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.

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