Root Canal!!! The most dreaded procedure of all.


Nobody wants to have a root canal, right?  I’ve had one; actually I’ve had 3, but they were all in one tooth, because some teeth, molars, have four roots.  They are definitely no fun, but with enough novocaine and nitrous oxide, I got thru it.  But who wants to be filled with novocaine and nitrous oxide.  Numerous people have now used our headphones for major and minor dental procedure and they rave about the positive results, compared to previous interventions.  Dentistry was actually one of the first professions to use the headphones back in the 50’s.  It was called audio anesthesia and my dentist gave them to me.  Needless to say, they were nothing like our solution.  They were huge and clunky and had a five-foot long cord that everyone in the room was tripping over.  I liked them, but they were heavy.

Listen as Suzanne tells her experience of using the Surgical Serenity Solution with her root canal.



Abdominal aeortic aneurysm: Music Made a Huge Difference!


An abdominal aeortic aneurysm is a very dangerous condition.  According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Tears in the wall of the aorta (dissection) are the main complications of abdominal aortic aneurysm. A ruptured aortic aneurysm can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. In general, the larger the aneurysm, the greater the risk of rupture.”

Walking around with any kind of aneurysm is frightening and stress and anxiety is inevitable.  This 70-year old gentleman had read about the Surgical Serenity Solution online and was very eager to give them a try for his upcoming surgery.

Like the vast majority of our customers, he had a very positive experience and was eager to return to my office and tell me about it!  Listen as he relates what happened to him!



British Journal reports on study: Music with Surgery


I’m interrupting my 30-day blog series on Music with Surgery, to announce a huge study that came out yesterday from the British Journal, the “Lancet.”  This exciting new study from Lancet on music with surgery is literally “just what the Dr. ordered!”  This was particularly exciting for us because we have been researching music with surgery since 1990 and got a US Patent in 2008 on a process for choosing the ideal music for before, during and after surgery, no matter what the genre.

Here are some of the postive and exciting findings that they reported:


We identified 4261 titles and abstracts, and included 73 RCTs in the systematic review, with size varying between 20 and 458 participants. Choice of music, timing, and duration varied. Comparators included routine care, headphones with no music, white noise, and undisturbed bed rest. Music reduced postoperative pain (SMD −0·77

[95% CI −0·99 to −0·56]), anxiety (−0·68 [–0·95 to −0·41]), and analgesia use (−0·37 [–0·54 to −0·20]), and increased patient satisfaction (1·09 [0·51 to 1·68]), but length of stay did not differ (SMD −0·11 [–0·35 to 0·12]). Subgroup analyses showed that choice of music and timing of delivery made little difference to outcomes. Meta-regression identified no causes of heterogeneity in eight variables assessed. Music was effective even when patients were under general anaesthetic.


Music could be offered as a way to help patients reduce pain and anxiety during the postoperative period. Timing and delivery can be adapted to individual clinical settings and medical teams.”

I hope that all of my readers will help us to spread this wonderful news.  We hope to be in 6 new hospitals by the end of 2015!  Please help us get the word out.


Music with a Breast Biopsy Surgery


Let’s be honest, getting a biopsy of any kind is pretty scary!  One of the things that fear does to you is to cause your muscles to tense up, your breathing to become shallow, and your heart rate to race.  Sometimes blood pressure goes up, sometimes is goes down too far.  Going in to a biopsy, you don’t know if you’ll get a clear bill or health or if doctor will say you’re going to have to have surgery!

I’ve worked with many women who had to have a breast biopsy.  I had to have one myself!  Susan was a lady in her 50’s and reported that she’s an anxious person anyway.  She contacted me when her MD said that he felt it would be wise to do a biopsy and perhaps a lumpectomy.  Listen to Susan recount her experience:

The proof’s in the pudding!  Susan is one of our many success stories!  If you are having surgery of any kind, please consider doing yourself a favor and use the Surgical Serenity Solutions!


Having a hysterectomy? This woman felt it made the procedure a very different experience!


Each year approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States, i.e. a little more than one uterus for every minute of the year.Oct 3, 2014.  Sadly, experts reports that as many as two-thirds of them are unnecessary!  The hysterectomy is a traumatic surgery for women because it represents the abrupt cessation of the women to give birth, whether she has had children in the past or whether she never had any but had hoped to!

As a result, the woman who is about to have a hysterectomy for whatever reason, is in a uniquely fragile state, both psychologically and physiologically.  The woman who is about to have a hysterectomy needs to be taken care of with lots of love and attention.  This woman is a perfect candidate for music before, during and after her surgery.  Such a woman was “Mary.”  Mary had never given birth, but had wanted to before divorce and severe fibroids took away her options.  Mary did everything she knew to do to avoid having a hysterectomy, but at age 53, her periods brought such severe pain and cramps that she could stand the pain no longer.

