music for the patient, through headphones, during surgery.  And yet, there is quite a bit of research out there that shows over and over, that the benefits of less anxiety and less pain perception are there!!

In the mid-1990’s, when I first became aware of the early research, there were not that many studies, but many surgeons, and anesthesiologists knew intuitively, that music was an easy and powerful way to relax the patient and reduce the amount of medications needed.  But soon, this got to be kind of “hijacked” to make the music more for the surgeon.  Today we know that it’s actually important for both the patient and the surgeon to have their own “best” music.  The focus of Surgical Serenity Solutions has always been on music for the patient!!

For that reason, I want to offer you this month, the PDF of music and surgery research studies that I’ve put together for people preparing to have surgery, and their doctors and families!  This PDF has 15 of the most important studies to appear over the past 20 years or so and consists of a summary of the finds, as well as the complete citation if you want to know more!

Even though music and surgery is an ancient concept, the current application of it using cordless, pre-programmed headphones IS new and there are many physicians who don’t realize how many clinical research studies have been done successfully.  This will at least get you started on the road to understanding the viability of using the right music for the patient, and will let your doctor know of the legitimacy of the concept!

To get this free packet of Music and Surgery Research, simply go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/music-surgery-research, and click on the download button!!  I will be adding to this each time a new study comes out!!  Questions, just post it below and I will answer as soon as possible!!

Aug Aug 24, 2017

Surgical Serenity Solutions may have a new owner!!

By |August 24, 2017|Surgical Serenity for sale|0 Comments


Surgical Serenity may have a new owner!  Have you ever thought about owning an entrepreneurial start-up company that has a U.S. Patent and in-roads into some of the biggest hospital systems in the WORLD??  And sales that are doubling every year??

I had always thought that I’d sell Surgical Serenity Solutions to a group of anesthesiologists, surgeons, music therapists, or medical device company!!  I even dreamed to selling the business to APPLE and convincing them to start a medical device component!!  But, as I approach my retirement years, and as my treasure chest of grandchildren grows, a person has approached who is very interested in buying my business that fits none of these descriptions or labels!  What he has is GREAT success in sales!

I’m putting this out because I’d like to know if there are any other individuals or companies “out there” that might like to put in a bid.  Clearly it will go for much less than if I waited for Apple to realize what this company offers to patients around the world.  And I’m pretty sure that I’ll need to be a consultant for the first couple of years that someone else takes over.  At the moment, I’m focusing more on getting additional playlists that fit our characteristics for ideal surgical/medical/dental music.

Let me know ASAP if YOU or someone you know is interested in either investing or purchasing!

Jul Jul 24, 2017

More on the History of Anesthesia and Sedation

By |July 24, 2017|Anesthesia|0 Comments


Over 25 years ago, I began learning about the use of music as an adjunct to anesthesia.  I didn’t know that much about anesthesia and sedation, but I knew that I didn’t want any more than I absolutely needed.  I knew that anesthesia was powerful stuff, so when I found out that I would be having a baby (over 40 years ago!) I knew that I wanted to have natural childbirth and not a “saddleblock” or any kind of spinal anesthesia.  Not only did I just not like the idea of someone putting a needle in my back, but I knew enough women at that time, who had utilized the LaMaze Method or the Bradley Method, that I knew it was quite possible with proper preparation, childbirth classes, and a willing husband, which I had!

In 1990, when I stepped into the field of Music Medicine, one of the things that fascinated me was the concept of music as a way to enhance minimal anesthesia usage and a way to tap into the powerof rhythmic entrainment.

Timeline of Progress in Pain Management during Surgery:

CA 4000 BCE Sumerian artifacts depicting the opium poppy

CA 1600 BCE Acupuncture being practiced in China, according to pictographs on bones and turtle shells

CA 1187 BCE In Homer’s “Odessey,” the Greek goddess Circe, uses deleriant herbs to brew a tea, turning Odysseus’ men into swine.

64 AD  Dioscorides, a Greek surgeon in the Roman army of Emperor Nero, recommends mandrake boiled in wine to “cause the insensibility of those who are to be cut or cauterized.”

