Whidbey General Hospital

How Do We Know Music Therapy Works?

Research studies have shown music to be effective in boosting the immune system, decreasing pain and/or anxiety, and enhancing relaxation. Music can also raise pain threshold and reduce use of sedative and analgesic drugs by as much as 50%.


One study showed a reduction in anxiety that was equal to an additional dose of a tranquilizer. The surgeons concluded that music could be used with success, especially when used in combination with a regional anesthesia.

Music also helped to reduce pre-surgery anxiety. Many studies have found that music is most useful to a client if it has been selected by, is preferred by and/or has meaning to the client.

A music therapist can work with a client to select the music that will be most beneficial for their situation.

For more information about music therapy:
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