December 2006

Baby Boomers, James Brown, & iPods

  1. How Does Music Affect Babyboomers?
  2. Death of James Brown

  3. How about iPods in Surgery?


How Does Music Affect Baby Boomers?

We all know that music makes us feel good, right? It brings back happy memories, gives us energy, calms us down and generally feeds our spirits. How does this happen?? Well, there is a process called entrainment, whereby the components of music: rhythm, melody, mood of music, etc., synchronize with your own biorhythms (heartbeat and breathing). Sooo, when you listen to a favorite song from the 50's, 60's or even 70's, your brain and body are flooded with memories, endorphins, dopamine and other "feel-good" chemicals. It's the best way to get a "natural high." Give it a try!

If you're on the older side of the Baby Boom, like me, you grew up with the Holiday music of the 1950's. Songs like "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." Hearing those songs makes me smile and my brain is flooded with memories which in turn creates and flood of serotonin and endorphins. For a brief period I feel no pain whatsoever and I am transported to happy childhood memories and times. How about you??


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The Death of James Brown

James BrownThe "Godfather of Soul" died on Christmas Day and he died in Augusta, Georgia, right across the river from where I went to high school.

For me his most famous song was "I Feel Good" and I can't help but get a big smile on my face when I hear that song. that song actually does make me feel good and his sincerity just comes right through. James Brown wrote a lot of songs that mean a lot to many people. I can't say that most of it was my cup of tea but I certainly respect the man as a very creative musician who had many barriers to break down in order to achieve the success he did achieve. Long live James Brown!!

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How about iPods in Surgery?

ipod and surgeryShould you take your iPod into surgery?

About a year ago, the site had this to say: If you're headed for surgery, take your iPod. A new study by the Yale School of Medicine confirms previous work showing that surgery patients listening to music require much less sedation. Previous studies left open the question of whether it was music that did the trick, or just the act of blocking out the sound of dropped surgical instruments and other operating room noise.

In the new study, researchers tested 90 surgery patients at two facilities. Some wore headphones and listened to the music of their choice. Others heard white noise, that hiss and hum common to office buildings that's designed to drown out harsh noises. Others had no headphones. Blocking sounds with white noise did not decrease sedative requirements, the study found, music did. "Doctors and patients should both note that music can be used to supplement sedation in the operating room," said study team member Zeev Kain, a Yale professor in the Department of Anesthesiology.

This is significant folks. Listen up! And please let your doctor know as far in advance as possible that you want to use music through headphones or an iPod. You won't regret it!

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Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW

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