About DrAlice

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.
"Tune Your Life with Music!"

Would you like your local hospital to offer music through headphones for surgery?

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Would you like for your local hospital to offer music through headphones for surgery? I’ve been working in this field for over 25 years now and I think the answer is a resounding “YES!”  Patients who go to the hospital or Ambulatory Care Center for a colonoscopy, a joint replacement surgery or cataract surgery, definitely want to be a comfortable and pain-free as possible.

For decades now, doctors, hospitals, and medical researchers have been conducting studies that show beyond the shadow of a doubt that music is powerful and positive in its ability to decrease anxiety, pain perception, and therefore, medication reduction.  But right now, the hospitals that are offering music therapy are doing so only when music therapists are available to provide live music and create a relationship with that patient.

Music therapists are awesome and do amazing work, but there are not nearly enough to go around. You might say that music therapists are the “gold standard” but when a patient is anxious, fearful, and possibly in pain, Music Medicine is the go-to!  And what exactly is Music Medicine, you ask?  Music Medicine is an intervention that is offered by any caregiver when they provide soothing music that patient can entrain with, through cordless headphones or earbuds.  It is so easy and effective that every hospital on the planet could be doing this right now with very little expense.

For years I have been offering pre-loaded, cordless headphones on my website, Surgical Serenity Solutions, and now I am also offering just the powerful proprietary music that I have put together over the past 25 years.  To purchase one of our playlists, go to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store on you smartphone or tablet and listen to the samples, then choose the playlists you like best.

This music has been studied and tested by anesthesiologists and surgeons in Louisville, KY and the published a study that you can read HERE. This study found that patients who were listening to the this music through cordless headphones, experienced 20% less pain perception than those who did not listen to music through headphones. We were so excited, but not surprised.

In addition, I am creating a consulting option for hospitals that want to understand how THEY can get music working for their patients in their hospital.

All five playlists will be available for licensing at a very reasonable price.

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I’d like to invite you to be part of my Music Medicine group on Facebook!

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About a week ago I decided it was high time to create a group for people that believe in the power of music during surgery and other medical procedures.  I started out by posting some of the most powerful research studies, videos and testimonials who have used Surgical Serenity Solutions to get through their procedure.  I’ve already got almost 100 user, but I’d really like to have YOU!!  If you’re already on Facebook just click below, so that we might answer your questions, as well as benefit from your experience! Thanks!

Music Medicine for Hospital and Surgery Centers and their patients
Private group · 32 members
 

Join Group

 

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How Music Can Help with Covid-19 patients in the ICU

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Patient listening to soothing music through headphones while awaiting surgeryCan music actually make a difference in patients suffering from Covid-19?  Of course!  Music can help almost anyone who responds positively to music.  Of course taste in music must be considered.  Some people can respond positively to many different types of music and others can only tolerate a very specific types of music.The important thing is to offer the patient a choice of soothing music and then provide it to them through Bluetooth headphones or earbuds.

We know that music provides a pleasant distraction to humans. Whether it’s familiar or unfamiliar doesn’t always matter, but when you’re lying in a hospital with a high fever and having trouble breathing, music can definitely help calm you down while you’re waiting for the medical treatment to start helping.

There have actually been many medical studies conducted on the benefits of music therapy for people on ventilators and the results are almost always beneficial. Music with a slow, steady rhythm has the ability to affect the body physiologically and calm the symptoms of anxiety such as extremely tense muscles, rapid, shallow breathing, and racing pulse and heartbeat.

All of these physiological symptoms make the thoughts race too, and usually the negative thoughts take over, which then increases the physiological symptoms.  Putting on headphones with soothing music can definitely break this cycle.

Right now, patients can download one or all of our therapeutic playlists at www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/buyanapp.  These apps are available in

  • Classical
  • Smooth Jazz
  • New Age
  • Lullabies
  • Memory Care

These playlists are already being used around the world and are bringing patients much-needed relief from the bad feelings that we experience when ill in the hospital. We also have recommeneded Bluetooth headphones on our website so that you can have your own headset and streaming playlists even if you’re recovering at home.

I’ve seen patients put on our headphones for the first time, over and over, and a big smile comes over their face and a huge sigh of relief!  Our calming, soothing music, entering the brain through the 8th cranial nerve, is just what they need at this moment and can decrease or even eliminate the need for more powerful medication.  Click HERE now to get yourself either the pre-loaded headphones or some recommended Bluetooth headphones.  Then click HERE to download one or ALL of the 5 soothing playlists!

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Last-minute chance to get my new book on Music with Surgery—complimentary for YOU

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Just wanted to let all of my readers know that until midnight tonight, not sure whether it’s EST or PST. Anyway, go NOW to Click Here.  You do not need a coupon or any special code.  Just be sure you have the free Kindle app and you’re ready to go!

