Surgical Serenity Solutions: Ideal music delivery

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While reading through some new research this morning, on the benefits of music before, during and after surgery, I came across several patients who commented that although some “pretty music” was playing in the operating room during their procedure, they couldn’t hear it very well.  I wonder why?  Some of the things that could very well be going on in the OR would be:

  • Lots of beeping from lots of different medical device machines
  • Lots of conversation between surgeon, nurses, assistants
  • Sawing, hammering and drilling if it’s a joint replacement
  • The music chosen by the surgeon, which is probably loud and upbeat…not what you want if you’re the patient!

Sooooo, why did we decide to find some fabulous cordless headphones?  So many great reasons:

  • Programmable unit is totally self-contained
  • Our proprietary, scientifically tested, highly-praised music comes loaded on the headphones, but
  • You can add your own favorite music, if you wish!
  • There are no cords dangling around neck to tangle with other equipment
  • The headphones block the distracting conversations and unpleasant sound of surgery

If you’ve just found out that you need surgery, you’re probably scared and anxious.  If you’ve never had surgery, you don’t know what to expect.  If you have had surgery but had a bad experience, or a negative reaction to anesthesia, then you are even more fearful of going through this again.  Do yourself a favor!  Order the Surgical Serenity Solution now, download the free “How to Talk with Your Doctor about Using Music During Surgery,” and start getting proactive.  Thousands of people have had music during their surgical experience and those that used the headphones simply rave about how easy they were and how much they helped!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

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Three Questions you’ll want to ask when considering Surgical Serenity Solutions? Some FAQs

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The concept of using music for the patient during surgery is still a new concept for many people.  But the research is coming in!  Even when you are asleep from anesthesia, your body STILL responds to the slow, steady pulse of the right music!  How do I know this?  Because I am a clinical musicologist who has spent the past 25 years studying this phenomenon and helping surgery patients create their own playlists from their favorite music, and then creating the Surgical Serenity Solution for those that either don’t have time to choose their own preferred music or would rather get something that is ready to go and proven effective!!  Here are some more of the questions I often get:

Q1.  Why should I use music before, during and after surgery if I’ll be asleep anyway?

A1.  When you listen to soothing, steady, instrumental music before surgery (or other anxiety-provoking medical procedure) research documents measurable decreases in anxiety medications; when music continues into surgery, there is not only less anesthesia, but stabilized blood pressure, body temp, heart rate and respiration rate.  The body synchronizes with the slow, steady tempo of the music and has a lower report of pain perception.  After surgery, into the recovery room, the patient awakens with less nausea and vomiting, better oriented to time and place, and requiring less pain medication!  This is big!

Q2.  How can talk to my doctor about wanting to use the Surgical Serenity Solution?

A2.  If you go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com, you will see a link to the blog.  Click on that and in the right-hand margin you will see a link to our complimentary report “How to Talk with your Doctor about using Music in Surgery.”  The brief report includes research studies that have been done, documenting all the positive benefits to patient when the right kind of music is used during surgery.

Q3.  Why can’t I just bring my own iPod with earbuds of headphones?

A3.  You can probably do this, but then the surgical team has to try and avoid the cord that is hanging down to connect iPod with headphones or earbuds.  Our pre-programmed headphones are totally cordless and do not transmit any signal that could interfere with other devices in OR.  Also, our headphones will be brand-new for you and completely sanitized and disinfected.  And while your music may be favorite music and enjoyable, our proprietary classical blend has been specifically chosen to entrain or synchronize with your heart-rate and breathing.

At the request of many potential surgery patients, I will be publishing more of these Q and As so let me know what YOUR questions are!

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Will MY hospital have these Surgical Serenity headphones for me?

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prepare.surgeryIf you are going to one of the cutting edge hospitals in the U.S. (and we’re not allowed to name the hospitals who have them waiting for you at this point) you might very well find the headphones there.  Four of the largest hospital systems in the world either have the headphones or are seriously considering them for their patients.  All you need to do is ask your surgeon if the hospital where your procedure is being done, utilizes the Surgical Serenity Solutions.  He should know immediately whether they do or don’t.

