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    Living with Pain: Create Your Own Music Therapy
    3 November 2011
    22:37
    Admin
    Forum Posts: 36
    Member Since:
    7 September 2011
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    “Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the Beautiful is dead.”  ~Benjamin Disraeli

    It is always useful to add new tools to your chronic pain management program.“Music therapy” is easy to addLaboratory research has demonstrated that music helps people to tolerate pain, increases perceptions of control, and reduces anxiety as compared to a visual distraction or a no music condition. Further, greater familiarity with the music strengthened its beneficial effects. So more frequent listening to favorite music may be more therapeutic.  In a survey of 318 people with various types of chronic pain, respondents who listened to music as a means of controlling or coping with pain reported that music provided both relaxation and positive distraction, both of which have been found to be helpful in chronic pain management.

    Using music as a coping strategy has cross-cultural appeal, is relatively inexpensive, convenient, safe, and has no known negative side effects (just watch your volume). Of course, real music therapy is much more than simply listening to music. And, while you could visit an actual music therapist, you can start by creating your own pain management playlist for use during those times when you need some extra help in coping with pain, such as managing a painful procedure, breakthrough pain, to take the edge off of severe pain, or when you are just plain tired of coping. You may already listen to music on a regular basis. To make music part of your pain management toolkit, put together a playlist, listen to it a dozen or so times when you are not in pain or when your pain is lower,  to verify that you really like it. If you need help with creating your playlist, ask friends and family for suggestions. Then put the playlist aside for those times when you need special help. After using it the first time to manage your pain, evaluate which songs helped the most; replace those that weren’t helpful.

    What is your favorite song, artist, type of music to listen to when you are dealing with pain?

    About the Author. Dr. Linda Ruehlman is a social/health psychologist and researcher, co-founder of Goalistics, and Director of the Chronic Pain Management Program, an interactive site that helps people with chronic pain to manage their pain and live richer, more effective lives.

    DISCLAIMER: This blog is provided as an educational and informational resource only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional psychological or medical advice.

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