CA 800-1300 After herbal mixtures including opium, mandrake, henbane, and/or hemlock are steeped into a soporific or sleep-bearing sponge (“spongia somnifera”), the sponge is dampened so that anesthetic vapors or drippings can be applied to a patient’s nostrils. These sponges were likely historical cousins to the so-called Roman or Arabic sponges (used during crucifixions, surgeries, and other painful events).

1540:  German physician and botanist Valerius Cordus (1515–1544), synthesizes diethyl ether by distilling ethanol and sulphuric acid into what he called “sweet oil of vitriol.”

1779:  Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815)—In Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal, he describes using magnets and hypnosis to cure many ailments.

1805:  Pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner (1783–1841)—Isolates a new substance from opium, which he later names “morphium” after Morpheus, the god of dreams.

1842: William Clarke (1819‐1908)—In Rochester, New York, a medical student etherizes a single patient for a dental extraction.

1842:  Dr. Crawford W. Long (1815-1878) etherizes James Venable for removal of neck cysts on March 30, 1842. Dr. Long would become honored as the 1st anesthesiologist on a US Postage stamp (1940) and as the inspiration for the 1st “National Doctors Day” on March 30, 1991.

1845:  Dr. Horace Wells (1815-1848)-After bravely volunteering to inhale nitrous oxide for his own dental extraction back in December of 1844, Dr. Wells demonstrates nitrous oxide anesthesia for a tooth extraction near Massachusetts General Hospital, but the partial anesthetic is judged a “humbug.”

1846: On October 16, William T. G. Morton (1819-1868) made history by being first in the world to publicly and successfully demonstrate the use of ether anesthesia for surgery. This occurred at what came to be called “The Ether Dome,” at Massachusetts General Hospital on patient Edward Gilbert Abbott. Surgeon John Collins Warren noted, “Gentlemen, this is no humbug.” Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)-suggests the terms “anaesthetic” and “anaesthesia” in a letter to William T. G. Morton. News of Morton’s ether demonstration was carried by the paddle steamship Acadiafrom Boston to Dr. Francis Boott and then on to Dr. James Robinson (1813-1862), who extracted a tooth on December 19, 1846, under ether anesthesia. In 1847 Robinson authored one of the first textbooks on anesthesia: A Treatise on the Inhalation of the Vapour of Ether for the Prevention of Pain in Surgical Operations.* On December 21, Scottish surgeons in Dumfries, Scotland (Dr. William Scott) and in London (Dr. Robert Liston) amputate limbs of etherized patients- the first such surgical anesthetics in the British Isles. Liston commented, “This Yankee dodge beats mesmerism hollow.” Dr. Liston describes the surgery in a letter to Dr. Francis Boott, which is published in The Lancet. The WLM owns this letter.

1847:  Prof. James Y. Simpson (1811-1870)-Scottish obstetrician begins administering chloroform to women for pain during childbirth. Chloroform quickly becomes a popular anesthetic for surgery and dental procedures as well. Chloroform was discovered independently in 1831 by the USA’s Samuel Guthrie, France’s Eugène Soubeiran, and Germany’s Justus von Liebig.

1853:  Drs. Charles Pravaz (1791-1853) and Alexander Wood (1817-1884)-These men independently invented the hollow hypodermic needle, which will be attached to an earlier invention, the syringe popularized in 1845 by Ireland’s Francis Rynd.

1884:  Dr. Karl Koller (1857-1944)-Viennese ophthalmologist and colleague of Sigmund Freud, introduces cocaine as an anesthetic for eye surgery.

1898:  Dr. August Bier (1861-1949)-Conducts the first spinal anesthetic using cocaine; 10 years later, he popularized the intravenous regional (“Bier”) block.

1902:  Dr. Mathias J. Seifert of Chicago coins the words “anesthesiology” and “anesthesiologist.” He asserted that an “ANESTHETIST” is a technician and an “ANESTHESIOLOGIST” is the scientific authority on anesthesia and anesthetics.

1923: Dr. Isabella Herb administers the first ethylene-oxygen surgical anesthetic. She demonstrated the remarkable trance-like state that low-dose ethylene could induce in human subjects.