One of the main reasons I had the idea to create pre-programmed, cordless headphones for the patient was for the patients convenience.  I know that when I had surgery 20 years ago, I did not have a lot of advance notice.  I was literally up all night the night before my back surgery, creating three cassette tapes for before, during and after my surgery.  Because I was a clinical musicologist even then, I knew the benefits of steady, soothing, instrumental music in the surgical process.  My surgeon was fascinated by all of this, and even though I used a Walkman, connected to headphones with a wire, the surgeon and anesthesiologist allow this in the OR.

In 2005, when the idea to create programmed, cordless headphones was born, one of my main reasons was so that patients who were likely already in pain and quite fearful of going under general anesthesia, could have easy access to music for their surgery that had been tested and approved by hundreds of people.  Now we have this!

The headphones are getting national attention now and I do believe that one day they will be standard equipment in all hospitals.  If your hospital does not have them waiting for you, please order yours now!!  You will be so glad that you did!

To order:  www.SurgicalHeadphones.com

 

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Entrainment vs. Entertainment

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People often ask me, when they first see the word “entrainment” if I meant “entertainment.”  We all know what entertainment is, and because I am a performing musician, people assume that I have misspelled the word entertainment, but no, entrainment is very, very different!

Think of a time when you went to a concert of any kind and when the music started, the rhythmic nature of it made you start clapping, tapping or moving your whole body in synch with the rhythm!  That’s entrainment!  The phenomenon of entrainment was named in

In the Journal “Cortex” this was written as the abstract of an article on entrainment:

Wherever human beings live, and however they may organize their affairs, they gather

from time to time to sing and dance together, often in a ritual setting. In doing so they

synchronize their voices and bodily movements to a shared, repeating interval of time, the

musical pulse, beat or tactus.  We take this capacity to “entrain” to an evenly paced stimulus.

(isochrony) so much for granted that it may come as a surprise to learn that from

a biological point of view such behavior is exceptional. But it is not altogether unique.

 So how does this apply to surgery?  One of the reasons that music is so powerful during surgery is that the pulse of the music entrains your heartbeat and breathing, even when you’re under general anesthesia.  Many people believe that when you’re under anesthesia you can’t actually “hear” the music.  That’s where the difference between entertainment and  entrainment comes in.

The idea began to take shape in my mind that some people in comas had been observed for years, tapping a toe or foot or finger, in rhythm with music being played or sung in the room.  Some people would awaken from lengthy comas, reporting that they ha indeed heard and appreciated music that was played or sung to them while in a coma.

After researching similar phenomena during surgery, I found that hundreds of people each year awaken from general anesthesia saying that they heard not only conversations during their surgery, but also music that was being played through speakers.  They also heard, during certain surgeries, the sound of drills, hammers and saws!!  This is when I began wondering if music that would start the entrainment process, played through super-lightweight headphones, might not be a wonderful thing.

Today, our Surgical Serenity Solution consists of just that.  After researching the very best music for entrainment, I have come up with a playlist that is soothing, comforting, and starts the entrainment process.  If you are having surgery in the near future, please consider getting yourself some!

 

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New research study on the use of music and reassuring words during surgery

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Just important might reassuring music or reassuring words be to you during the surgical process?  Quite a bit, according to a study that just came out of Sweden.   Why do people utter words of reassurance?  Why do people like hearing words of reassurance?  When undergoing a medical procedure that is potentially painful, we tend to give our power to the doctor and the medical staff.  If they reassure us that it probably will turn out well, or that the pain will be brief of even not that painful, we like that!

Add some soothing music to the formula and it’s going to be even better!  Check out this new study that verifies that this is really true!  🙂  Enjoy!

“(NewsFix) Women who heard relaxing music and reassuring words during an operation made a much better recovery than those who did not.
Although you are unconscious during surgery, the brain may still be aware – at some level – of what’s going on around you. Researchers at Orebro Medical Center Hospital in Sweden have demonstrated this to dramatic effect. A group of 90 women undergoing hysterectomies were assigned to either relaxing music, reassuring words and music, or the usual sounds of the operating theatre.

Those exposed to music along with the soothing sound of ocean waves – with or without reassuring words – experienced less post-operative pain and fatigue and were able to sit up sooner after surgery than those who did not hear music. They also felt better when they got home. But there were no benefits in terms of length of hospital stay, nausea or bowel function.

