There are many sayings known across the world that give people pause to consider whether they are true or not. One such phrase states that, " music soothes the savage beast.” An interesting thought, but not always the most practical thing to test out for the normal person. If music does have this effect on the savage beast, what could it do for a human being?
According to one study, patients undergoing certain types of surgeries have been found to be less stressful because of music.
A team out of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford was recently published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, saying they have done a small study on this subject. The findings, which can be found in this BBC article, tracked the progress of a small group of patients that underwent surgical procedures at the facility. The results were eye opening, or perhaps ear opening, to say the least.
First, it should be mentioned that these were not procedures where the patient was put completely out for their surgery. The surgeries in question were typically ones that featured the person being awake for their procedure, but given a local that keeps them from feeling what is being done.
What the doctors found was that the patients that got to listen to some type of music typically were not as anxious as those that went without the soothing tones of some righteous tunes. How did the doctors determine this? They did so in a couple of different ways. First, they had the patient’s rate their level of anxiety after the surgery had been completed. It should be noted that of the 96 people taking part in this undertaking, half got music during the surgery, while the other half got the silent treatment which many have become accustomed to.
The findings showed that the anxiety levels on the musically soothed group were a third less than those that got to hear only doctor chatter. The other thing that the study showed was that those under the knife with music had much calmer breathing patterns, which helped during the surgery, as well as during the recovery period.
In the end, it appears that music does calm the savage beast known as man. The less stress that a patient is under, the better the chance that their recovery will go off without a hitch. The question that will be asked though is whether this should lead to all operating rooms having music as a way to help the patient. It is an interesting thought, and one that will take more studies on a larger scale.