Surgery tends to bring a lot of stresses on a person as they prepare and wait.  And there’s the issue of pain following surgery.  What’s a person to do?

Quality care of self (proper diet, exercise, and medications/supplements as directed) is important.  Now add your iPod.  Why?  Research is showing music listening can decrease stress and speed recovery in some cases.

An October 2009 Time Magazine article (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1929994,00.html) discusses the use of music listening during brain surgery.   Patients listening to melodic music appeared more relaxed.  Neuron activity deep in the brain decreased.  Dr. Janigro states this in desirable and can result in a need for less medication.  In turn, length of hospitalization can decrease.

A July 2009 article in Miller-McCune (http://www.miller-mccune.com/blogs/news-blog/music-helps-patients-recover-3586/) sites research on patients receiving hip or knee replacements and one on cardiac patients.  Patients in the hip/knee replacement study listened to lullabies upon arrival to the orthopedic floor and were given a choice of music once they where alert.  These patients regained cognitive abilities more quickly after surgery than did the group not listening to music.   In the cardiac study, delicate piano music was played post-operative until patients were alert enough to indicate a music preference.  They averaged about five hours of listening while in ICU with an average of five hour less time spent in ICU when compared to the non-music listening group.

These are just a few of the many studies on the effectiveness of music listening.  So, consider taking your IPod with you for your next surgery or hospitalization.  Have a play list of some relaxing music as well as some other lists for your recovery.  At the very least, it may make your visit more enjoyable.