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May May 18, 2022

Do you like going to the dentist?

By |May 18, 2022|Dentistry and music|0 Comments

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dental patient wearing headphonesI ask you, tongue in cheek, do you like going to the dentist? Because of course no one likes going to the dentist.  Having a person that you don’t know very well, leaning over you, while you are laid back in a helpless position and with a drill or other noisy tools coming at you. Of course it’s awful!!

Recently I was told that after all of the fillings I’ve had, all of the crowns, Invisalign braces and a triple root canal in one tooth, now I need a tooth extraction!  I was truly horrified because I never had a moment of pain.  I didn’t realize that you could have a serious dental infection and feel no pain whatsoever.

But I definitely knew that I would have pain during and after a back molar extraction.  And I really hate pain! That’s one of the main reasons that I created Surgical Serenity Solutions, because I, personally, hate pain and don’t want to take opioids or other potentially addictive medications.

Going to the dentist is just one of those necessary evils I guess, and if you don’t go, you risk even more pain than if you do go!

I did learn to use nitrous oxide judiciously because when they remove the nitrous oxide, the brain fog goes away immediately, but nitrous, plus carefully chosen music is a really good combination, I think!

What does the research say about music and dentistry?

surgical headphones in dental surgery

I think it’s interesting to note that dentistry was one of the very first sub-specialties in the medical-dental field to use music through headphones on a regular basis.  I vividly remember going to the dentist in the late 1950’s in South Carolina (USA) and being given a large pair of headphones with 5 different channels on it as well as a channel of “white noise.”  I thought it was pretty cool and it definitely distracted me from worrying about the pain that might result from drilling in my mouth.

Later I learned that dentists were being taught to use “audio analgesia”  during their procedures to supplement and augment the effects of novocaine which lasted for a very long time.

A recent study, “Effectiveness of music interventions on dental anxiety,”

reports that “music listening significantly lowered levels of anxiety and stress of females during dental                              procedures. Authors of the study concluded that there was a strong physiological (increased                          secretory immunoglobulins level) response to music by females.”

And their recommendation?

“It is recommended that pre-recorded music be offered through

                 headphones during the dental procedure to adult patients to reduce their dental anxiety.”

My Experience

So, the day finally arrived for my tooth extraction and I had chosen a specific piece of music that I wanted to listen to during the extraction and to listen in conjunction with nitrous oxide.  I was concerned that my own playlists might not be loud enough so I chose  piece for large concert band, called “Folksong Suite” by Ralph Vaughn-Williams.

I learned my lesson about listening to free sites! I was listening to my chosen music on YouTube and found that every 3-4 minutes the music stopped in order to have a commercial!! I was so frustrated because the music then did not automatically re-start. There was drilling and pulling, and drilling and pulling because it was a large molar and had been in place for a long time.

Luckily I was coherent enough to switch the music to my classical playlist and just turn the volume up enough to block most of the sounds.   The procedure was over sooner than I expected and I got through it with very little trauma.

Needless to say, music through headphones is highly recommended when going to the dentist.  Even for a simple cleaning I take mine because now they use very high-speed tools that emit a loud and high-pitched sound which is disconcerting to me.

Every dentist that I’ve talked to is more than happy to let patients bring in their own headphones and music.  And remember to download the playlists at www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm.

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May May 14, 2022

Nursing and Music: a match made in Heaven

By |May 14, 2022|Nursing and Music|0 Comments

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Nurses and Music

Nurses are using music in the ICU more than ever before.

Not everyone can be a nurse and not everyone can be a musician. And definitely, not everyone can be a music therapist. All of these are noble callings but  everyone’s gifts and opportunities vary.  But nursing and music continue to be a match made in Heaven.

This week has been National Nurses Week and I’ve been interacting with some very forward-thinking nurses who recognize the healing and restorative benefits of music.  One nurse in particular that I met this week, is searching for a way to use music in the ICU with patients who are struggling to regain their health; some are struggling to regain consciousness.

Nurses have been using music probably since the beginning of time.  It’s natural to want to comfort a patient in any way possible, but as busy as nurses are all day long, the intervention have to be simple and efficient.  Nurses are allowed to sing and hum when patients are OK with it, but not every nurses has that gift.

