Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Research Areas part 3

Thanks for visiting topics and conversations. Here I want to address music therapy issues and concepts as they relate to education, health and wellness. Also, I want to let everyone know that my new site:, still in it's infancy, is in the process of producing more offerings. Right now there are two music albums available, David's Basics in Education and Lyrical Imagery. This second album, Lyrical Imagery, is a free download for a limited time.

Very soon I will have my third offering available, a video lecture for expecting parents titled The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood (including Labor and Delivery). The main thrust of this information will be to support moms (and dads) as they put together their own music listening playlists or CDs to support rhythmic breathing, act as a positive diversion from pain and stress, etc., to be used during labor and delivery.
For this weeks post I want to continue explaining, one by one, the 14 music research areas introduced two week ago. I refer to this information piece often and address it's content specifically in the upcoming video lecture The Purposeful Use of Music From Pregnancy Through Toddlerhood...
So lets continue with #s 4, 5, and 6!!!
    David Putano, HPMT, MT-BC
    Music Therapist – Board Certified


    Music has been clinically proven to:
    Here I will discuss physiologic reasons how and why experiencing music can decrease the perception of pain.   
    First, if we are experiencing physical or emotional pain we have to utilize many neural pathways to feel that pain. Similarly, when we engage in music listening to act as a positive diversion from pain, for us to attend to the music we again have to utilize many neural pathways to attend to that music... leaving less (neural pathways) to perceive pain. Neural pathways are microscopic nerve endings all through our body that ultimately connect to our brain. An example I'll use here is lets say we were on our couch with a splitting headache and someone at our door said that a youngster on a bike was just struck by a car outside. Most of us, getting up off the couch, going outside where neighbors and paramedics would be attending to the youngster, would not feel the pain in our head anymore. Why? Because we would be utilizing many neural pathways to perceive the commotion outside (task at hand) leaving less to perceive pain.    
    And second, regarding music’s psychophysiologic effects, Helen Bonny, PhD (as cited in Tsao et al., 1992), alludes to studies with coronary intensive care patients finding that those who listened to sedative music increased their tolerance for pain and decreased their need for pain medication. Ms. Bonny’s explanation for this: “sedative music is capable of stimulating the brain to produce peptides which are natural pain killers.”   
    ***For more in depth information about music therapy and pain management go to the resource center at the bottom left of the home page at:    
    As a reminder, for any of these benefits to be ideally achieved by purposefully using music, preferred music and listening to that specific music enough to develop a conditioned response are the two important keys to success.
    The big implication for this #5 and #6 below is the fact that music has been clinically proven to induce a relaxation response, i.e, decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and brain wave activity. Also, a relaxation response measures decreased levels of stress hormone. Researchers essentially measure this by putting vital sign apparatus on individuals. After listening to preferred music the above listed results are common. 
    Increasing oxygen to the blood happens because the person relaxes. When a relaxation response is achieved not only do our muscles relax but our veins and arteries do also. This results in more blood flow thereby increasing oxygen levels in the blood. Increased body temperature occurs for the same reason. *** Ever have to kick off covers in the winter after you've been asleep for a while? 
    6. DECREASE STRESS LEVELS (increasing endorphin levels, our body's natural opiates) 
    #5 above addresses stress levels
In upcoming posts I will continue explaining the research items listed on the MT Research Sheet located in the Resource Center, lower left of the home page, at

My prescription this week??? Again, grab the free download of "Lyrical Imagery" or “High 5” and listen to your favorite music and enjoy!!!!
AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks, David P.