Surgery with Music Series Post #29: Having a C-section


 Having a Cesarean section childbirth is one of those situations that has very few absolutes.  Sometimes it is scheduled in advance and sometimes it is a relatively last-minute decision, based on a long and unproductive labor.

 The woman to your left had a scheduled C-section after going almost two weeks past her due date.   With my assistance she arrived at the hospital on the scheduled date but found that there were many women schduled before her.  She had not decided when we arrived whether or not she wanted to use the headphones.  After waiting for 30-45 minutes, she was told that she would be prepped for the C-section and then would wait in a room with other women also scheduled for C-sections.

Unlike the women who went into labor on their own, she was not given a private labor room so that she and her husband might be alone before the new baby arrived.  Upon entering the c-section waiting area she discovered that there was no privacy at all.  Somen were talking loudly on cell phones, some were talking loudly to their husbands, and one woman was berating her husband in a way that was very upsetting to the others!

It was at this point that my patient decided to put on the headphones, close her eyes and drift off to her own private sonic cocoon.   She claims that they saved her sanity without a doubt!

Needless to say, these pre-programmed headphones, with calming, soothing classical music that entrains your heart-rate, your breathing and your overall mood, can be helpful in many, many different hospitals areas.  Imagine being in the ER, the ICU or the CCU.  Imagine being in a ambulance with siren blaring or a stat flight helicopter.  Don’t wait for an emergency.  Have your headphones to be enjoying and relaxing with right now and you’ll be prepared!


Surgery with Music Series Post #28: Procedures other than surgery


We all know that there are many serious medical procedures both elective and non-elective.  People ask me all the time if the headphones can be used for situations other than surgery.  The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

There are so many medical procedure performed every day, procedure that are serious but don’t involve cutting into the body with knives or lasers.  Some of these procedures are things like kidney dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation, colonoscopy and diagnostic procedures such as MRI’s and CT scans.  Then there are the elective procedures that often are found in the cosmetic surgery realm:  liposuction, botox injections, and lifts of all kinds to various parts of the body.

Whether your surgery is mandatory or elective, music can help to relax you and calm you and enable you to use less pain medication and less anesthesia.  All of this translates to a safer procedure and a faster recover and return to life.  Of course dental procedures such as root canals, crowns, and implants would definitely benefits from using your headphones to help muffle the sound of the dreaded drill.

No matter what the procedure, using music through headphones will make it easier and less painful.


Surgery with Music Series Post #27: Can you make your own surgery playlist?


Of course you can!  If you have enough lead time for your surgery or other medical procedure, and if you understand what the best kind of music is, you absolutely can make your own playlist.

I believe that the cordless headphones are best though, because they can’t become entangled with any other hospital equipment and are not emitting a signal that could interfere with other medical equipment in the OR, ICU, Emergency Room or other area of the hospital.

So what are the advantages of ordering the Surgical Serenity Headphones?  The two biggest are conveniences are…they are ready to go and can be shipped to you overnight if necessary; they have already been programmed for you by a clinical musicologist who has been working in this area for over 20 years!

The music that I have chosen is based on my work with hundreds of surgery patients and surgical procedure of all kinds.  I am also a psychotherapist, so I understand the extreme anxiety and emotional angst that people go through when they are told that they need surgery.  This music is the absolutely most soothing and calming music that I’ve come across and it doesn’t matter so much what your usual taste in music might be.  This music seems to calm everyone that has heard it and it will work for you too.

If you want to make your own playlist, have the time to do it, and can find cordless headphones, that’s also great!  Please let me know what your questions might be!  Best wishes and good health to you always!


Surgery with Music Series Post #26: What the news media says


Our series of 30 posts on Music with Surgery is rapidly drawing to an end. I thought that perhaps my readers would like to know what some of the major news media have to say about the whole idea. They tend to be critical of such new ideas, but take a look at today’s source:

“A new study by the Yale School of Medicine confirms previous work showing that surgery patients listening to music require much less sedation.

