by Victoria Simpson
Music has the power to heal, or, for certain, to make us feel worse. Listening to a bunch of pop music right after a tough break-up can make the best of us feel tossed in the gutter twice over with its catchy, inescapable themes of lost love.
But what about that one song, or Beethoven symphony, that can make you feel awesome?
How about listening to it in the operating room?
A new study published by lead author Catherine Meads of Brunel University in Uxbridge, England, is revealing that music is a powerful pain reliever and especially so when undergoing surgery.
The study involved 70 clinical trials and nearly 7,000 patients, reviewing the results of playing music while performing surgeries and analyzing the amount of post-operative pain patients reported.
Impressive results? Bring your iPod.
Researchers found that on a scale of one to 10, post-operative pain was reduced in patients on average by about a fifth compared to standard treatment. And actually, sad pop songs or not, the type of music didn’t matter. Everything had a positive effect on patients.
Even listening to music under general anaesthetic reaped rewards.
Mead’s study is a milestone as experts admit that music isn’t currently used routinely by doctors during surgery to help patients ease their pain in post-operative recovery.
According to the research team, this is due to widespread skepticism among health professionals towards the proven scientific effectiveness of music therapy.
A study posted on the website for the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US, 93% of patients report some degree of post-operative pain and 64.4% report this pain to be moderate, severe or intolerable.
With regards to her work, Meads states: “We hope this study will now shift misperceptions and highlight the positive impact music can have.”
Since tens of millions of operations are performed around the globe each year, the musical findings could have a significant impact and strike a chord in many lives.
Sounds like something even Hollywood doctors would want.