News from the AORN conference in Chicago
I have just returned from a very exciting and
energizing conference in Chicago, sponsored by the Association
of periOperative Registered Nurses. The reason that I went, of
course, is to show and demonstrate the Surgical Serenity
Headphones. The AORN conference is the largest collection of
exclusively operating room vendors and the RN's that work there,
in the country.
I had two long days of showing, demonstrating, and explaining
the headphones and proprietary music to nurses, doctors,
hospital administrators, and medical salespeople, and the
results were simply fantastic! Let me just start by saying that
every single person that I talked to said that they thought this
is a great idea that will undoubtedly be used in every hospital
in the world eventually. The consensus seems to be that
this is an idea whose time has come.
Hospitals from coast to coast, including
children's hospitals, cancer hospitals, rehab hospitals, and
cosmetic surgery "spas" expressed great interest and support for
the cordless, pre-programmed headphones and the proprietary
music. I even had nurses pointing out benefits to me, that I had
not thought of. Some of the really great ones follow:
"these headphones are great, the way they go
behind the neck and hook over the ears because that way, the
full face is clear in case a patient needs to be 'rescued'
"allow hospitals to 'trial' the headphones so
you can gather more data about effectiveness of headphones as
well as increasing patient satisfaction scores."
"in the recovery room, the headphones will
decrease the amount of narcotics and anti-emetics and increase
patient satisfaction scores."
"since you're now in the VA Hospital System,
offer these to the 'Wounded Warrior" programs, where soldiers
are suffering from severe and painful PTSD. (After
yesterday's second tragedy at Ft. Hood, Texas, we can only
imagine how treatment with specially chosen music, might have
helped the Vet, who was suffering from PTSD!)
At the end of the conference, I was fortunate
enough to meet Deb Cooksey, VP of AORN and an MBA as well
as RN and MS degrees. She was extremely encouraging
to me and suggested I propose a break-out session for the Denver
conference next year. So many exciting new ideas both on the
clinical and the business front. I'd love to hear your thoughts
and ideas on this, too!
Why music is powerful medicine?
Today, we have a guest post by an author who is a Canadian health expert, and specialist in the field of music therapy. Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions.
Music as medicine
For centuries people have used music to soothe others; this is why mothers sing to their babies. It has also been used to lift the spirits of those feeling depressed, and to bring confidence to soldiers going into battle. Yet it is only recently that music has been recognized as a serious tool with which to tackle health problems. Now, as music therapy takes off in earnest, people are taking a fresh look at all the ways music can help us to feel better.
The physical effects of music
Music affects the body in several direct, verifiable ways. They include the following:
◾ Steadying the heart rate by matching it to the beat.
◾ Steadying the breathing.
◾ Slowing the production of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol.
◾ Relaxing muscles.
◾ Boosting healthy immune responses.
By influencing the body in these ways, music can lower stress levels and reduce the risk of several major health problems occurring, including heart disease and stroke. What’s more, it can make people feel happier and more relaxed in the process.
The use of music in these areas is growing increasingly common because where a health problem is not so severe that an immediate medical intervention is needed, it can provide a less damaging means of addressing that problem. Unlike many medications music has no negative side effects.
Music as a distraction
Music is now used in a number of medical contexts to distract people from stress and pain, making it easier for them to cope with difficult situations. For instance, dentists may use it to help their patients feel calm, and it is piped into MRI machines – at the patient’s request – to drown out unpleasant noises and help them relax while they have to keep still. It can also be used to make hospital environments less stressful for children.
Music and disability
Some people with mental health problems and learning disorders find music helpful not just because it reduces stress but also because it helps them to order their thoughts. This is thought to be because of its impact on key neurons in the brainstem. Essentially, it creates order through rhythm. Music is now routinely used in social care and learning support for people in these groups.
A related approach to this is the use of music to help reorient people with dementia and to help stroke survivors recover their motor skills.
Music therapy is currently one of the fastest growing allied health professions and is the focus of a great deal of research, including work looking at the direct biological effects of certain sound frequencies. Scientists also measure the different behaviors of the brain with and without musical stimulation in order to better understand how music can be used to change thought patterns. In some instances it can help patients to break out of cyclical patterns of depressive thought, and patients can learn to use it themselves to recover from panic attacks.
Further information about music therapy can be found on this health advice site.
visit our blog for additional "Healing Music" articles
Are you having surgery? Are you scared of the pain, the anesthesia,
the time off work, the side-effects of all the medications you’ll be
given? These are all common, and VALID concerns. Surgery is serious
business, but there are times that it really must be done to improve
quality of life, to prolong life, or to enhance life.
