Does Music Help the Body Heal? The Power of Music

Calendar August 6, 2020
Does Music Help the Body Heal? The Power of Music

The Power of Music… We all have our favorite songs- ones we have loved for years and others upon hearing for the first time. Music speaks to us and brings back feelings of nostalgia. Memories of your first middle school dance, songs that remind us of our moms and dads, flashbacks of high school, or the song you danced to when you first became Mr. and Mrs.

Music makes us happy, sometimes sad, and everything in between. But, did you know music also has the power to heal? Studies show significant benefits of “music therapy” in patients suffering from a variety of issues; from dementia, depression and recovering from surgery.

According to a Harvard article (https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-music-can-help-you-heal), music therapy has benefits which include some of the following:

Easing anxiety and discomfort during procedures. In controlled clinical trials of people having colonoscopies, cardiac angiography, or knee surgery, those who listened to music before their procedure had less anxiety and less need for sedatives. People who listened to music in the operating room reported less discomfort during their procedure. And those who heard music in the recovery room used less opioid medication for pain.

Aiding pain relief. Music therapy has been tested in a variety of patients, ranging from those with intense short-term pain to those with chronic pain from arthritis. Overall, music therapy decreases pain perception, reduces the amount of pain medication needed, helps relieve depression in pain patients, and gives them a sense of better control over their pain.”

And in the video The Healing Power of Music: The Johns Hopkins Center for Music and Medicine, Parkinson’s patients who formed a choir showed significant improvements both mentally and physically.

Sarah Hoover., D.M.A., co-director of the Center for Music and Medicine points out that
“It’s fascinating and powerful to think that music, something that has been floating around in our environment forever – that this natural, omnipresent human activity has demonstrable benefit as treatment.”

Besides these incredible effects that music can have on us physically, music also relaxes us and plays an important role in our ability to focus.

We wanted to find out what some of our Orthopedic Surgeons listen to while in the operating room. Check out some of Azalea Doctors’ favorite tunes:

Dr. Clark – I listen to hard rock, mainly late 70s to early 80s and then a lot of grunge music from living in Seattle. I have a weak spot for the Beatles as well. That’s my scene.

Dr. Foreman – Even though I’m no longer operating, classic rock was always my go-to in the OR.

Dr. Jones- prefers smooth jazz.

Dr. Merrick – Dean (PA) and I listen to Funk music on Fridays. Everyone in the OR knows it as “Funk Friday.” These tunes keep up the energy and enthusiasm, especially when we’re working late.

Dr. Priddy – I’ll often start my first case with classical, then go to 80’s country (Keith Whitley radio on Pandora), occasionally Classic Rock, then love to end my day with Disco.

Dr. Russell – I listen to Chris Stapleton or contemporary Christian music.

Dr. Raabe – I like to listen to what the nurses like. Happy nurses make happy surgeons.

Dr. Wupperman – I listen depending upon my mood. Today was 90s, Monday was hip hop. Will listen to today’s hits and mix in Texas country every now and then, or Latin when I’m in a dancing mood.

We know the impact music plays on our minds and spirits, and now research is highlighting the benefits to healing. So, turn up the music, relax and let us know what your favorite songs are.

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