Clara Barton was one nurse who believed in the power of music although she did not sing or play an instrument herself

Clara Barton Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in the early 1880’s and was passionate about her mission to respond to anyone and everyone who might be in an emergency/crisis situation.  She worked tirelessly in New England trying to raise awareness of the dire needs of people and also trying to raise money to support her mission.  In the end she was quite successful and that’s why most of us have heard of the American Red Cross today.

This organization still responds to people all over the world who have undergone a natural disaster or other tragedy.

I’m proud to say that my grandmother, Julia Adelaide Fishel Adams worked for the American Red Cross and I grew up hearing about the life-saving work of this amazing organization.

Clara Barton was a believer in the power of music to change patient’s lives and bring them peace and comfort as they recovered from their battle wounds during the Civil War. She was often called “The Angel of the Battlefield.”

Florence Nightingale lived about 50 years earlier and was also a believer in the power of music

Florence NightingaleFlorence Nightingale, (1820-1910) the nurse called the Lady with the Lamp. Florence was British and a famous nurse during the Crimean War. She was also a social reformer and considered to be the founder of modern nursing.  Florence Nightingale in particular is known internationally and many of her quotes are still remembered today. One of my favorites is :

“A human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place.”

In Notes on Nursing: What It Is And What It Is Not1, Florence Nightingale’s important book, she wrote:

The effect of music upon the sick has been scarcely at all noticed.  I will only remark here, that wind instruments, including the human voice, and stringed instruments, capable of continuous sound, have generally a beneficent effect–while the piano-forte, with such instruments as have no continuity of sound, has just the reverse. The finest piano-forte playing will damage the sick, while an air, like “Home, sweet home,” or “Assisa a piè d’un salice,” on the most ordinary grinding organ, will sensibly soothe them–and this quite independent of association. (Florence Nightingale, 1898: Notes on Nursing)

I’m not sure I agree with this, but I find it very interesting to know that she believed this.

The music that I have found to be very effective in the ICU, as well as the perioperative period, happens to be soothing, calming piano music…music that has a steady tempo, the tempo of the healthy, resting heartbeat.

To hear samples of this music, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/calm.  Each of these playlists is 50-60 minutes in length. There are five distinct genres to choose from: Classical, Jazz, New Age, Lullabies and Memory Care.

I am deeply grateful for the work of all nurses and excited to know that they are embracing the use of music in the ICU to help patients get through a very difficult time in their lives.

 

 

 

 

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Apr Apr 25, 2022

Surgical Serenity Solutions has a new and different market!

By |April 25, 2022|Serenity Headphones with Adolescents|0 Comments

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Teenage angst

Maybe some soothing music would help

You just never know, do you?  This morning I got an email that I truly was not expecting.  Since hospitals became my target market, I expect to get emails, and orders from hospitals, surgery centers, and dental practices.  I do not expect to hear from juvenile detention centers.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m truly thrilled!

Soothing, serene, calming, and comforting music is ALWAYS good for people who are experiencing anxiety and emotional pain. We’ve all been teenagers and it can be wonderful, but can also be painful.  Teenagers can make some serious mistakes and of course, they can also do amazing and fantastic things. That’s the human condition.

And music affects everyone, even though musical taste may differ greatly between age groups and backgrounds.  Of course teenagers typically like very different types of music from grownups, it is an indisputable fact that calm, serene music tends to slow and calm a person of any age.

The facility that just ordered a large quantity of headphones is clearly aware of this and has maybe even read the study from a many years ago in which a city with high crime rates put speakers in a parking lot where drug deal often went down. The speakers broadcast Mozart and other classical music around the clock and crime rates went down significantly.

Music can be used to positively manipulate mood

There’s also a beautiful scene in the Movie “The Shawshank Redemption” in which the wrongly imprisoned man manages to get in the control booth at the prison yard and broadcasts a recording of a beautiful operatic aria. The prisoners who are out in the exercise yard immediately stop what they’re doing and start moving silently in slow motion. Slow, serene, and beautiful music does this to people!  Music has been used for thousands of years to manipulate the moods of crowds and individuals.