Mary loved music and when she heard that someone would help her choose her own favorite soothing music and create a CD just for her surgery, she knew this was something she wanted to do.  Mary had a history of bad experiences with anesthesia because as a small person, it didn’t take much at all to put her to sleep.  So she came to me, and together we put together about 60 minutes of her favorite classical music that would loop until she woke up in the recovery room.

Her first comment after she was back in her hospital room, was that the music had been wonderfully orienting to her when she began to wake up in recovery, groggy and confused.  She reported that she had much less nausea and vomiting than previous surgeries and that she felt that the music had made a previously untolerable procedure, a tolerable one, and one that she was very glad to have over with.

This was before we had created the actual Surgical Serenity Solution, and was a precursor to the cordless, pre-programmed headphones.


Really?? Music DURING Surgery? Yes!!


Recently, there has been a lot in the popular press (Huffington Post, etc) about the fact that so many surgeons play music during surgery and that it actually does help them to cut and stitch faster and more accurately.  This is wonderful news!  But is the patient just lying there, anesthetized, not aware of the surgeon’s music?

Anecdotal reports abound from patients who say that, even though they were under general anesthesia, they heard conversations that they wish they had not heard.  Statements such as “oh, it’s worse than we thought,” or “this lady is not going to last very long with that tumor.”  People report that, even under general anesthesia, they heard the drill, the hammers, and the saws that replaced the knee, the hip or the shoulder joints.

Not only do patients often hear these anxiety-provoking sounds, but their bodies do respond to the music that the surgeon is playing.  Now there are many surgeons that play perfectly wondering music, but often it is upbeat and loud and with lyrics that are not positive in nature.  One local surgeon was reported to play the Queen song, “Another One Bites the Dust!”  I would be furious if I thought my surgeon was listening to that!

Now we have numerous studies that document benefits of music DURING surgery:

1.  “Music Eases the Stress of Surgery”  Damir Janigro, Neuroscientist, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Results: Listening to melodic music decreased the activity of individual neurons in the deep brain, says Janigro, adding that the physical responses to the calming music ranged from patients’ closing their eyes to falling asleep. Some patients even settled into a nice round of snoring. And when lead neurosurgeon Ali Rezai needed patients to perform an action, such as lifting a limb, during the procedures, he simply removed their earphones and relayed instructions. Once the music resumed, patients returned to their snoozing

Conclusion: With the right music patients can be more relaxed in the operating room. And that relaxation may mean not only that procedures involve less medication — to control blood pressure, which increases with stress — but perhaps that patients have quicker recovery times and shorter hospital stays. Janigro anticipates that following institutional approval, music will be used during certain neurosurgical procedures at the clinic as early as 2010. He hopes other hospitals will soon follow Cleveland’s lead. “This type of surgery can be a traumatizing experience, and using music can decrease anxiety,” he notes.

2. ” Listening to Music decreases the Need for Sedative Medication during Colonoscopy” Department of Gastroenterology, Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode 673 008, Kerala Published: Indian J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan-Feb;25(1):3-5

3.  “How music therapy may benefit surgery patients” SCOPE blog of Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers (from the University of Kentucky, Dept of Music Therapy) say that music selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines should be followed to maximize the positive effect on patients, however the patient’s musical tastes should still be considered.

The researchers suggest that several playlists be offered so the patient can choose the one that best suits their tastes.

The researchers also note that the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music should be carefully controlled to maximize the positive effect. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients, they said.

– See more at:

Tomorrow’s post will review the use of music during recovery!



Have you seen the research? Check it out! Pre-surgical music results


When I was designing the choosing the music that I felt would be most helpful pre-surgery, I had three primary goals:

  • Calm the patient to reduce anxiety medication
  • Provide calming music through comfortable, lightweight headphones to decrease external negative stimuli
  • Calm the patient with soothing, steady music, so that when they get to surgery, they will need less anesthesia, having been significantly calmed through the music

Apparently, I am not the only one who has thought of that; there are quite a few studies out there on this exact thing and I would like to give you the citations for some of the best of them.

All of these studies were looking at calming and relaxing the patient before surgery with music, and all achieved this goal!  With increased emphasis on patient satisfaction and non-chemical interventions, the Surgical Serenity Solution is destined to be in hospitals around the world within the next decade!

Yes, there is lots of different pre-existing music that would fill the bill, and yes, you can create your own playlist and take it into surgery on an iPod.  But why not let a clinical musicologist do it for you?  I’ve spent nearly 50 years of my life studying all kinds of music and the effect it has on the human body.  I’ve put it on lightweight cordless headphones for you and they’re ready to go!  iPods are covered with germs, unless you buy yourself a brand-new one.  Also the cord that connects it to ear-buds or corded headphones can get tangled with other OR equipment and block the airway if an emergency emergency airway needs to be created.

The proof is there!  Get your headphones now!  


The Magic of Rhythmic Entrainment


Have you heard of rhythmic entrainment?   Most people have not, but it is at the heart of the Surgical Serenity Solution.  It may sound complicated and mysterious, but actually, it’s quite straightforward!  You know how you feel when you walk into a room and some really powerful, rhythmic music is playing?  Or you’re sitting in a concert and one of your favorite upbeat songs starts playing.  You cannot resist moving to that music!  It sucks you in and you’re happy when you start to move to it!  THAT is rhythmic entrainment.  It was so-named back in the 17th century when it was discovered in a lab by a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens.