If you like the book and are interested in getting more information about Music as Medicine, just send me your confirmation email, and I’ll send you another bonus that will help you implement a music intervention with any medical/dental procedure on your horizon.  But hurry now to Amazon!

preparing for surgery

Dr Cash’s book on surgery

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The Value of music for reducing anxiety in critically ill patients on ventilators

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I’m writing this during the Covid-19 pandemic.  People around the world are in ICUs on mechanical ventilators.  Imagine how terrifying that must be!  There are dozens of research studies that show that listening to music while in an ICU can reduce the anxiety of these patients.

For example, here is an article published in JAMA in 2015.

Doctors and medical facilities can do a lot for patient anxiety by providing music for them that is suitable for relaxation.  One problem that they face is that using a personal Pandora or Spotify account isn’t legal for use for multiple patients.

Cataract Surgery with Bluetooth headphones and Surgical Serenity Lullaby playlist

Patients in an ICU setting can greatly benefit from soothing music through headphones.

Also, headphones significantly help patients to mute outside sounds and therefore help reduce anxiety. Although medical facilities worry about bringing in headphones that aren’t sterile, there are ways to manage this situation, such as giving each patient his or her own headphone or using disposable earpiece covers.

These are times unlike most of us have seen in our lifetimes.  Anything we can do to help an individual with Covid-19 we need to do.

Our company, Surgical Serenity Solutions has a complete kit for providing patients in an ICU with the music they need.  Here to learn more about it!

Hospitals can now consult with Surgical Serenity Solutions about how to incorporate Music Medicine into their hospital procedures.

 

Consulting for Hospitals that want to integrate Music Medicine:

Today, hospitals around the world are recognizing the many, powerful benefits that music can bring to their patients.  New research is coming out every week on the powerful benefits of Music Medicine, which is pre-recorded music especially chosen to reduce anxiety and pain perception, listened to with headphones or earbuds. Dr Cash has spoken and consulted with hospitals around the world and can help YOUR hospital get up to speed with this cost-effective and powerful intervention.  Patient satisfaction scores rocket when soothing music through personal headphones is introduced.  Insurance companies (?) and Drs love it too, because patients are discharged faster with fewer re-admissions.

If you’re interested in discussing the potential of Music Medicine in your facility, please contact us here:

www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/contact-us.

In the meantime, stay well, if you possibly can!

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Surgical Serenity Jazz Playlist is Creating “Buzz”

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As soon as I wrote that title, I thought “Hmmm…maybe people could misinterpret that “buzz” word.  Of course what I’m talking about is that our Jazz playlists for surgery is getting lots of acclaim.  A lady contacted me last night saying that she had begun to run a low-grade fever and was feeling puny and depressed about the Covid-19 virus.  She decided to download one of the Serenity playlists and said that she couldn’t believe how soothing and comforting it was!  I wish I had recorded the phone call because she mentioned several things like “better than Valium” and how the saxophone just carried her to a whole different place where everything was beautiful and healthy and optimistic.  This was really exciting for me to hear because the Jazz Playlist is the only one that I specifically commissioned for Surgical Serenity since Jazz is not  style that I play.  Dozens have people have told me that they really do love it and that it is a “Go-To” when anxiety hits!  To get a download of the playlist, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/buyanapp.

Speaking to Drs about the power of rhythmic entrainment.

The instruments in this playlist are Piano, Saxophone, String Bass, and light drums with brushes.  The musicians are all international Jazz professionals with 30+ years experience each.  No wonder it turned out so well!  But the real key to why all of playlists work so well is that ingredient of rhythmic entrainment.  An article in “Science Direct” quotes these facts about rhythmic entrainment from:

Rhythmic entrainment as a musical affect induction mechanism

Rhythmic entrainment represents an affect induction mechanism.

Rhythmic entrainment occurs on the perceptual, autonomic, motor, and social level.

The basal ganglia play a key role in the link of rhythmic entrainment and affect.

Rhythmic entrainment supposedly induces positive valence and social dispositions.

Abstract

One especially important feature of metrical music is that it contains periodicities that listeners’ bodily rhythms can adapt to. Recent psychological frameworks have introduced the notion of rhythmic entrainment, among other mechanisms, as an emotion induction principle. In this review paper, we discuss rhythmic entrainment as an affect induction mechanism by differentiating four levels of entrainment in humans—perceptual, autonomic physiological, motor, and social—all of which could contribute to a subjective feeling component. We review the theoretical and empirical literature on rhythmic entrainment to music that supports the existence of these different levels of entrainment by describing the phenomena and characterizing the associated underlying brain processes. The goal of this review is to present the theoretical implications and empirical findings about rhythmic entrainment as an important principle at the basis of affect induction via music, since it rests upon the temporal dimension of music, which is a specificity of music as an affective stimulus.