Since playing music and saying reassuring words is simple and inexpensive, there’s not reason not to try it out with all surgical patients, say the researchers. At the very least, it would blot out any worrying comments being made by the medical team which might be picked up – at some level – by the patient.”

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Fear of Surgery: is it holding you back?

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Let me start by saying:  fear of surgery is not unusual!  Nor is it wrong, or silly, or stupid.  Actually, I think that someone who had just been told they need surgery, would be foolish simply to accept that blindly.   I’ve had surgery numerous times, unfortunately, but obviously I survived!

No one wants their body to be cut on! Nobody in their right mind, but sometimes, the doctor needs to go in and repair something, remove something, or perhaps, just improve it.   In that case, you’re going to need to have surgery.

I’m a great believer in educating yourself and now that we have Google and Bing and other search engines, you can quickly get lots of quality information on most any subject imaginable.  Many people take the ostrich approach and bury their heads in the sand, thinking that if they can just ignore their physical problem it will go away…but it never does!

What if you could be reassured enough to go ahead and have your surgery done and put it behind you?  Many people neglect their surgery because they are truly afraid that they won’t wake up from anesthesia and will never see family and friends again.  Others fear the pain that will invariably result from cutting into the body.  But did you know, that when music is put into your brain, through headphones, anesthesia and pain medication can sometimes be cut in half!!  Yes, this is what research in the fields of music therapy, nursing, surgery and music medicine have shown.  Even if you don’t require 50% less anesthesia and pain medication, you will require less of each, and the less medication you require, the more like you will awaken from surgery and get back to your life.

If you’re interested in knowing more about this, go to Surgical Serenity Solutions and begin educating yourself about music with surgery!

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Reactions to anesthesia during surgery

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Yes, occasionally people do react adversely to anesthesia during a surgical or medical procedure.  If you’ve been healthy all of your life and never needed to take anesthesia or pain medication, how would you know?

I just heard a dear lady on TV say that she almost lost her husband to an anesthesia reaction, when the surgery was over and he was in the recovery area.  She was sitting beside him and just noticed that he was getting white as a sheet.  She called the doctors and his blood pressure was dropping rapidly.  If she had not observed this, he might have died.

How could music possibly make a difference?   I’ll tell you!  In the scientific research into how music affects the body, we learn about the process of entrainment.  Entrainment is a scientifically documented phenomenon wherein the  pulse of the music synchronizes the body rhythms, (heart rate and breathing) to the pulse of the music.  When the patient is hearing slow, steady soothing music before, during and after his procedure, there is a very good chance that his heart rate, breathing and blood pressure will stabilize and the patient will require less anesthesia and pain medication to stay comfortable.

Research in music therapy, nursing, anesthesiology and other fields is documenting this all over the world.  There are a few hospitals that actually have music therapists playing live music for the patient.  If this is not an option for you, please check out the pre-programmed, Surgical Serenity Headphones and Music.  They are already in use at Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and VA hospitals.  Let me know if I can help you!

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My Journey Into Using Music During Surgery

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For years, even  decades, I heard about people who used music during their surgical procedures.  I was always fascinated, being a musician and music-lover, exactly how this worked.  No one would really give me a straight answer about this and so eventually, I decided it must be a rare and esoteric experience that once could only get in New York, L.A., or perhaps Paris.  Little did I know, for the longest time, that there really was no particular method for getting your surgeon to provide music during your surgery.  And because I had never had surgery (except some relatively minor dental surgery) I wasn’t too concerned about it.

All of that changed in late summer of 1975 when I found that I would be having a baby in April of 1976.  Although I was happy and excited about this news, my mind went immediately to labor and delivery and what the pain management options would be.  I had heard my mother’s not-so-pleasant experience in the hospitals of 1948 when I was born, and I surely did not want to repeat her experience.  She was given scopolamine for her labor which lasted something crazy like two days.  At the end, she was completely knocked out and didn’t even see me until I was several days old!

Even though I knew that they didn’t even use that drug anymore for labor and delivery, I also didn’t want anyone sticking a needle in my back and accidentally hitting a nerve that would send me through the roof.  I decided then and there that I would use natural childbirth, the Lamaze method, and supplement that with music.  In 1976 that was really not so easy to do.  First of all, there were no CD’s or iPods, but only records and record-players and the hospital was not going to let anyone drag in their record player from home!  There were cassette tapes by then, but the music I wanted I didn’t own and it wasn’t that easy to make your own at that point.

