C-Section: How can you create a memorable experience?


One of the biggest populations to benefit from the Surgical Serenity Solution is women who are preparing for childbirth, know that they will probably have a C-section for various reasons.   A C-section is considered major surgery, but the reason for it, ultimately is a happy reason.  The normal recovery time for a healthy young woman is about a month.

The patient in this photo was waiting for her first child to be delivered by C-section.  She happened to be a professional musician and was fairly skeptical about whether or not music through headphones could make a difference for the tremendously anxious and fearful patient.

C-section Serenity Headphones

Waiting to go into surgery.

When the procedure was over and patient was home with her new daughter, she had this to say:  “I am so glad that I used the Surgical Serenity Solution!  As it turned out, I was put in a big room with other women waiting for C-sections and they were very noisy, some fussing and yelling at their husbands, talking loudly on their phones to family members, some even crying!  If I had not had these wonderful headphones, I don’t think I could have stood all the commotion.  I took the headphones off for the actual delivery, but put them back on when I got to recovery.  I’ve been using them at home just to relax when baby is sleeping and I look forward to using them for years to come!!  Thank you Dr. Cash!”


Another Study Documents Benefits of Music with Surgery


Are you, or someone you love, having surgery sometime soon?  You’ve probably heard about people using music during their surgery. Perhaps you’ve wondered what that’s all about?  I did, and was very curious about how that worked and whether or not the doctor would allow it or whether the patient could even hear the music, once they were asleep.

Recently I came across another article about this in the Huffington Post!  It’s not a medical journal, I know, but the research it cites is from a medical journal in England.  Enjoy!


   Listening to music eases stress of surgery




Fear of Anesthesia: How Can the Right Music Help?


Waiting for a Ceasarean-section childbirth

  As a therapist and a clinical musicologist, I talk to people nearly every day that have just been told that they need to have surgery and are almost more fearful of the anesthesia than they are of having surgery!  Why?  Because general anesthesia is very powerful medication and occasionally people do not survive the anesthesia.  The vast majority of people do fine, but if the patient is elderly or in a fragile health state already, it is a delicate balance.

How can music help?  Music therapy and Operating Room nursing journals have shown repeatedly shown that listening to your favorite calming, comforting, soothing music can make a very positive difference in your overall surgical experience.  There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of clinical studies showing that music in the recovery area can help the patient stay calm and comfortable as they regain consciousness and begin to feel the pain of the surgery.
Now, studies are being conducted to confirm that music DURING surgery can also make a positive difference and possibly decrease the amount of anesthesia needed to achieve the same degree of sedation, but without as much risk.  This is achieved by tapping into the power of rhythmic entrainment, by which the slow, steady tempo of the music brings the heartrate and the breathing into synchronization with the music and thereby keeps the body relaxed.
To learn more about the incredible power and benefits of music during anesthesia and surgery, please check out:  www.SurgicalHeadphones.com.

Surgery with Music Series Post #30: A Recap of why music is so important for your surgery


If you’ve been reading this 30-day series of posts of music with surgery, and you’re still not convinced of music’s power during surgery, I just don’t know what to tell you.  People all over the world, both patients and medical staff including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and techs of all kinds are recommending the use of music before, during and after surgery.  There are absolutely no drawbacks or side-effects and so many benefits that the choice is clear.

If you have the ability to make your own playlist, that’s great!  If you have enough lead time to do it, I think it’s a great idea.  I did it for myself back in 1994 when I had a lumbar laminectomy.  The doctors were astounded at how well everything went and how quickly I recovered.  I did it for my mother’s heart bypass in the early 90’s and after quite a bit of skepticism initially, she had such a positive experience that she said she would never again have surgery without music and headphones.

I have been helping patients to use music during their surgery since late 1990 when I began reading about the work of well-known music therapist, Helen Bonny.  I would usually mention her work when I went out speaking at hospitals and universities and associations.  Invariably, someone would say “Dr. Cash, I don’t believe that many people at all know about this music and surgery idea.  I think you should really try to get the word out!

