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December 29, 2003

29 Dec
Well, I’ve just come across a monster pile of studies on the efficacy of music therapy and guided imagery for helping patients deal with all sorts of medical procedures..
Hello, everyone.
I’ve just come across a whole, big pile of studies on the efficacy of music therapy (or in some cases, music and imagery therapy) for helping with all sorts of medical procedures. These music therapy researchers evidently have been having themselves quite the field day.

One study shows music and imagery help with pain from mouth sores from bone marrow transplantation (it’s featured on this week’s Hot Research page). Another study from Ohio State shows that music helps with nausea from chemotherapy (Ezzone S, Baker C, Rosselet R, Terepka E.Music as an adjunct to antiemetic therapy. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1998 Oct;25(9):1551-6) .

Still another study from the Concord Hospital in New Hampshire shows that a guided imagery intervention and a music intervention both helped reduce post-op pain after after gynecologic laparoscopic surgery (Laurion S, Fetzer SJ.The effect of two nursing interventions on the postoperative outcomes of gynecologic laparoscopic patients. J Perianesth Nurs. 2003 Aug;18(4):254-61.)

We’ve already reported on a study out of Metro Hospital here in Cleveland that reports that imagery and music helped patients tolerate painful burn debridement procedures (Fratianne RB, Prensner JD, Huston MJ, Super DM, Yowler CJ, Standley JM.The effect of music-based imagery and musical alternate engagement on the burn debridement process. J Burn Care Rehabil. 2001 Jan-Feb;22(1):47-53.)

And still another study from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing shows promise that music helped patients in critical care on ventilator support. (Chlan L, Tracy MF, Nelson B, Walker J.Feasibility of a music intervention protocol for patients receiving mechanical ventilatory support. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Nov-Dec;7(6):80-3). And that’s just the first page.. there are 5 more to sort through. You are welcome to click on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=Pager&DB=PubMed and check the rest out, if you’re curious. This is a link to the National Library of Medicine - your tax dollars industriously at work.

But speaking as someone who’s been tracking mind-body studies pretty closely for the past dozen years or so, I have to say there’s an explosion of new research going on nowadays, and it’s pretty exciting. (Last week I found a giant cache of brand, new mindfulness meditation studies, which looked just as promising. The field is poppin’. I’m pumped.

Anyway, enough about me. I hope you’ll be having a wonderful New Year. Here’s hoping for peace and renewal in 2004!

All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award