Previous studies left open the question of whether it was music that did the trick, or just the act of blocking out the sound of dropped surgical instruments and other operating room noise.

In the new study, researchers tested 90 surgery patients at two facilities. Some wore headphones and listened to the music of their choice. Others heard white noise, that hiss and hum common to office buildings that’s designed to drown out harsh noises. Others had no headphones.

Blocking sounds with white noise did not decrease sedative requirements, the study found, music did.”

Doctors and patients should both note that music can be used to supplement sedation in the operating room,” said study team member Zeev Kain, a Yale professor in the Department of Anesthesiology.

The results are detailed in the May issue of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.


Surgery with Music Series Post #25: Music with Eye Surgery


In the 20 years that I have been working with surgery patients, helping them choose their perfect music to relax them and assist them through their procedure with a minimum of drugs, I have yet to find a procedure that music can’t help.

This dear lady came to me because she was in the midst of a series of eye surgeries to treat her macular degeneration and her glaucoma. She had already had two of the three surgeries and had to do it with only a local anesthesia. She had emerged from the first two with splitting migraines and a body so stiff and tense she could hardly move for the next several days.

She was feeling somewhat desperate and when she heard about the headphones she was more than ready to try anything! Listen to her story and let her tell you what a positive experience she had:

If you have an eye surgery in your future, you might want to seriously consider giving the headphones a try. The research is there, the experience is there. Music can greatly enhance and improve your surgical experience!


Surgery with Music Series Post #24: Surgery Headphones in the Hospital with Pacemaker Implantation


Surgery is by no means the only valuable use for Surgery Serenity Headphones.  As a matter of fact, most any procedure that is done in a hospital or doctor’s office could help ease a patient’s anxiety, soothe their fears and decrease the amoung of anesthesia that might be needed.

One of the first patients that used the headphones in the hospital was a man who had a pacemaker implanted.  Listen to his story and keep music in mind if you or anyone you know needs to have a pacemaker put in.  Although the music is already pre-programmed into the headphones, you can easily put your on favorite music on these headphones if you wish!


Surgery with Music Series Post #23: Entrainment in Surgery

Entrainment and Surgery

Drs. Friedman and Cash at CCF

 To put it as simply as possible, entrainment in surgery is all about synchronizing.  The slow, steady tempo of the music entrains with the patient’s heartbeat and breathing.  Mostly we hear about rhythmic entrainment and brainwave entrainment.  When talking about music during surgery, both of the these types of entrainment are tapped.  The power of this during surgery comes from the slow, steady pulse of the music coming through the headphones.  In this instance, the synchronization begins when the patient can hear the music and feel the relaxation.  As they go into deeper states of “sleep” the vibrations of the slow, steady music keep the heartbeat and breathing entrained or synchronized with the pulse of the music.

The more relaxed the body is during surgery, the less anxiety medication, pain medication and even less anesthesia is required.  The less medication the patient requires,  the safer the procedure will be and the faster the patient will recover.  It’s so easy and so logical, that it has been overlooked for many, many decades.  Now people are beginning to understand how entrainment works and tap into the power of musical entrainment.

Rhythmic entrainment is a core principle of music therapy.  Many years ago I was introduced to the concepts of music therapy and began to realize that this was so powerful and yet so simple.  It’s the same phenomenon that makes people clap their hands to music, or sway gently, tap their toes or fingers.  When listening to many kinds of music, the urge to entrain is almost irresistible!  For many years I thought about all of the many ways the power of rhythmic entrainment might be harnessed for medical benefits.  When I finally decided to create a surgical playlist that would induce this phenomenon, I knew that I had come up with an idea that could really make a big contribution to health and healing.

Will you be next?


Surgery with Music Series Post #22: Can anyone benefit from music during surgery?

