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Exciting New Research on Music Medicine & Therapy

The fields of music medicine and music therapy are filled with on-going research into every possible area of music. Thank goodness many people today are quite interested in how music can help in healing the mind, body, and spirit and, at the same time keep us from needing so many potentially harmful and addictive drugs. Many drugs are quite useful and helpful but many Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and other citizens of the world take far more than they really need. Music can be part of the solution!

My colleague Belleruth Naparstek, in her wonderful online monthly e-zine, "Health Journeys" mentions three new studies that have just come out. I would like to announce them to you!

  1. "Music Therapy Eases an Anxious Wait in the Cardiac Cath Lab"
    W. J. Hamel explored the effects of music therapy on the anxiety levels, heart rate and blood pressure of patients waiting for cardiac catheterization. One hundred and one people (63 men and 38 women) were randomly assigned to either listen to 20 minutes of pre-selected music or to be in the standard care control group. Measurements were taken during the waiting period and just prior to departure for the lab. The intervention group had a significant reduction in anxiety pre- and post (p = 0.003) and when compared to the controls (p = 0.004). Where the heart rate and systolic blood pressure dropped in the music therapy group, it increased in the control group. This held up whether the patient was male or female, but the men as a group had higher diastolic scores than the women, and the women had higher anxiety scores than the men.

    Hamel, WJ, The Effects of Music Intervention on Anxiety in the Patient Waiting for Cardiac Catheterization, Intensive Critical Care Nursing, 2001 Oct; 17 (5): pp. 279-85.

  2. " Music Therapy Helps Ventilator Patients"
    A research team in Hong Kong tested the effectiveness of music therapy on twenty ventilator-dependent patients, measuring blood pressure, respiratory rate and the Chinese version of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Instrument. Patients were randomly assigned to either 30 minutes of uninterrupted rest and then 30 minutes of music therapy, or the reverse: music therapy first, followed by the rest period. Patients had a choice of Chinese or Western music. Measures were taken at 5-minute intervals during the music intervention. The study showed that music therapy was more effective at decreasing anxiety than the rest interval (p < .01). Blood pressure and respiration did not show differences.

    Wong HL, Lopez-Nahas V, Molassiotis A. Effects of Music Therapy on Anxiety in Ventilator-Dependent Patients. Heart Lung. 2001 Sept-Oct; 30 (5): pp. 376-87.

  3. "Music Therapy Eases the Waiting for a Breast Biopsy"
    Twenty patients awaiting breast biopsy at a Kentucky Correctional Facility were randomly assigned to either 20 minutes of music therapy in the pre-op holding area or else were placed in the standard care group. Their blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and anxiety levels were measured before and after the intervention. This pilot showed that the anxiety and respiratory rates of the patients in the music condition were significantly lower than those of the controls.

    Haun M, Mainous RO, Looney SW. Effect of Music on Anxiety of Women Awaiting Breast Biopsy. Behavioral Medicine, 2001. Fall; (3): pp. 127-132.

Well, there you have it! More reason to grab your headphones and favorite CD's before heading out for the Dr. or the hospital! What have you got to lose?


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.
New Research on Music Medicine & Therapy; Dr. Alice Cash

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