Music Therapy for Pain Management

How Music Therapy Helps with Pain Management

Music therapy can help to relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety for the patient, resulting in physiological changes, including:

Improved respiration

Lower blood pressure

Improved cardiac output

Reduced heart rate

Relaxed muscle tension

Music therapy has been shown to have a significant effect on a patient’s perceived effectiveness of treatment, self-reports of pain reduction, relaxation, respiration rate, behaviorally observed and self-reported anxiety levels, and patient choice of anesthesia and amount of analgesic medication.

Music Therapy Protocol for Pain Management

“[This protocol]… is based on a cognitive-behavioral model of therapy, which posits that new thoughts, feelings, and body states may be conditioned to replace dysfunctional patterns. Specifically, a relaxed body and pleasant visual images may replace tension and worry when they are conditioned as a response to familiar, calming music. The conditioning process takes place when listening to this music is paired with deep relaxation through repeated practice. Over time, the music alone cues the response…

The music therapy protocol is designed to perform several functions:

To direct attention away from pain or anxiety, distracting the listener with comforting music. To provide a musical stimulus for rhythmic breathing.

To offer a rhythmic structure for systematic release of body tension.

To cue positive visual imagery. To condition a deep relaxation response.

To change mood.

To focus on positive thoughts and feelings and to celebrate life.” – Professor Suzanne Hanser, EdD, MT-BC, Berklee College of Music

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