So, although I certainly didn’t invent or discover rhythmic entrainment, Surgical Serenity Solutions was the first company to apply these principles to the surgical experience!  Get these playlists NOW at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/buyanapp.

Please let me know your questions or comments!

 

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Surgery with Music Blog Series, Post #18: Doctors from Major Hospitals believe in Surgery with Music

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Music with Surgery at Cleveland Clinic

Dr. David Friedman and Dr. Alice Cash

Many people want to know if doctors from major hospitals believe in surgery with music.  And the answer is…yes they do!  Why?  Because not only are there literally hundreds of studies documenting the decreases in patient anxiety, pain perception and anesthesia/sedation requirements, but doctors have seen with their own eyes what happens when a patient is listening to soothing music through headphones during the procedure.

One of my proudest moments was when I received an invitation from Cleveland Clinic Florida in 2011 to speak to their weekly Grand Rounds for Surgeons and Anesthesiologists!  I was honored to speak to a full house of surgeons and anesthesiologists and many, many of them had questions for me.

One of the biggest factors in my proprietary music is that component of rhythmic entrainment.  Physicians want to understand this 300-hundred year old named phenomenon which is a principle in physics.  Once they understand that this applies to the rhythms in the human body as well as other vibrating objects such as pendulums, and metronomes, it is easy to see that music with a slow, steady pulse can entrain the heartbeat and breathing.  When a patient is waiting for surgery, they often have rapid heartbeat and breathing.  The music, through headphones, stabilizes the heartbeat and breathing and in the process, the patient begins to stabilize and then require less anxiety medication, less anesthesia and less pain medication afterwards!  It’s a win-win for everyone!

And yes, they are also in use at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in their post-cardiac care unit!  The nurses there say that patients love the pre-loaded headphones and the soothing piano music that they hear.

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has been using one of our Cloud Kits for a couple of years now with surgical patients as well as endoscopies and endoscopies.  Patients and doctors both report a calmer pre-surgery area as well as a calmer and quieter post-surgical recovery area.  When Patients listen to our proprietary music all the way through their procedure, they typically recover faster and with fewer side-effects as a direct result of less medication throughout the process.

To download our five proprietary playlists, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/buyanapp.  To purchase my new book, “Having Surgery?  Using Music to Decrease Anxiety and Pain Perception,” go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/SurgeryBook.  Stay healthy!

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Surgery with Music: Bluetooth or Preloaded Headphones Post #19

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Over-ear headphones

These headphones can be paired with our streaming surgery playlists or be pre-loaded with one of our 5 playlists.

 

Hello friends!  If you are scheduled for surgery, dental work, or any anxiety-provoking medical procedures, then you are like considering using our Bluetooth or pre-loaded headphones.  My question to you is, which would you prefer?

Today, you have more choices than ever before.  Let me tell you a little about the benefits of each.

Pre-loaded headphones:

These headphones have micro-SD card slot in the headphone ear cups that can be loaded with our Classical Blend playlist, the Jazz playlist, the New Age playlist, the Lullaby playlist, or the Memory Care playlist.  These headphones also have Bluetooth capability, but when we load the SD card we recommend that you not use the Bluetooth function.  The headphones that are preloaded will cost a little more.

Bluetooth headphones:

This will be a high-quality Bluetooth headphones, but instead of being pre-loaded with our rhythmic entrainment music, you will use Bluetooth to stream one of purchased playlists from your Smartphone.   You need to be sure to let your doctor know that you plan to use therapeutic, rhythmic entrainment music during your procedure.Most physicians will be more than happy to allow you to bring music to your procedure than will calm and comfort you.  Anxiety is one of the first things that hospitals give you medication for when you arrive for your procedure, but when your have the Surgical Serenity music and headphones, you will likely be as calm and relaxed as they want you to be.

 

 

Headphones for Children

Pink Cat Headphones

For the toddler or young child who is feeling ill or preparing for surgery! An absolute delight!

And for the first time ever, we will have a children’s headset.  I am particularly excited about this headset because it will come pre-loaded with our Lullaby playlist and be ideal for the child who is not feeling well, hospitalized, or just needs some quiet time to calm down.  These adorable Kitty-Kat ear headphones will delight both parent and child.  This playlist is pre-loaded with 23 classic lullabies and will repeat continuously until it’s turned off!  I have a very limited number of these available but will ship you one of these if  you’ll contact me here or go to www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/products/  

I’ll probably be blogging a little more than usual as a result of staying home for “social distancing” so stay up to date on your choices for using music to deal with anxiety.  As always, let me know your questions too!

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Surgery with Music Blog Series, #17 “What do Hospital Administrators say about Our new book?”