Huygens observed in his laboratory that metronomes set to ticking would eventually all be ticking together!  Rhythmic entrainment is so powerful that it happens with inanimate objects as well as with living beings, human and animal.  It is a VERY powerful phenomenon!

The human body tends to entrain with any powerful rhythm that is in their environment.  Even when that rhythm is erratic, as in an MRI machine, the body tries to find a pattern that makes sense with some.  The body easily entrains with a steady, strong beat.  That’s why music that has a stead 4/4 beat is so easy to march or clap to.  Classic rock is full of strong 4/4 tempos.  What does this have to do with the Surgical Serenity Solution?

The reason is that rhythmic entrainment works with a slow pulse as well as a fast one.  Again, whether the body is aleep or awake, the heart and breathing will tend to synchronize with a strong, steady pulse, entering the brain through the 8th cranial nerve.  The music comes through lightweight, cordless headphones and works like a charm.  So far, we’ve had people from all over the U.S., Canada and many European countries, Australia and New Zealand, order and successfully use the Surgical Serenity Solution!  Will you be next?


The Surgical Serenity Solution works!! Here’s the proof!


I understand.  If you’re going to spend almost $200 on something to help you have a more successful surgery, you really want to know that it works!  Do we have proof?  Yes!  We have proof that our Surgical Serenity Solution has help hundreds of people to get through difficult surgeries with less anxiety and less pain.  You can hear some of the patients talking about their experiences here:

Not only have our patients raved about the headphones, but we have surgeons and anesthesiologists who are pleasantly surprised at the benefit the patients are reporting after a variety of procedures ranging from a C-section to major heart surgery and joint replacement surgeries.  Listen to the actual patients describing what the experience was like for then!


More FAQs about the Surgical Serenity Solution


We started selling our Surgical Serenity Solution in April of 2009.  From the moment we began letting the public know about our method for decreasing anxiety before surgery and thereby decreasing the need for as much anesthesia, people immediately “got it” and began ordering the pre-programmed headphones and proprietary music.

Certain questions come up over and over, so I thought I’d do a new post for you, outlining some of the basic questions that people want to know about the headphones.

1.  Are you sure the doctor will let me take these headphones into surgery?

99% of doctors let their patients take our headphones into surgery.  Our downloadable article on “Talking to you doctor about using music in surgery” goes a long way in allaying their fears.  Occasionally a doctor says that he’s worried about an electrical arc between cauterizing tools and the headphones, but anesthesiologists have assured us that it’s much more likely to occur with corded headphones than our cordless headphones.  They’ve now been used in hundreds of different surgeries and it’s never happened!  But you really do need to mention this in advance and not just bring them at the last minute.

2.  What’s the point of having music during my surgery if I’m asleep with general anesthesia?

Medical studies and patient case histories document that the patient “hears” and responds, even if subconsciously, to sound that go on in surgery.  Joint replacement surgery includes hammering, drilling, and sawing.  Those sounds and vibrations enter the patients body and subconscious, so having soothing, calm music entering your brain through the 8th cranial nerve is a huge plus.  In addition, the body rhythms of heart beat and breathing, entrain or synchronize to the pulse of the music, even if you’re under general anesthesia or in a coma.  This phenomenon of rhythmic entrainment is at the heart of the Surgical Serenity Solutions.

3.  Isn’t it better if I pick my own favorite music for my surgery?

If you are a professional musician, a music therapist, or a seasoned amateur, you probably could choose your own music.  But then, do you have access to a lightweight, behind the neck, cordless, programmable headset?  There is only one company that makes these headphones, and as I mentioned above, anything with a cord or wire is more prone to creating an electrical arc.

4.  I’ve heard that the surgeon will be playing his own favorite music.  Won’t that interfere?

That’s the beauty of the patient wearing headphones.  With the patients ears covered, the music is entering their brain through the 8th cranial nerve and greatly muffling the sounds of either surgeons’ music or staff conversations that the patient doesn’t need/want to hear.  Many surgeons still operate on the assumption that patient is “asleep” to their music and conversations, but case studies tell us frquently that patients do hear a disturbing amount.  A surgeon here in Louisville, KY was reported to be playing “Another One Bites the Dust” by QUEEN.  Do YOU want that to be playing during your surgery?

5.  My surgery is going to last for 5-6 hours.  Will the music last that long?

Our proprietary playlist is about 90 minutes long.  It is set to loop over and over on the headphones and the headphones have been know to play 18-20 hours on one battery charge.  So yes, a 5-6 hour surgery would not be a problem at all!

I hope that we’ve answered some of your most concerning questions.  If you have others, you can contact me through this blog and I will get back to you promptly!  Thank you for learning more about the Surgical Serenity Solutions!

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