Music is one of those things we have in life that not only provides entertainment, it can also be used as a healing tool in medicine. If you have ever had surgery, you might remember feeling anxious, nervous, and generally pretty bad about yourself. What a lot of people don’t know though, is that music can help you after you get out of surgery, and is being incorporated into post-operative care routines across the country. Here are four ways that music can be beneficial to you as a post-operative tool, which can help you progress and heal in ways you may never have imagined, and this is something I have personally experienced after many surgeries.
Music Eases Pain
One horrible thing about surgery is the immense pain you will feel afterward, and sometimes even pain medication can’t ease the intensity of what you are feeling. If you are listening to music during your post-operative care, you will realize that your not in as much pain as you thought, because music helps decrease the signals in the brain that control pain levels. Music also takes your mind off of the pain, because you get involved into what you are listening to, which helps you forget the pain all together. When I was 18, I had a surgery similar to the other nine surgeries I had prior throughout my life, but this time I listened to music right after I got out of the recovery room. What I noticed was that while I still hurt, it went from about a level 10 to a level 4, because I was just so into the music I forgot what I just went through. If you are someone that does not like taking pain medication, then you might try music therapy in lieu of pills or intravenous medication or at least use it for the time in between the doses.
Reduces Your Anxiety
I always noticed that after a surgery, I was always anxious and nervous, which I always contributed to the fact my body was in a compromised situation. The anxiety and stress you feel after surgery is actually related to an increased release of cortisol in your body. When you are listening to music, your cortisol levels naturally decrease, which in turn will reduce your stress and anxiety. Being anxious and stressed can slow healing time after surgery, can lead to you feeling more pain, and can also lead to you falling into a depressive state of mind. The good thing is, you don’t have to listen to classical music to feel that calming effect, because the reduction in anxiety can be seen through various genres of music. I always liked having music loaded onto my iPod or CD player before I went into surgery, that way when I came out of it, I had a host of music that I actually liked to listen to.
Boosts Immune System
It has already been stated that cortisol is lowered if you are listening to music, but cortisol impacts more than just your stress and anxiety levels. Listening to music as part of your post-operative care can also help boost your immune system, due to the lowering of the cortisol levels within the body. When you are in the hospital, your immune system becomes compromised, especially if you are undergoing a really invasive surgical procedure. The ability for music to boost your immune system is important because that can promote healing, which means you will be able to leave the hospital sooner, and you are less likely to develop post-surgery infection. I know when I was having surgery, I was always cautious because it was so easy to get sick due to the immune system being compromised, so having music is a great way to counteract that possibility.
Your Outlook Will Be More Positive
When you are in the hospital recovering from surgery, you might feel like you are depressed, lash out at nurses for no reason, and generally feel like you did not have a good hospital experience. You might have had some of the best nurses in the world, but if your attitude is negative, then you won’t notice the good in others. If you are listening to music however, you will generally maintain a more positive outlook on the whole situation, which means you are more likely to say you had a positive experience in the hospital. You will notice your spirit is more positive too, which means you might not be lashing out at the hospital staff, and you will not feel bouts of depression or like you are alone. Being in the hospital can be a scary experience, so having music to listen to can help you feel less helpless, especially if you have a long hospital stay. What I noticed was that listening to music just made me feel more content with life and my situation, and I remained feeling that things were all going to work out when I got out of the hospital. Having a more positive outlook and overall hospital experience will help you heal faster, be more likely to overcome obstacles in your recovery, and will also make you feel like you have more energy moving forward.