We are blessed to live where most of us have access to the best medicine and technology on the planet. Yet with all our advances in medicine, right now – in hospitals, hospice facilities, nursing homes and rehab centers – thousands of patients are suffering from persistent pain, anxiety, agitation and other symptoms that seem to resist the best that medicine has to offer.
Its not because medications are ineffective. Doctors can’t prescribe unlimited amounts of medicine without risks to the patient. All medications have limits on dosage and frequency. So what can be done to help reduce the suffering that thousands of patients endure every day? Live, acoustic therapeutic music at the bedside.
Studies show that a 20 minute therapeutic music session provides a nearly identical calming effect as sedatives prescribed to reduce anxiety, fear and agitation. Patients who listen to therapeutic music prior to surgery require less anesthesia during surgery than patients who do not and recovery for patients who listened to therapeutic music was shorter than for those who did not.
Therapeutic Music is also effective in stabilizing vital signs by helping lower blood pressure, slowing respiration rates and reducing heart rates. When played for Alzheimer’s patients, music from a patient’s developmental years has also been shown to help patients ‘re-connect’ with their past and actually help them ‘awaken’ for brief periods of time. Therapeutic music creates a peaceful and relaxed environment for the patient and medical staff. Patients often fall asleep and rest during therapeutic music sessions.
Therapeutic Music is an affordable and effective supplement to traditional medicine. Yet, many health care facilities do not provide Therapeutic Music for their patients. This is where I (and hundreds of other Certified Music Practitioners) need your help. The next time you consider a health care facility, ask if the facility provides therapeutic music for their patients. If they don’t, ask why not! Health care facilities spend tons of money on social programs and non-essential patient care items. Few palliative care disciplines can relieve suffering better than therapeutic music. So will you help us spread the word? If so, please share this post and in doing so, you become part of a healing presence to those who suffer through the gift of music.