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Healing Music Ezine, October 2002, Vol. 2, No. 2

October 2002 Volume 2, Number 2

Healing Music Ezine Editorial

Editorial Musings:
How will YOU use music to get
through the holidays?

Well gee Alice! Do you have to make it sound so negative and gruesome? "Get through the holidays!?" Believe it or not, many of the patients I work with in the hospital honestly feel that way. The winter holidays of Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanza are not that happy a time for them. Expectations run high. Television, magazines and the media in general portray happy, loving, affluent families showering their families with love and gifts. Material excess abounds. For many, many people, this is simply not reality. The holidays invariably bring disappointment, sadness, even anger and violence. Tempers flare, alcohol and drugs are used in excess and things can become quite catastrophic! Where does music fit in? One of my adult piano students recently said that she sings "Silent Night" to herself all year long when she needs to calm herself. How beautiful and how simple that is. If we could begin now to think of just a couple of simple tunes that we love and know and that have pleasant associations for us, maybe they could get us through some rough times this winter. Slowly and quietly humming something like "Silent Night," "What Child is This?" or any song that you associate with peacefulness and calm might do wonders to comfort and calm an unquiet moment. Combining that with an image is even better: snow gently falling on a moonlit night; a mother rocking baby to sleep in a dimly lit room; sitting by a cozy fireplace with your partner or spouse. All of these things are free and powerfully effective!

Peacefully yours,
Alice, Ph.D., LCSW

To share comments or questions contact me by e-mail: Any topic related to music is welcome!


Question of the Month

Q: I know you have said that it is ideal to make your own tapes for surgery with the music that you love best, but what if you have emergency surgery? I was just told two days ago that I must have knee surgery and I just don't have time to make my own tapes now?

D.F., Maine.

A: Dear D. F.,
So glad you asked D.F. I've just completed my first 2-tape set for surgery which I would recommend to everyone. One tape is an interview with me that explains the entire rationale for music with surgery. The second tape is all music that is of the type I recommend; music with the tempo of the healthy resting heartbeat, mostly from the Baroque era. It is played by me and should be played at a very soft level through headphones during surgery.

Send in Your Question to the ChantDoc!

Healing Music Ezine News

Updated Calendar

Alice leaves or Europe again: France and England!

In less than a week, Alice is leving for the South of France and is tentatively scheduled to speak at University Paul Valery in Montpelier on October 25. After that date she and her daughter will be travelling to Paris where they will catch the Eurostar to London and spend a week there.

If anyone has contacts or connections in London and would like Alice to speak to their group, she can be contacted through her home office at 502-895-7688. She will be at the Regency Hotel October 27-31 and available for individual appointments and consultations for anyone living in the area. After that she will be travelling around in England with her daughter, then back to Montpellier!

A color biography sums up Dr. Cash's Services:

New Audiotapes!

This month we have two new tape sets to offer: a) Music for Surgery and b) Music for Alzheimers and Dementia Patients. People have been waiting patiently for the surgery tapes and I am thrilled to announce that they are finally out! This is a two-tape set, one of which is an interview with me by Dr. Crystal Sahner and contains all of the questions and answer I usually get at my workshops about why music is so important to have before, during and after surgery, what the research has found, and how to use the music and talk to your doctor about it. The second tape is the music itself with me playing pieces from the Baroque era and my own arrangement of "The Gift to be Simple."

Healing Music Services

Dr. Cash is available for seminars, workshops, classes and other group and individual instruction in using music for healing and promoting health and wellbeing. Find out how to book her amazing services by going to:

Louisvillle Area Health Professionals: Opportunity!!

Dr. Cash offers classes on a regular basis on:

  1. How to create music tapes for surgery
  2. Using music with pregnancy, childbirth and newborns
  3. Understanding how music affects the Mind-Body-Spirit & applying this to practice
  4. Toning, Chanting, and Drumming for Health
  5. Using Music with Alzheimer's Patients

2 -3 hour long classes are offered on demand for four people or more. Class can be booked for Fri am, Sat pm,
& Sun eves. Also private sessions.

Call 502-895-7688 to register or Email me .

Healing Music Ezine Focus

Special Topic:
Exciting new research on music with
three different conditions

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?


I. Editorial: How will YOU use music to get through the holidays?
II. Ask the Chantdoc: More questions about music and surgery
III. Updated Calendar: Alice leaves or Europe again: France and England!
IV. Special Topic: Exciting new reseach on music with 3 different conditions

Healing Music Products

Dr. Cash offers affordable products to help you reap the benefits of music and healing. Products available include audio tapes, special music sampler CD and book as well as her ebook & Mp3 packages. Each product is expertly created to offer you sound tools for therapeutic music sessions.

"Notes for Tuning Your Life with Music"
(available as soft cover book or ebook,
with CD or Mp3 music supplement)

BOOK & CD- (Book - $14.95; CD - $14.95 or Book/CD Combo - $24.95 & S/H)

EBOOK & Mp3s (Ebook - $8.95; Mp3s - $5/set)
Sets include:
Alzheimer's & Dementia Collection
Lullaby Collection
Chant Collection

Tape titles include:
The Healing Power of Music
Toning & Chanting with Addictions
Why Mozart? The Research on Mozart and Learning
The Use of Music with Alzheimers and other Dementias

To order, go to Dr. Cash's products page at:


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Content Written by Dr. Alice Cash

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