Mood music over the past thousand years

  • Music was played before soldiers went into battle to raise their energy level to a fever pitch and make them feel powerful.
  • Lovers often have “their song” that they associate with their early special moments and that they love to dance to, and put on for a romantic dinner.
  • Mothers sing to their newborn infants, even before birth they begin singing sweet and gently lullabies and continue singing these through childhood and beyond.
  • Music is a part of nearly every religious or spiritual community.  Chanting has been a part of rituals for thousands of years and helps people feel connected to each other as well as to a common cause.  Same with hymns and songs of praise. Although there are communities that don’t use instruments, the voice is always used for songs and chants.
  • Think about the “Pep Bands” that are used in high schools and colleges during sporting events. What would the game be without the stirring music of the pep band and the cheerleaders working the crowd into a frenzy?

 

My wish for the adolescents at this detention facility is that they will be able to find a place of peace within themselves so that they can learn new ways to solve their problems and find strength and abilities within themselves that they never knew that they had.

But the process will begin with them finding themselves in a quiet place and putting on the Serenity headphones just to see what this is all about. Sending my thoughts and prayers to each adolescent!

Want to get some of these headphones for your hospital, clinic, dental office or other facility? Go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com 

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Apr Apr 14, 2022

Music and Cataract Surgery: more results to support the benefits of music

By |April 14, 2022|Cataract Surgery with Music|0 Comments

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listening to the calming, rhythmic entrainment music prior to surgery

Patient calms down before surgical procedure with music rather than benzodiazepines

A new study came out today about the effectiveness of using music during cataract surgery. There have actually been quite a few studies over the last 10-20 years about music with cataract surgery because it is one of the top-10 performed surgeries around the world every day.

According to Healthgrades.com,

Every year about three million people in the United States have surgery to remove cataracts. Cataracts are common among older people. Half of all Americans develop one by the time they’re 80 years old. A cataract causes the eye lens to become cloudy. This causes vision problems, and surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. During the operation, the surgeon removes the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial one. This lets the person see more clearly. People who have cataract surgery can usually go home shortly after the procedure, without an overnight stay in the hospital. Cataract surgery costs $2,300 to $3,000. 

With the growing population of Baby Boomers, cataract surgery is being done all of over the world every day. As always, anxiety runs high with any surgery and having a completely natural tool like music is such an advantage to a cataract patient.

The Surgical Serenity Solution has been used with thousands of cataract procedures, (including the patient in the picture above.) Our playlists have proven to be completely effective at decreasing anxiety and pain perception. However we know that there are many kinds of calming, soothing music around the world.  This particular study was done in China and was reported in a reputable medical journal there.

The title of the study is:

Effect of slow tempo music on markers of anxiety during cataract surgery: Randomized control trial

This study was done in China at a large hospital there. The purpose of the study was to objectively examine the effects of slow, steady music on patients having cataract surgery, on their anxiety level. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) levels were measured at the beginning and at the end of surgery. They also took the blood pressure of the patients 5 minutes before surgery and at the end of surgery, as well as at 4 or 5 other points during the procedure.

The music that they used was translated as “standard solo piano music.” Our original classical playlist uses classical pieces of 3-4 minutes apiece from major Western classical composers. Their conclusions were that the indications of lower anxiety, as measured by the sAA levels and blood pressure, indicate that listening to slow and steady piano music in the perioperative period makes a positive difference.

Soothing and therapeutic music is also a very cost-effective intervention which doesn’t cost the hospital much money and has absolutely no side effects. To get these headphones into your hospital, surgery center or dental clinical, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/.

To read more research studies on the benefits of music with many different types of surgery, go to https://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/medical-research/

Surgery is a serious procedure and experience but can greatly improve the quality of life with traumatizing the patient or their loved ones.

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Apr Apr 11, 2022

The beat of the healthy resting heart

By |April 11, 2022|Healthy Resting Heartbeat|0 Comments

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healthy resting heartbeat entrains to music through headphones

Patient enjoying serene music that entrains with healthy resting heartbeat

For patients having surgery, it is of the utmost important that their vital signs are stable.  The surgeon and anesthesiologist want to be sure that the patient’s heartbeat and breathing are slow and steady.  If nothing is done to assure this, there is a good chance that more anxiety medication will be needed to relax the patient.