After that, the rest is history.  I have worked with thousands of patients around the world and in 2008 I got a patent on my Surgical Serenity Headphones.  Although you can purchase them online at www.surgicalheadphones.com, my main goal is to get them into hospitals around the world so that they are ready to go when a patient arrives for surgery.  They would be told about the process of wearing the headphones upon arrival at the hospital and would be issued a set of headphones that would then be theirs to keep, eliminating the risk of infection from previous users.

If you are associated with a full-service hospital, please check out the headphones and the documented benefits.  Using the headphones can greatly reduce the amount of drugs and anesthesia required and create a calmer more peaceful atmosphere for the patient.   As a result of less anesthesia, the patient will recover faster and get back to work sooner and with less trauma.  Every doctor or nurse that I have ever talked to about these has said it is a great idea and that they will be standard equipment in all operating rooms one day!  Please join me in making this dream come true.


Surgery with Music Series Post #18: Do any hospitals have headphones waiting for patients?


This is my goal:  that every hospital, clinic and medical center in the world have the Surgical Serenity Headphones or some equivalent waiting and ready for their patients.  The research is there…music before, during and after surgery help the patients in ways that can be measured as well as in ways that can’t be measured.  The picture on the left was taken at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida just a few months ago.  I was flown in to give a Grand Rounds lecture to the entire staff of physicians and residents and they had double the usual crowd there.  Dr. Friedman, Chief of Surgery, said that everyone there is so enthusiastic about this and they hope to start a research study there in the next few months!  They already have some of the headphones that they are using.

The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is using some right now as is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  The VA hospital in Louisville, KY is doing a formal study on our Surgical Serenity Headphones and another hospital in Louisville is using them.  For the most part, they are currently being bought by individuals around the country, in Canada and in Western Europe. 

If you are having surgery soon, they can be shipped overnight to you!  Otherwise they arrive in 3-4 days.  If you are a surgeon, anesthesiologist or hospital staff or administration, please contact me for pricing information.  I want everyone to have these available for their patients and the reviews are excellent.


Surgery with Music Series Post #16: Headphones vs Earbuds


If you’re to be going through surgery of any kind, or dental work, or chemotherapy or kidney dialysis, etc., then you need to understand the benefits of headphones vs earbuds.   Everyone’s ear is a little bit different externally and internally and there is just no one that one size and type of earbud can fit everyone.  On myself, earbuds constantly fall out.  I wore them at the fitness center for years and I was constantly needed to re-insert them because they had fallen out.

With headphones, not only do they gently cover the entire ear, but you can adjust the volume so that you can comfortably and effectively hear the music, but it’s enough to block external conversations that you don’t want to hear.  If the doctor does need to say something to you or ask you a question, he can move in toward you just a little bit and direct a question to you and you can easily hear him!

Not only that, but our headphones are cordless and so there’s nothing to get tangled up with medical or dental equipment!  Earbuds have a cord that hangs down and connects to you iPod or other MP3 music device.  When you weigh the pros and cons of each, I think you’ll want to use headphones.  Let me know your questions?


Surgery with Music Series Post #10: How does music affect other medication requirements


 This is such a simple concept, and yet, very few hospitals or sugery centers implement therapeutic music.  There are many, many studies that document that music pre- and post-surgery can decrease the use of  anxiety medications before and pain medication afterwards.  Studies have been conducted on major hospitals and universities all over the world.  As recently as April 1, 2011 I presented a Grand Rounds at Cleveland Clinic Florida that went over the top studies for music before, during and after surgery.  To see highlights of this, click HERE.

How does it work?  Before surgery, when you put on the headphones, the music enters your brain through the 8th cranial nerve.  Within moments, you close your eyes and your heartrate and breathing begin to slow down and become steady.  You begin to relax, naturally, and the need for I.V. anxiety medication greatly reduces.  After surgery, the headphones are again used as you move into the recovery area and your body stays relaxed as you come out from under the anesthesia. 

The recovery room is known for it’s busy-ness and (often) lack of peace and quiet.  In today’s crowded hospitals, nurses are trying to take care of many patients at the same time and those without music are often moaning and crying out.  Those with the headphones are not only staying relaxed, but the headphones help block out other patients cries and sounds of pain and discomfort.