Surgical Serenity w colonoscopy

Surgery with music

Can anyone benefit from surgery with music?  Well, do you love music?  Does it relax you, comfort you, make you feel safe and secure?  Are there lots and lots of songs and pieces that remind you of happy times and all of the people you love?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there is an excellent chance that you would benefit from music during your procedure.   Before and after your procedure, I think it’s a great idea to listen to the music that is especially meaningful to you.  During your surgery, whether you’re using a regional anesthesia or general anesthesia, research shows that purely instrumental music that has a slow, steady beat and a soothing, calming mood is best.

Ideally, everyone would be able to create their own playlist for their surgery, but that’s not very realistic.  Most people are a little bit rattled when they find out that they need surgery and sitting down to choose their favorite music and loading it methodically onto their Ipod is just not going to happen.  Then too, many older people wouldn’t know how to put music on an iPod anyway.

In addition, unless you have a brand-new iPod, your’s is likely pretty germy and not something that you want to bring into the operating room.

This is why I decided to create some pre-programmed, cordless headphones that would have the perfect, slow, steady, soothing music for surgery.  The headphones are lightweight and have no cord so that they can’t get tangled with any medical equipment.  The music was chosen by a clinical musicologist who has studied this for over 20 years.  If you have been told that you need surgery and if you love music and would like to experience the many benefits of music during surgery, click HERE.  If you have any questions, please don’t hestitate to contact me through this blog.


Surgery with Music Series Post #21: Is there scientific research on benefits of music with surgery?


Another great question that was sent in by a reader.  The short answer is “YES.”  There is so much research on the use of music before and after surgery that I can not list all the studies here.  You may remember that I spoke at the Cleveland Clinic Florida about recent research in music with surgery and there I had chosen the most recent 15 or so studies from over the past decade.

The highlights of this research can be found HERE.  You will see that studies have been done not only at well-known institutions such as Yale University, but also from around the world.  Most of the studies focus on music before and after surgery, but increasingly, research is now being conducted on music during surgery.  Currently out surgery headphones are the focus of a medical study at the VA Hospital here in Louisville, KY and results should be available by the end of this year.

There are so many documented  benefits of music surrounding surgery and other medical procedures.   Do you want to take less anxiety medication before, less anesthesia during, and less pain medication afterwards?  Do you want to recover faster and side-step the effects of so many medications?  Do you want to avoid the “brain fog” that often hangs on for weeks and weeks after surgery?  Then go HERE and order your surgery headphones!


Surgery with Music Series Post #20: How difficult is it to find the pre-programmed headphones for surgery?


 If you have just found out that you need surgery for any given condition, you’ll want to get the headphones as soon as possible.  Having the ability to listen to this music for an hour or so a day leading up to the surgery will allow you to condition your body to relax when the music starts. 

It’s also good to be able to let your doctor know that you want to use music during the surgery in case he has questions about doing this.  Although most doctors are fine with the idea once they understand the considerable research behind them, some doctors will balk.  A few people have reported that their doctor allowed them to wear the headphones until the surgery and immediately afterwards, but not during. 

If you are going to a large, cutting-edge facility, it’s possible that they will already have the headphones ready to go for you, but in smaller communities and hospitals, you’ll probably have to bring your own!  As I said above, though, just be sure to let the doctor you’ll be bringing in your own music and player.

The only surgery that the headphones might not work for would be brain surgery and even then they could possibly be worn.  Anything new always has many skeptics at first, but these surgical serenity headphones are rapidly gaining credibility in the medical world.  I think the fact that the Cleveland Clinic has brought be in to do a Grand Rounds presentation is proof enough that they are a great idea!

Even if your surgery is less than a week away, I can probably get them to you if you’re willing to pay overnight postage.  Just go to and you can order either the headphones or a download of my proprietary music, chosen especially for it’s characteristics.  You can put the music on your own iPod or MP3 player if you prefer, but the cordless headphones are the easiest and most convenient!  Best wishes on your procedure!

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