Over the past 5 or 6 decades, surgery has become a much safer
endeavor as hospital OR conditions have improved and methods of
sterilization and decontamination have stepped into the 21st
century. Many companies have created tools to make the patient more
comfortable during the entire procedure, from warming the sheets and
giving the patient fuzzy foot-cover, to lightweight headphones that
deliver specially-chosen music for surgery, wirelessly and
Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions that I get
about the benefits of music during surgery:
1.What are the benefits of music during surgery:
Patients using music (through cordless headphones) pre-surgery,
during and after surgery, report less fear and anxiety medication
before procedure, less anesthesia during surgery, and less pain
medication after surgery. They also report fewer side-effects from
the anesthesia, such as nausea and vomiting, and a faster return to
home, work and life in general! In addition, when patient receives
the music through headphones, the surgeon can have his own more
upbeat music, and the patient isn’t affected by that. Also,
conversations that the doctors and nurses have, that patient doesn’t
want to hear, will be obscured. Finally, with Baby boomers having
more and more joint replacement surgeries, patients don’t have to
hear the drilling, sawing and hammering that goes on.
2. What are the drawbacks of music during surgery:
3. Do the headphones block all sounds in the OR?
No, the surgical headphones are intended to greatly decrease the OR
noises, but during regional anesthesia and surgery, the patient can
still hear questions that the doctor might need to ask.
4. Will my doctors approve of this?
Most doctors do approve of the use of headphones during surgery. The
surgeon and the anesthesiologist both need to give their approval.
It is important to print out our free article entitled “How to Talk
with Your Doctor about Using Music During Surgery.”
5. How did you choose the music on the headphones?
I have been helping patients choose their perfect music for surgery
for almost 25 years. I had been reading about the benefits of music
in reducing medication and calming the patient, but through my own
personal research and experience, I discovered that slow, steady,
soothing instrumental music, that has the tempo of the healthy,
resting heartbeat is ideal. This is what get the entrainment process
going, and even when the patient is under general anesthesia, the
body’s heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure all tend to stabilize
and synchronize with the slow, steady pulse of the music.
6. Can I continue to use them after surgery?
Yes. The headphones include a USB cable and charger so that after
your surgery or other medical procedure, you can connect the
headphones to your laptop and load hundreds more pieces or songs of
your choice. With care, your headphones should last for many years!
This article was also just published
from our Surgery and Music Blog...
Like to Have a Copy of Our Surgical Serenity Music?
Be Willing to Download that copy at 50% OFF?
Next 7 Days, You may have our "Friends and Family" cost:
This is the
same music that we pre-load on our Surgical Serenity Headphones
that sell for $197.97. You will receive an Mp3
file with over 20 music selections that can be played on your
computer or any Mp3 player.
alone, normally sells for $99.97, but with our 50% offer, you
can download it for the next week for only $49.49. You can
then load it onto your iPod, or other MP3 device.
We hope that you
will recommend our headphones to your "Friends and Family"
should they need to have surgery sometime in the future. Our
phones are wireless so they don't interfere with the surgery
process or equipment.
(Offer has Expired 4/12/14)
Music used to assist
Veterans in dealing with
It’s hard to imagine
anything that is
more stressful than
the day-to-day life
of an active duty
soldier. Those that
survive the wars
often return with
all kinds of
including, but not
limited to PTSD.
Now a program
devoted to helping
these Vets use music
to cope with their
memories is being
Enjoy this news
story, that came my
way earlier today!
times as a combat
solace in Vivaldi.
New Jersey native
Nairobi Cruz was
comforted by country
music, a genre she
had never heard
before joining the
Army. For Jose
Mercedes, it was an
eclectic iPod mix
that helped him cope
with losing an arm
during a tour of
duty in Iraq.
These three young
veterans all say
music played a
crucial role in
stresses of active
duty. Now, all three
are enrolled in a
program that hopes
to use music to ease
into civilian life. (When
I wrote this blog
post, I had no idea
how timely it would
be for our March
2014 Healing Music
View Other articles regarding the
relationship between music and the
For nearly two decades, I've been helping people use the music that
they already love to heal their lives and increase their wellness
am one of the world's only clinical musicologists and hold
a Masters degree in piano performance, a Ph.D. in
musicology and a Master of Social Work in clinical social work. I
am also a licensed clinical social worker. I work with people and
diagnoses of all kinds, enabling them to find healing, acceptance and
performing, researching, and teaching and have put them all together
in a career called "Music Medicine."
Solutions featured in Local Magazine
One of the challenges that we musicians, music therapists, and
clinical musicologists have is publicity.
With the internet and the world wide web, we now have the
possibility of electronic magazines (ezines), blogs, Facebook,
Twitter and so much more.
Thanks to all of the new
“social media” options, millions more people are now aware of the
healing power of music. And this week, out came one more great
article about the Surgical Serenity Solution.
Today's Woman. December, 2013
See you next month!!
Dr. Alice H Cash
"Using Music in the Hospital"
Dr. Alice H. Cash is often asked to share her
Grand Rounds Presentation with hospitals' doctors and staff. Learn
what is currently happening around the world and the results they are