Some hospitals have tried having CD players at bedside, but that doesn’t work nearly as well as the pre=programmed headphones.  A recent patient wrote this to me:

  • I kept expecting to be nervous  as the date of surgery rolled around but couldn’t seem to summon up any anxiety
  • My blood pressure has dropped to normal limits
  • I “knew ” I wouldn’t be able to sleep prior to surgery but guess what I slept well
  • I was calm and relaxed before surgery
  • The dentist and staff tucked me in, made sure I had my music (I had my i POD set to repeat ) and away we went.
  • Post -op I was still relaxed – had a sleep and had little pain- I had a bunch of work done – I did take an Advil at bedtime just for “insurance” but really didn’t need it.
  • My mouth is healing beautifull

Thank you for the wonderful music.

Blessings, Anne

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to leave them as comments on this blog and I will get right back to you!


Surgery and Music Series, Post #3: Fears about Anesthesia


Anesthesiology currently ranks 7

th of all medicalspecialties in indemnities paid. An average of 34% of all claims madeagainst anesthesiologists close, with an average $362,000 indemnity per physician paid. Mistakes have proven to be very expensive in this medical field. The industry has historically shown speedy acceptance to productsthat can lower the overall risk of receiving sedative drugs.Recent research has uncovered some previously unknown facts about the risk of anesthesia. Researchers are discovering that the level of sedation is positively correlated with the occurrence of many of the risks associated with anesthesia, including death. Patient stress has also proven to be correlated with complications of receiving anesthesia. These findings have opened market opportunities for products that can aid anesthesiologists.

“A company on the cutting edge of this market, is Surgical Serenity Headphones, a subsidiary of Healing Music Enterprises.  SSH has a patent-protected process and system for delivering the ideal music for surgery through light-weight cordless headphones.” 

These headphones are now in use at both the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and the Cleveland Clinics in Ohio and in Florida.  For more info, see www.surgicalheadphones.com.


Music and Surgery 30-day series: Post #2 “Fears about Surgery”


So you’ve just been told that you need to have surgery.  The fears and anxiety are running through your mind and all over your body like an army of tiny spiders.  THINK of all the things that might go wrong!  You could end of paralyzed, you could end up dead!  They may take the wrong thing out and leave you with a damaged or sick body part.  Maybe the anesthesia will not work but they don’t know it and you feel every single knife stroke and pull.  Enough!

Chances are, everything will be just fine.  Serious accidents and mistakes in surgery are truly rare, but they do happen.  How can you help yourself in this situation?  By doing exactly what you’re doing…going to the internet and searching for high-quality information about your specific type of situation and the recommended surgery.  You might also want to get a second or even a third opinion!  I was recently told that I needed plastic surgery on my face to remove a cyst.  I visited a plastic surgeon who confirmed this.  Then I visited a second plastic surgeon who said “I wouldn’t rush into that.  I’d give it 8-9 months and see how it does.”  I was never so relieved in my life!  I’ll probably wait at least another month or so now and then visit one more plastic surgeon for a consult. 

In the final analysis, it’s your body and only you can decide this.  If you DO decide to proceed, one thing you can do before, during and after surgery is to take in lightweight, cordless headphones that are pre-programmed with the best music for surgery.  This music has been tested around the world and the consensus is unanimous.   Every person has said that they would use them again! 

No one wants to have surgery, but if surgery is needed, add some soothing, calming, comforting music to the equation!  You can end up having less anesthesia, less pain medication and an overall more positive experience!


Are there any drawbacks to music with surgery?


You know, I’ve asked myself that many times and I’ve talked with surgeons and anesthesiologists about it.  Very simply, the answer is no!  Music during surgery has absolutely no drawbacks but stands to improve the outcome of the surgery.  How does this happen? 

When the patients has slow, steady, purely instrumental music coming through headphones, the body’s heart-rate and breathing synchronize with the pulse of the music and keep the patients bio-rhythms slow and steady.  When this happens, the patients stays relaxed and stabilized naturally and does not require as much anesthesia during the procedure or as much pain medication afterwards.

When the patient chooses his own favorite slow, steady music and listens to that through wireless/cordless headphones, the procedure will be safer (as a result of less anesthesia) and the patient will recover faster and go home faster.  I recently got a testimonial from a patient who raves about how well his heart surgery went.  To see this video testimonial, go to www.surgicalserenity.com.

Please let me know any questions you might have!