LONDON (CBSDC) – Music may hath charms to sooth the savage beast, now a new study finds it may sooth pain.

A new study finds that listening to music before, during and after surgery can help reduce the pain a patient feels.

British researchers found that listening to music was linked to a reduction in postoperative pain, lower anxiety, and a reduced use of painkillers.

“Music puts us in a better mood and when you’re in a better mood, the brain releases neurochemicals and hormones that stimulate immune function,” Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal and author of the book “This is Your Brain on Music,” told CBS News. He was not involved in the current study.

The scientists conducted a review and meta-analysis of 72 randomized trials about the impact of music, comparing it to standard pain relief medications or non-drug interventions on post-operative recovery in adult patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures.

Research also showed a slightly greater reduction in pain and use of pain medications when patients were able to select their own music.

“When patients select the music, it has more of an impact than when the doctor does,” Dr. Rafael Alexander Ortiz, director of interventional neuroradiology and stroke at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News.

The authors of the study agree, writing: “We believe that sufficient research has been done to show that music should be available to all patients undergoing operative procedures. Patients should be able to choose the type of music they would like to hear.”

The study is published in the journal The Lancet.

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