Surgery with Music Series Post #17: What music should you listen to during surgery?


When you’re about to have surgery, you really don’t have time to think about much else except preparing yourself for that process and the potential outcomes, good or bad.  The only possible exception to that might be cosmetic surgery where you have plenty of lead time and you feel sure that the outcome will be better that what you’re living with right now.

That’s why I think it’s nice to be able to have the music already pre-programmed on the cordless headphones.  Also, to know that the music has been chosen by an expert in music for surgery, so that the tempo, melodies, and character of the music is the ideal for surgery. 

What about the genre of music?  What about classical, jazz, pop, sacred, world music, or just easy listening?  I believe that any genre of music can be healing and can be soothing and comforting in the way that you want for surgery.  The fact is though, if you’re having general anesthesia, you won’t even hear the music once you’re completely under the anesthesia. 

So why have music playing while you’re under general anesthesia?  Good question!  And here is the answer:  the music that has been chosen for your surgery has a very slow, steady pulse that will entrain or synchronize your heart-beat and breathing with the tempo of the music.  This is done vibrationally and makes headphones the ideal way to transmit the vibrations through the 8th cranial nerve in the ear to the brain and throughout the entire body. 

One of the guiding principles of music therapy is that the patient should have the music of their choice, but this is not traditional music therapy because no music therapy is present.  The music has already been chosen and the genre right now is classical.  Eventually we will have jazz, folk, sacred and other genres available but people who don’t typically listen to classical music have listened to this soundtrack and said that it relaxed them quickly and totally. 

It’s all about a safer surgery procedure and a faster recovery.  Check them out at


Music during Surgery: Why and how?


Day by day, the general public is gradually becoming aware of how critically important music can be during a surgical procedure.  Whether it’s heart surgery, a joint replacement or a C-section, music can calm the patient so that fewer chemicals are needed, resulting in a safer surgery and a faster recovery.

Physicians have known since the times of ancient Greece and Rome that music is healing and that it can and should be prescribed along with other therapies and treatments.  But until recently, most people assumed that a patient was asleep during surgery and couldn’t hear the music or respond to it.  That’s why the only music playing in the operating room was the surgeon’s music. 

Now people are understanding that the human body responds to the pulse of strongly rhythmic music even when the patient is asleep.  This is the principle of entrainment or synchronization of bio-rhythms with musical rhythms.  To read more about all of this simply go to and read previous posts on this blog!


Music and Anesthesia


Earlier today I was talking with an old friend about the benefits of music during surgery. Of course the number one benefit that I usually tell people is the fact that reasearch has documented that people using music during surgery have been known to need less than 50% of the usual amount of anesthesia.
Why is this important? Because anesthesia is one of the main things that one must recover from after surgery. Pretty much all of the bodily functions such as peristaltic action, come to a grinding halt during surgery. You do know about peristaltic action? Let me quote from Wikipedia: Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract. The word is derived from New Latin and comes from the Greek peristaltikos, peristaltic, from peristellein, “to wrap around,” and stellein, “to place.”
In much of the gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscles contract in sequence to produce a peristaltic wave which forces a ball of food (called a bolus while in the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract and chyme in the stomach) along the gastrointestinal tract. Peristaltic movement is initiated by circular smooth muscles contracting behind the chewed material to prevent it from moving back into the mouth, followed by a contraction of longitudinal smooth muscles which pushes the digested food forward.”

In other words, you are likely to be very constipated after surgery. The anesthesia causes not only this but lots of other potentially life-threatening conditions. If music through headphones can help, let’s do it!!
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