1929:  The Anaesthetists’ Travel Club is organized by Dr. John S. Lundy, who will popularize use of the intravenous anesthetic thiopental (Pentothal) and will become the ASA President in 1946. The popularity of thiopental-as a swift-onset intravenous agent for inducing general anesthesia-will pave the way for other totally unrelated intravenous induction agents, such as ketamine, etomidate, and propofol.

1941:  Henry K. Beecher, MD- After his appointment to the USA’s first endowed chair in anesthesiology as Harvard’s Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Anaesthesia Research, Prof. Beecher will pioneer understanding of medical ethics, patient consent, clinical trials, the placebo effect, and “brain death.”

Dr. Robert Hingson develops Continuous Caudal Anesthesia, an innovation in obstetrical anesthesia that provides continuous pain relief for prolonged or difficult labor. In 1958, Dr. Hingson starts Brother’s Brother, a nonprofit charity for supplying medical, educational, and agricultural supplies worldwide. His needle-free “Peace Guns” would mass-immunize millions by jet injection and would be featured as the “Hypospray” in Star Trek and many science fiction films

1960:  Drs. Joseph Artusio, Alan van Poznak et al. begin human trials of the inhalational anesthetic methoxyflurane.

1999: In its report To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine lauds the efforts of anesthesiologists in improving patient safety

By 1999, I was well on the road to trying to figure out how music could be used as an adjunct to anesthesia, in order to create a safer surgical experience by decreasing the amount of anesthesia, as well as anxiety and pain medication, before, during and after surgery!

The rest is history!!  For more information on this, please visit https://www.woodlibrarymuseum.org/history-of-anesthesia/





Jun Jun 30, 2017

Our most frequently asked questions about the Surgical Headphones

By |June 30, 2017|FAQ's|0 Comments

Frequently asked questions

Hospital Model Headphones

freqently asked questions

The Cloud Kit

frequently asked questions

Patient Model Headphones


Our most frequently asked questions about the surgical headphones, change from month to month and depend upon our most recent updates.  Here are the Top 10 questions as of June, 2017:

  1.  Are the headphones intended for the Dr or the patient?
    1. The headphones are intended for the patient, so that the doctor can have his own ambient music.
  2.  Is the music already on the headphones?
    1. Yes, both models are preloaded with our proprietary music, which can be changed after surgery to whatever music you like.
  3.  Will the hospital have them waiting for me?
    1. Hospitals that now have headphones included some VA hospitals, some Cleveland Clinic hospitals, some parts of Mayo clinic in Minnesota, and soon—Johns Hopkins!  If you’re going anywhere else, best to purchase your own!
  4.  Can I purchase just one headphone?
    1. Absolutely!  The patient model is $97.00
  5.  Can I change the music on the headphones?
    1. Once your surgery is over, it’s easy to reload the microchip with the music of your choice.
  6.  Will my doctor let me wear them during surgery?
    1. 99 out of a 100 will.  We have written a short article for you to take to your Dr that tells about all of the research that has been done on music with surgery and our headphones in particular.
  7.  Is there any danger to wearing these headphones during surgery.
    1. No problems have ever been reported.  Some doctors worried about an electrical arc, which happened long ago with another piece of equipment.  Our headphones don’t have any metal in them.
  8.  Why should I wear them during surgery if I am asleep?
    1. Because the body responds to the steady rhythms of our proprietary music, entraining the heartbeat and the breathing.  This is the heart of our method and it works whether patient is asleep or awake.
  9.  Does anyone else make these headphones?
    1. Not yet, but we know we will eventually have competition.  That’s why we got a patent!!
  10.  Will insurance reimburse me for these headphones?
    1.  Not yet.  That is why we started selling them to patients first.   Now that patients know about their power and effectiveness, we are marketing them to hospitals, surgery centers and dental practices.  We foresee and day when insurance companies will not only reimburse for them, but they will INSIST on them!!

If these are not the questions you have, please let me know what YOUR question is!  I’d love to answer it for you!!



