Monday, May 11, 2009

Music soothes the savage patient?

Science with a Smile: Music soothes the savage patient

Roger R. Coleman, Doctor of Chiropractic

Roger R. Coleman, Doctor of Chiropractic

There’s a part of me that sort of thinks when you hear harp music you’re probably not doing too good and if the person plucking the harp has wings you’ve got real trouble. But I could be wrong. 

It seems researchers at the Department of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery and Critical Care at the University of Central Florida-Orlando had a somewhat different idea. 

They launched a pilot study in which they wanted to find out if pain and anxiety could be reduced by live harp music. 

They used a 20-minute session of harp music to see if it was effective. And guess what, that 20 minutes of harp music decreased both pain and anxiety. 

But as the researchers point out, they couldn’t really be sure if the effects were produced by the harp music, the presence of the harpist and data collector or both. 

But it certainly is intriguing to think something as simple as music might lead to treatments that make us feel better. 

Remember, this was a pilot study and there was no control group to compare with the patients, who listened to the harp music, but still, it’s a study and you and your doctor should discuss it. So sit down with your personal doctor and the two of you can read a copy of “The effects of harp music in vascular and thoracic surgical patients” by D. Aragon.

As for me, I find harp music just a little scary, but I do seem to feel more relaxed after listening to Dean Martin or even some Jimmy Buffett. 

Now if they could just come up with music that would stop baldness, that would be a scientific breakthrough. 

Remember, this information is not intended as health care advice. The responsibility to determine the risk, usability and value of any information lies with your personal health care provider.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Should we leave Susan Boyle alone?

An interesting news story...

First, out of nowhere, there was Susan Boyle. And yea, the world dropped its jaws at the sound of that crystal-clear voice coming out of an ordinary looking woman, and saw that it was good.

AP file
People, she got a haircut and a scarf. This is not major cosmetic surgery, here.

And then, she showed up with a new hairdo and a Burberry scarf, and lo, the people started to freak the heck out. "What's next, a fake tan?" sniffed the Associated Press.

Come on. The woman got a $51 haircut and a scarf! It's not like she instantly threw herself on the plastic-surgery operating table and loaded up on Jimmy Choo stilettos. For all that she did clean up a bit, she still reminds me of a grade-school piano teacher. She'd never be noticed in a crowd by anyone who hadn't watched her YouTube audition clip.

But after the Boyle bonanza, in which everyone and their sister was e-mailing the YouTube clip, and then the Media Discovery, in which sites like ours were re-telling the story YouTubers already knew, there came the inevitable Warning Of The Backlash.

This story in the Times Online blames the supposed backlash on the new look, the fact that apparently Boyle's "never been kissed" line wasn't true, and that she's had some past musical success. Big deal. She's 47, if she hadn't ever tried to break into music before, with that voice, she's not just dowdy, as the paper calls her, but dumb. So she's not dumb! That's good!

And after the Warning of the Backlash came the declaration that said backlash was actually bogus. Any moment now we await the word that the bogus backlash itself was really bogus, and then the reversal of that bogus backlash, and now I can't even be bothered to keep up any more.