Most of us realize that the music that we listen to has the power to change our mental and emotional states. Depending on the song, it can make us feel happy, sad, hopeful or hopeless. Even so, many people may not consider music as a way to relieve pain and speed recovery from surgery.
However, an article in Scientific Mind Magazine cites a study at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge which found that patients who listened to ambient music as part of their postoperative recovery program had improved pain management and decreased irritation and anxiety caused by environmental noise.
Patients who participated in the study had all undergone surgery for cancer and all received standard postop nursing care. Half of the patients listened to soft, ambient music – which is music only songs, without words played at about 60 decibels, and the other half in the study were not provided any music, Those that were provided music listened to the songs for 30 minutes, twice a day, at the same time as they took their routine medications.
After a period of 3 days, those patients who listened to the ambient music reported being able to better manage their pain levels and they had reduced their irritation and anxiety that was caused by external noise.
So remember the next time that you go in for surgery bring your earbuds and plug into some soft soothing sounds. It will help you feel better, faster.