May May 30, 2017

Cosmetic Surgery and Surgical Serenity Solutions

By |May 30, 2017|aesthetic surgery, Cosmetic surgery, rhinoplasty|0 Comments

Plastic Surgery, rhinoplasty

Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery

Surgical Serenity Solutions, pre-programmed headphones with proven, scientifically selected calming music

Cosmetic surgery and Surgical Serenity Solutions.  Are you thinking of having a little plastic surgery?  It certainly is more popular than ever these days and can truly make a world of difference in how you look and feel.  Plastic surgery used to be the domain of the rich and famous…movie stars, heiresses, and royalty.  Today, the procedures that used to be prohibitively expensive, and required weeks and weeks of recovery time, can now be done as outpatient surgery, or even on your lunch hour!!

One of the reasons I became so interested in knowing more about plastic surgery was the immediate interest that plastic and cosmetic surgeons showed in the Surgical Serenity Solutions.  The reason is (I surmise!) that when a person decides to pay for a procedure that is unlikely to be reimbursed by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid, it is obviously something that they really want.  (Who doesn’t want to be more beautiful, shapely, or youthful looking?)  And typically, the office of a plastic surgeon is beauty and luxury personified.

If you’re going to pay many thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for a procedure that promises to improve your appearance and your self-esteem, you want to be as comfortable and pampered as you can possibly be.   Providing each patient with their own, personal, Surgical Serenity headphone, with the ideal slow, soothing music already programmed on them!  In a clinical study, conducted at the Robley Rex Veterans Hospital in Louisville, KY, patients wearing the light-weight, cordless headphones, experienced 20% less pain, than those who did not wear our headphones.

Since that study, the famous British medical journal, The Lancet, published a meta-analysis of 4000 research studies world-wide on the benefits of music with surgery.  In every study, music was highly recommended as a huge benefit to the patient in terms of anxiety reduction and pain reduction.  In addition, patients who listen to soothing, slow and steady music through cordless headphones, not only engage the process of rhythmic entrainment, but headphones also block the surgeon’s music, which is often lively and upbeat.  It also blocks conversations in the surgical area which the patient does not really want to hear.

Cosmetic surgeons and luxury esthetic surgery spas want to make their patients’ experience as painless and enjoyable as possible.  This is definitely one way to provide that patient experience, that patients want and deserve.

Apr Apr 27, 2017

New Uses for Serenity Solution Headphones: Parathyroid Surgery

By |April 27, 2017|Benefits of cordless headphones, Cardiac By-pass surgery with music, Parathyroid and Thyroid Surgery with music|0 Comments

SSS in perioperative thyroid surgery

Patient before parathyroid surgery

Our Surgical Serenity Headphones have been used for so many different surgeries but this week a new one came to my attention:  parathyroid surgery.  This patient is a 67 y.o. lady with an impressive athletic career.  She has been winning trophies and medals for decades, but recently, in the course of some routine blood work, it was discovered that one of the parathyroid glands was malfunctioning and needed to be removed.

Of course, she wanted to use the Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones that she had bought several years ago for another surgery and had a positive experience. She told me that she has used them along and along for bouts of insomnia and stress, but that surgery is what she wanted to use them for primarily since she is very sensitive to anesthesia and wanted no more than absolutely necessary.

Since this was a new procedure, she checked in advance with the the surgeon and explained that these headphones were created specifically for surgery and are in use at Cleveland Clinic, as well as Mayo, Johns Hopkins, and VA Hospitals around the country!  The surgeon gave the green light and she prepared for her parathyroid surgery.

As fate would have it, things did not go exactly as planned!  The surgery started an hour later than scheduled, but patients said that she needed to anxiety meds while waiting because she had her headphones on and just closed her eyes and enjoyed the music while waiting to be called back.

Once it started, it took a little longer than anticipated because they decided to take part of her thyroid gland as well.  Of course she was asleep when that decision was made, but she reports she was so glad NOT to hear the conversation that went on about whether to remove part of the thyroid or not.

Surgical Serenity Solutions with parathyroid surgery

Patient after parathyroid surgery

Patient has been instructed to get lots of rest and not work out for a couple of weeks and she is OK with that.  This is the message friends:  even when you are super healthy and feeling no pain, a simple blood test can reveal a process going on in your body that you knew nothing about.  Be prepared!  These amazing headphones can be shipped to you overnight and they have been studies and tested in major hospitals around the country.  You can get your own set for under $100!  Go NOW to www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/patient-products.