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Five Signs That You Could Benefit from Music during Surgery

Are you planning to have surgery sometime in the near future? Whether it's elective surgery or "must-have" surgery, there are definitely some people that are really going to benefit from using music through headphones during the procedure and some that would not benefit as much. Anesthesia is important but must be administered by a professional anesthesiologist. The recent tragedy resulting in Michael Jackson's death was because a non-anesthesiologist attempted to administer Propofol, a powerful anesthetic for sleep problems and ended up giving Michael too much Propofol.

Medical, nursing and music therapy research continue to document the fact that having slow, steady music playing during a surgical procedure can relax the body naturally and can significantly reduce the amount of anesthesia the patient needs during surgery. The less anesthesia you can take, the fewer side effects you'll have and the faster your recovery will be. Because of this awareness, many hospitals are now recommending that patients listen to music during conscious surgeries and listen to slow, steady, instrumental music during general anesthesia.

Medical studies have shown that it can take up to six months for anesthesia to completely leave the body after general anesthesia. After a regional anesthesia it can take several months, and after a local anesthesia it can still take the better part of a day. Whether you're going in for back surgery or having a tooth pulled or a root canal, music can be effective for you if:

1. You've had problems with anesthesia in the past; anything from allergic reactions to nausea, vomiting, difficulty regaining consciousness or breathing difficulties

2. You've been told that you are not a good candidate for general anesthesia but you need major surgery. Although music alone would never be enough, music in addition to anesthesia will result in less anesthesia needed and a safer procedure.

3. You love music and respond favorably to your favorite relaxing and calming, comforting music.

4. You are already a fan of complimentary therapies are are not afraid to ask your doctor about something he may or may not have heard about.

5. You have at least a week before your procedure to either order pre=programmed headphones or to choose music for your own iPod or other MP3 player.

If you choose to use music during your surgical procedure, the cordless headphones are nice because they cannot get tangled with any other surgical equipment, they are lightweight and are pre-programmed with scientifically chosen and tested music for surgery.

Surgery is a frightening prospect for most people. If you knew there were an easy, effective, and cost-effective solution, wouldn't you want to try it?


Dr. Alice H. Cash is a clinical musicologist and medical music researcher from Louisville, KY. She conducted medical research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine from 1990-1997 and has presented numerous times at medical conferences around the world.  From 1997-2005 Dr. Cash was a full-time therapist at Baptist Hospital East in Louisville, KY. 

In 2008, Dr. Cash received a U.S. Patent on her "Surgical Serenity" Headphones. These headphones as well as a download of the surgical music can be downloaded from her website: http://www.HealingMusicEnterprises.com.

Dr. Cash also has a blog entitled "Surgery with Music" which can be found at http://www.surgery-with-music.blogspot.com. She welcomes your questions and comments.

About Author Dr. Alice Cash: Helping people to use music for Healing and Wellness. Dr. Cash stresses the use of music for health, learning, motivation, relaxation, energy building, or well-being. She is known internationally for her work with music and pregnancy, surgery, addictions, and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Cash can be reached through Healing Music Enterprises. (www.healingmusicenterprises.com)

You may reproduce Dr. Cash's articles as long as your use the complete version without editing including the last paragraph.

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