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In the last 15 or 20 years, so much has been published in medical journals about the benefits for the patient of music during surgery.  When the patient is listening to music that incorporates rhythmic entrainment, through headphones, wonderful things begin to happen!  My colleagues in music therapy were very insistent that I offer some kind of choice in types of music to the patients.  Initially, the playlist was 50 minutes of classical piano music.  Of course I thought it was beautiful but not everyone likes classical music.  So, o.”ur second playlist was Smooth Jazz.  This was a playlist put together by jazz musicians friends of mine and it does incorporate rhythmic entrainment.  Then my friend Jonathan Goldman offered me a playlist of his beautiful New Age music that utilizes rhythmic entrainment.

Finally, I decided that the best way to disseminate all of the information about the power of music with surgery would be to write a book.  In December of 2019 I published “Having Surgery?  Using Music to reduce Anxiety and Pain Perception.”  I am doing the official “launch” of this book on January 27, Mozart’s birthday!  For a 3-day period you’ll be able to get my book for $1.99!!

Here is what a Vice-President of a hospital wrote:

preparing for surgery

Dr Cash’s book on surgery

It is rare to find a book that is as beneficial to clinicians as it is to patients and their caregivers.  Dr. Alice Cash’s Music for Surgery & Recovery: A Sound Approach to Reduced Anxiety and Faster Healing is such a work.  Laying out findings from her years of dedication to this field, Dr. Cash combines a wealth of useful advice, instructive and inspiring personal and patient stories, and perspectives on research.  The result?  A clear demonstration of how the experience of music correctly applied around the time of surgery and in other stressful situations can enhance resilience and improve both clinical outcomes and quality of life.

As head of clinical research, I worked with hospital administration for over two decades. The possibilities of music decreasing pain perception, especially in this time of the opioid crisis, and of increasing patient satisfaction, which is critically important to reimbursement, is especially exciting.

The organization of the book – moving from well-grounded practical advice for a wide variety of clinical scenarios to the history and science of music medicine to ways in which music can be integrated into medical environments – provides an engaging way both of going deeply into practice and theory and of finding needed concepts and specifics quickly and easily.  Kudos to Dr. Cash!

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Surgery with Music Blog Series, Post #16: What are your options for using headphones during your surgery?

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For almost 30 years now, I’ve been researching the benefits of the right music, through headphones,  during surgery.  What are the reasons for the patient having music during their surgery?  Here are a few of them:

  • Patient can have the ideal soothing, instrumental, rhythmic entrainment, music
  • Patient doesn’t hear the more upbeat music that surgeon has chosen
  • Patient enters into a sonic cocoon when putting on the headphones and begins to relax immediately
  • Patient doesn’t hear conversations in the OR that are sometimes upsetting to the patient

So where does the patient get these headphones?  There are two kinds of headphones available.  The first category is our pre-loaded headphones and inventory is extremely low because of their popularity!  These headphones can be found in two different models, one of which has a built-in MP3 player, and the other uses a built-in micro SD card.  Both of these headphones utilize the classical piano playlist, but any playlist can be loaded to it and we have 4 other playlists, perfectly suited for surgery (or dental procedures, medical test, or any anxiety-provoking procedure.)

Here is a picture of a patient wearing the pre-loaded headphones.  You can tell that he is perfectly comfortable and in the “sonic cocoon” that I mentioned earlier. As you can see also he is having a dental procedure.  Dental procedures are especially unpopular for most people because you never know when a nerve or sensitive area will be hit, accidentally of course.  Most people sit in the dental chair, gripping the chair tightly and just waiting for pain to hit!

 

 

Cataract Surgery with Bluetooth headphones and Surgical Serenity Lullaby playlist

Dr Cash’s cataract surgery using Bluetooth headphones and Surgical Serenity playlist

The other choice for music through headphones during surgery, would be Bluetooth headphones (or Bluetooth ear-buds) using our 5 Mobile apps in the App Store and Google Play Store.  The apps have been out for about six months and are being downloaded all over the world!  The downside as I see it, is that the Bluetooth headphones are just a tad clunky.  I decided to try them last week during my cataract surgery.  They were effective in transporting me to that “sonic cocoon,” and blocking out the conversations around me.  They also were quite comfortable, but when I look at the picture, they do look clunky.  I suppose that something that can be lived with.  Right now, some hospitals are providing Bluetooth headphones with our playlists, especially during joint replacement surgeries.  Orthopedic surgery is especially important for headphones because during the removal of the old knee, or hip, or shoulder, there is hammering, sawing, and drilling!!

Right now I am talking with several international Bluetooth headphone manufacturers about partnering with Surgical Serenity Solutions to provided a considerable discount on their Bluetooth headphones.  Stay tuned for more new on this story as I will choose the best headphone with the very best discount for our customers.

Thanks for sticking with us during the 30-day blog post series!  Please leave your comments and forward this to your friends and family!  See you tomorrow!

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