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Music and Pain- Pain News

Music and Pain- Pain News

Editor’s Note: Rosemary Lee is a writer who lives in Las Vegas and suffers from fibromyalgia. She writes for the National Pain Report. To see more of her work visit her blog (here).

“One good thing about music,

when it hits you..

you feel no pain.”

Bob Marley

What is it about music? Why does a certain song trigger so many memories? They can be good memories or bad ones and those memories can take us back and give us those very same emotions as if it were the very day. Music has the ability to give us peace and solace. It can soothe, inspire and uplift. It can bring joy and make us smile.

So what does that mean for pain?

I guess we should go back to the definition for pain. Pain is defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that is associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in such terms.”

So if pain is an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience can that same stimuli be overridden by the pleasant and emotional experience that music brings? Can music provide enough distraction to alleviate pain and suffering?

Music therapy is used to induce relaxation and to be used in a multi-disciplinary approach for pain management. It covers listening to music, writing songs, singing along to music, discussing lyrics and meditating with music in the background. A Danish study has shown that people experience less pain when listening to their favorite music. “We measured both directly and indirectly how the participants experienced their pain after having listened to self-chosen, relaxing and pleasant music, and we measured an effect on all parameters. They reported that the pain became less unpleasant and less intense,” says study lead author Peter Vuust, of the Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN) at Aarhus University, Denmark.”

It’s possible that people could require less medication and see improvement in muscle relaxation, blood pressure and heart rate. It also reduces the rate of disability. If the music expresses contentment it really doesn’t matter what the genre.

I have always loved music. Of course, my OCD little self always alphabetized the albums and if you took one out you better put it back in the proper place. Nothing felt better than putting on my headphones, kicking back and listening.

Maybe there is something to this.

All I know….

when they thought of music therapy,

I don’t think they meant…..

to crank up Pink Floyd full blast…

Or…..maybe they did…..

I can be Comfortably Numb.


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