However music could be used to accomplish the very same thing, with little or no medication.

Why don’t more surgeons and anesthesiologists do this?  Mainly because they don’t even know that it’s an option!  Surgical Serenity Solutions has been around since 2009 and our company has been growing steadily, but we’re still a very small fish in the pond of hospitals.

Most people go into surgery with lots of fear and trepidation.  Until recently, surgical patients mostly did not read up about the procedure in advance and just wanted to turn it all over to the doctors and get it over with.  Now, patients are much more eager and able to go online to reputable medical sites and get some accurate and helpful information about how to prepare for surgery.

Part of this new plethora of information is the fact that music for the patient during surgery can actually decrease the amount of medication that the patient would need to reduce anxiety and pain perception. And it’s not just surgery!

What usually happens with a patient about to go into surgery or a hospital-based test

The patient in the picture above is just recovering from a colonoscopy where she was sedated with propofol.  Normally, patients are given Valium or other benzodiazepines before they are taken back for the procedure but thanks to the soothing music on the pre-loaded headphones, she skipped the Valium entirely and was wide-awake and ready to go to breakfast about 30 minutes after this picture was taken!

As a clinical musicologist I knew that music for medical procedures needed to be a slow, steady tempo that would entrain or synchronize the tempo of the music to the tempo of the healthy, resting heartbeat.  Luckily, there is lots of music that has this slow, steady tempo.  But sequencing this music carefully so that it easily flows from one piece into the next is very important and requires musical knowledge and training.

Our five playlists in five different genres are loaded onto headphones that can accommodate a micro-SD card and delivered to hospitals in boxes of 12, 20, or 50.  Patients have a choice of which headphone playlist they can choose.  The genres are Classical, Jazz, New Age, Lullabies, or Memory Care.  To order these headphones for your hospitals, surgery center, or dental office, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/ 

Included with the headphones is a package of 50 pair of disposable earpiece covers.  We can get them to you oftentimes in less than a week and will replace any headphone that does not perform.  Currently, this has never happened!

The link between patient satisfaction and hospital reimbursement

Increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing the amount of anxiety and pain perception a patients experiences is such an important job! Most for-profit hospitals are reimbursed by Medicare according to patient satisfaction ratings.  For each regularly performed procedure, a set amount is reimbursed. But there is a star system and the stars are given according to patient satisfaction.

Don’t leave it up to chance.  In this time of opioid addiction and chemical dependency, let music help your patient heal and recover naturally.

Just go NOW to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com/20-pre-loaded-headphones-for-hospitals/ 

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Apr Apr 1, 2022

Healing Music awaits many Ukrainians at the Polish border

By |April 1, 2022|Music for Ukrainian Refugees|0 Comments

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The sight of Ukrainian refugees arriving at the border in Poland is heart-breaking, and yet I am so grateful for all of the Polish men and women who have welcomed them with open arms and open homes. I saw a  photo of a mother and toddler daughter, waiting long hours in a train station in Warsaw after arriving from Ukraine. Of course they’re being given food, shelter, and clothing, but what a beautiful gift live music is for them! Every day, thousands more people flee Ukraine and no one knows when this will end.

When I began seeing the news reports of Ukrainians fleeing and being met at the border by musicians playing familiar music for them, sometimes Ukrainian folksongs.  Here are some wonderful examples of that, just in case you haven’t seen any of them!

The first link connects to a man who is playing piano at the border and is playing Beatles tunes for the arriving refugees.

The second link is of a man who is not only playing familiar songs for arriving refugees but is also allowing them to play, if they know how.

 Compassion is a wonderful thing and music is one of many, many ways to express compassionate and true caring. Pray for peace.

