When I walked into Eileen’s hospital room recently, it was obvious that she was distressed and in pain. After introducing myself and providing a very brief explanation of Live Therapeutic Music, Eileen said wearily, “Oh, I am feeling so bad right now… I don’t know… maybe just one song.”
As I began to play, I could see Eileen’s face relax as she began focusing on the music. Within seconds, she closed her eyes. Before I finished, she motioned with her hand and said, “Keep playing, keep playing.” For the next 35 minutes, I played for her a continuous medley of classics and holiday music from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.
At the end of our session, she remarked, “While you were playing, I actually forgot how bad I was feeling. I know this will sound crazy, but I think I actually feel better now.” She smiled and added, “I’m sure this is all in my head, but somehow, the music made me forget everything and now… well now… I think I feel better.”
I smiled, acknowledged her comment and thanked her for allowing me to play for her. As I left, I couldn’t help chuckling to myself. I knew exactly why Eileen was feeling better, while she was still puzzled by the healing aspects of experiencing Live Therapeutic Music. Many healthcare professionals now recognize what had been a complete mystery to her, that Live Therapeutic Music is an effective non-pharmacologic intervention complimenting the use of standard pain and anxiety medications.
Someday, I pray that patients will eagerly embrace the use of Live Therapeutic Music as LTM sessions become as commonplace as pain and anxiety medications are now for those who suffer with these symptoms.