Jump to 1990:  I had just gotten my Ph.D. in musicology and landed at dream job at the University School of Medicine as Coordinator of Music and Medicine.   Again, I began hearing about the use of music during surgery an reading everything I could get my hands on!  By 1993, I was speaking quite a bit about the “Healing Power of Music” and beginning to emphasize the benefits of music during surgery using that tapes that I was helping people put together before their surgeries.

Jump to 2005:  By then, I had probably helped hundreds of people to create their own tapes and then CD’s for surgery.  Now I was beginning to think, why couldn’t someone create headphones for surgery that were already programmed with the ideal, calm, steady, soothing music, that research has documented that people need less anesthesia, pain medication, etc. and recover faster as a result of less medication, and get back to their lives, happier and healthier!

Today, in September of 2013, these headphones are selling all over the world.  We began by selling them to the patients exclusively, but now we are actively selling them to hospitals and they are beginning to purchase them by the hundreds.  If you are contemplating surgery or if you have surgery scheduled, you need to order them NOW.  We can overnight them to you anywhere in the continental US, but don’t delay!  Go to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com.  They can be used for general anesthesia procedures as well as labor and delivery, dental surgery, cosmetic procedures of any kind, and simply for calming down and relaxing.  Go to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com right now!  Thank you!

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You’ve just found out you need surgery? Now what?

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No one wants to have surgery.  But some people are so terrified of “going under the knife” and “having general anesthesia,” that they put off needed surgery because of this fear.  The good news is, today there are so many resources with accurate and easy-to-understand information that people can get much-needed and reassuring information about what goes on during the procedure they need.

One of the many things that people can do is to use music before, during and after the procedure.  Using your favorite soothing, comforting music before surgery can calm you down and begin to relax your body so that it takes less anesthesia to put you to sleep.  If you’re particularly sensitive to anesthesia this is really an excellent idea!  If you’re able to put different music on your iPod, the music for surgery should ideally be purely instrumental and have a steady tempo, close to the tempo of the healthy resting heartbeat.  Choose your favorite genre and practice listening to it and relaxing before your surgery.

For the recovery room, chose something that is just slightly more upbeat, but still gentle.  When you’re listening through headphones, you will not only be putting this soothing music directly into your brain through the 8th cranial nerve.  This also blocks out operating room sounds that can be quite disconcerting.  Especially if you happen to be having joint  replacement surgery, you can hear hammering, drilling and even sawing!  Having soothing music in your ear, through headphones can be a real blessing!

Don’t have the time or the knowledge to create a playlist for surgery?  You’re in luck!  I’ve already done it for you.  Just go to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com and you can purchase either the cordless, pre-programmed headphones, or you can just purchase the download for your own MP3 device or iPod.  Let me know if you have questions!

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Benefits of Surgery with Music: Medical Research Documents

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As the word spreads about your options for using music during surgery, the studies come out, documenting the benefits, and the list of benefits grows and grows.   Here are a few of the main benefits for the patient having general anesthesia:

For the patient:  Slow, steady, and soothing instrumental music can

  • Decrease anxiety and the need for as much anxiety medication
  • Decrease the amount of propofol needed as a result of patients level of relaxation
  • Decrease the amount of pain medication needed during and after surgery
  • Decrease the amount of time in the recovery area as a result of
  • Less nausea and vomiting
  • Less dizziness and confusion
  • Faster recovery and back to work because of less anesthesia

For the surgeon:  Upbeat, steady tempo, instrumental music can

  • Improve focus
  • Maintain energy level
  • Decrease distractability

For the hospital:  Benefits of using separate music for patient and surgeon

  • Safer procedures with less side-effects
  • Patients safely discharged sooner because of less anesthesia and pain meds
  • Customer satisfaction sky-rockets
  • More patients are able to be seen during the day

My sincerest hope is that one day all hospitals will use music in their operating rooms to soothe and comfort the patient in a natural and effective way, through cordless, pre-programmed headphones, while the surgeon has his favorite upbeat music that allows him to have a laser focus and plenty of energy through speakers in the OR.  There is ample research to document all of these benefits.  Click HERE to see a presentation on Music with Surgery.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

 

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