Surgery with Music Blog Series, Post #14: Why Research into Music Intervention is so important!


In the post two weeks we’ve talked about all of the research that has been done over the past 25 years into music as a powerful intervention in surgery, as well as other areas of medicine such as chemotherapy, childbirth, behavioral health, and painful testing procedures such as MRI, CT-scan, colonscopies and biopsies.  Of course some are more painful than others and it varies from person to person, but the bottom line is that music can powerfully reduce the amount of anxiety and pain perception that the patient experiences.

Why then can’t we just tell this to patients and to physicians and have them believe it, especially since they know intuitively that this is true?  I think you probably know the answer.  Everyone wants to see the NUMBERS, which to them means, the TRUTH!  If someone did a study that carefully and scientifically measured the reactions of the patient’s body to the music that was administered, then it’s REAL.  Despite all the many possible variables, if the primary components of the studies theory are addressed, and the type of music and delivery method of the music are addressed, then the study is probably valid.

As I mentioned on the first day of this series, people in fields other than Music Therapy, tend to call their music intervention “music therapy.”  They simply don’t realize that all people who are studying the benefits of music in medicine or behavioral health are not music therapists.  Technically, music therapy can only be done with an board-certified music therapist present.  Many hospitals only employ 2 or 3 music therapists, so obviously one can’t be present at with every patient undergoing surgery, childbirth, or a colonoscopy.  In the hospitals that do employ music therapists, many patients don’t know to ask for one, or the physician doesn’t realize he has to write an order for music therapy.  So, it seems to be that there is a lot of communication and education that still has to happen!

preparing for surgery

Dr Cash’s book on surgery

Obviously, lots of research has to be done on an ongoing basis and not just in Music Therapy, but also in Surgery, Nursing, Music Medicine, and Oncology.  And it’s happening, but not in a way that informs everyone of each other’s studies!  That’s why I decided to write a book that is for the patient and the doctor, and cites lots of te best and most recent studies!  The book is called “Having Surgery?  Using Music to reduce anxiety and Pain Perception” and you can get it on Amazon right now!!  For only $9.99, you can learn all about how music affects the mind-body connection, why it’s so important to use during surgery, dental procedures, childbirth, and major medical tests and even minor procedures, such as a blood draw.

Especially as the Baby Boomers age, we are needing all kinds of hip replacements, knee replacements, bypass surgeries, not to mention dental work!  We’ve got to educate each other about aging gracefully and not sticking our heads in the sand!  That’s one of the main reasons I decided to do this blog post series, right after I’d just finished my first book!  I do hope you’ll check it out, share it with your friends, and let me know your questions and comments!  Have a great week-end!