Plastic surgeons at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK, have found that music can have a positive effect on patients undergoing surgery. Playing music in the operating room while surgery is taking place can reduce anxiety and may also improve the recovery of patients who have been administered local anaesthesia (so they’re awake and can actually hear the music).
As the first proper study of its kind, 96 patients were monitored and asked to rate their “feelings of worry”, with half of them exposed to music. The patients rated their feelings before and after surgery. Those who listened to music experienced a lower rate of anxiety. Interestingly, they also had a lower breathing rate, which could be validation of being more comfortable and calmer.
Stress and anxiety tends to inhibit healing, since it can adversely affect your nervous and immune systems. As a result, the study supports the fact that by playing music during surgery, patients become calmer and may be able to recover more quickly.
While this study is more for surgical procedures, why not try applying it to nonsurgical procedures, too? If you’re nervous at your next Botox treatment, bring along your iPod loaded with your choice of relaxing music and listen to it while you’re getting your injection. It may help!