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Mar Mar 18, 2022

Music, Surgery, and Wanda Landowska: how ganglion cysts changed the path of her career

By |March 18, 2022|Famous musician's surgeries|0 Comments

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Have you heard about Wanda Landowska? I wanted to honor Wanda Landowska on International Women’s Day, but that day got away from me.  Then I remembered that it’s Women’s History Month all of March!!  So let me tell you a little bit about Wanda Landowska…

She is the woman who singlehandedly revived the harpsichord as a performing instrument in the early 20th century.  The harpsichord had died out as a performing intrument in the 1700’s when the piano was invented. The piano was so much easier to maintain and it was easier to create emotion on the piano, which romantic repertoire required.  Not only that, but in the late 1700’s the harpsichord had become associated with the aristocracy. During the French Revolution people burned harpsichords for firewood and as a sign of their rebellion.

Wanda Landowska was Polish and while growing up in Poland, had never seen a harpsichord.  When she went off to college in Berlin in the late 1890’s, she saw her first harpsichord and knew that the harpsichord was the instrument that Bach had created his music for!

If you’ve been a subscriber for awhile, you’re probably aware that my main focus these days is music with surgery. But 30 years ago my primary focus was on Wanda Landowska and the Revival of the harpsichord.

How that transition came about has been told and recorded by me many times, so I’ll just jump to the chase.

When Wanda Landowska was a young adult, she was primarily a pianist and practiced long hours every day on typical Romantic era repertoire, such as Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms.  If you’re a pianist or a performing musician you know that this music is often filled with fortissimo chords and octaves and if you don’t have relatively large hands,  As a result, she began developing ganglion cysts in her wrists.

The cysts not only caused her great pain, but made it almost impossible to play the Romantic piano repertoire that she wanted to play.  After developing these cysts, she had to give her dream and actually changed her major to theory and composition.  Then she went to the famous Musical Instrument Museum.  That’s where she saw the beautiful harpsichords with their innerlids painted with beautiful designs and sometimes scenes from nature.  She knew at that moment that she would have a harpsichord and would re-introduce it to the world.  And that’s what she did.

When I first came across this information, it led me to a body of information about the musical problems of performing musicians.  Which led me to thinking about musical solutions to medical issues…like surgery.

What a journey these past 32 years have been!  If you’re not familiar with Wanda Landowska and would like to hear her play the harpsichord that she revived, go here:

https://youtu.be/g_LaA4FYFtM

In this wonderful video clip, Wanda herself tells the story of first seeing a harpsichord and knowing that she must play it.  You will also hear and see her playing it.

Of course she never mentions having the problem with ganglion cysts in her wrists, but I came across this information when I was researching her in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, for my dissertation on her.

I hope you’ll enjoy this!

 

P.S. Because of Wanda Landowsk, I also play the harpsichord!

 

 

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Feb Feb 25, 2022

Our new interview series starts today: Innovators in Music Medicine–Brian Harris, MT-BC and MedRhythms

By |February 25, 2022|Music and Parkinson's Disease|0 Comments

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Today is the premiere of our “Innovators in Music Medicine Series” and our first interview  is with powerhouse music therapist Brian Harris, MT-BC and licensed neurologic music therapist.  Brian has co-founded and runs the company MedRhythms, a world-class digital therapeutics company that works with patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Thanks to his innovative technology using music and sensors on the patient’s shoe, Parkinson’s patients are able to greatly improve their gait and walk in a safe and healthy manner.

Brian and his company have received at least 4 patents on this innovative technology.  I think you’re going to love this interview!  Join us at 3:15 for the premiere!

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Nov Nov 5, 2021

New research shows that music reduces anxiety and pain perception during heart surgery

By |November 5, 2021|Benefits of music during surgery, Music and Cardiac Surgery|0 Comments

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Music and Cardiac Surgery is a match made in Heaven!  One of the primary ways that music reduces anxiety is by synchronizing and stabilizing the heartbeat with the process of rhythmic entrainment.  Heartbeat and breathing are the two main rhythmic activities going on in a healthy body.  When a person is feeling either anxiety or pain their heartrate speeds up greatly and often becomes erratic as well.

