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?