Here’s the introduction from the study that just came out in the Netherlands yesterday in the journal “Open Heart” ( Kakar E, Billar RJ, van Rosmalen J, et al. Music intervention to relieve anxiety and pain in adults undergoing cardiac surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart 2021;7:e001474.doi:10.1136/openhrt-2020-001474)

 

Patients undergoing cardiac surgery often have perioperative anxiety and severe postoperative pain, despite the administration of benzodiazepines and opioids. Postoperative admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) exposes them to stressors known to increase anxiety and pain, such as noise, sleeplessness, mechanical ventilation and immobility. These stressors may lead to longer hospitalisation and higher use of benzodiazepines and opioids, with their inherent risk of side effects and adverse events. Research efforts have been directed towards approaches to relieve anxiety and pain. Apart from pharmacological therapies, nonpharmacological therapies have provided promising results.

A music intervention is relatively inexpensive and an easily applicable nonpharmaceutical intervention which has no known side effects. Previous studies in mixed surgical populations have found statistically significant beneficial effects of perioperative  recorded music on patients’ anxiety, pain and neurohormonal stress response, with less consumption of intraoperative sedatives and postoperative opioids. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/openhrt/8/1/e001474.full.pdf

This is particularly interesting to Surgical Serenity Solutions because our first patient was a 75-year old female undergoing bypass surgery and valve replacement.  It was a very positive experience for her compared to other surgeries this patient had undergone, such as hip replacements, back surgery, appendectomies and many others. This patient reported that as she was going under anesthesia the music felt very comforting to her and as she woke up, hours later, hearing the same music let her know that she was awakening from surgery and was OK.

The patient reported that in the recovery area that music was even more important because the post-op patients were just separated by curtains and she could faintly hear other patients moaning and calling for the nurse.  With her headphones on, she didn’t have to worry about that and she focused on the beautiful music and seeing her family again.  Later she said “I’ll never have surgery without these headphones again!!”

Surgical Serenity Solutions is the only company that that provides pre-loaded headphones exclusively for the patient.  Many hospitals play music chosen by the doctore overhead.  That music may be good for the doctor but is often very upbeat and not at all suitable for the patient.  Our music has the tempo of the healthy resting heartbeat and has been used in surgeries of all kind.  They are also very effective with dental procedures and anything procedure that causes anxiety and fears about pain.

Hospitals can purchase a starter pack of 12 headphones at www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/12pack

Patients can purchase their own individual pre-loaded headphones at www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/products

The music on the heaphones plays continuously for 8 hours and headphones can be reused!

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Sep Sep 20, 2021

Do you know anyone who has been in ICU because of Covid?

By |September 20, 2021|Covid-19 and Music Medicine, Music in the ICU|0 Comments

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Young male patient listening music in bed in a hospital.

Today’s best hospitals are providing music for their  ICU patients.  Because of this terrible pandemic that won’t go away, our ICUs are again overflowing.  A dear friend who had been fully vaccinated passed away last week and we are all reeling.

What is an easy yet powerful intervention that hospitals can give their patients?  Music, of course!  Soothing, slow, and purely instrumental music has the power to transport the mind and body to another time and space.  Everyone knows intuitively that music does this for them, and yet when panic around possible Covid exposure or diagnosis sets in, most people don’t immediately think about music as an intervention.

Research in Music Therapy and Music Medicine is copious and there is absolutely no questions that music decreases anxiety and decreases pain perception. Here is one recent study confirming this yet again. https://news.vumc.org/2019/09/25/researchers-explore-musics-effect-on-icu-patients-staff/

Our 5 therapeutic playlists are easy to download and listen to samples.  Then, you choose which hour-long list you’d like to use and stream it to your earbuds or Bluetooth headphones as soon as you get to the hospital.  Most hospitals are more than happy for you to calm yourself in this non-chemical way which calms you down and allows them to go about their tasks without worrying about you!

Even better, hospitals are now ordering pre-loaded headphones to offer patients as soon as they are brought back for the pre-operative preliminaries.  This is good patient care and since hospitals are reimbursed for each procedure according to how good their patient satisfaction evaluations are, they really WANT you to happy with the experience!

When you or a loved one is in the ICU on a ventilator, you feel so helpless.  Well, offering soothing, proven effective music on carefully disinfected and covered headphones is a great intervention to offer! Go NOW to www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/patient-products to purchase the pre-loaded headphones, or www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/calm to download one of five therapeutic playlists!  You’ll be SO glad you did!!

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