Vitamusic Research: working to develop new technologies  towards the restoration and improvement of well being and health through music and new understandings about the human design and electro-magnetism 

Vitamusic did a presentation about its research and approaches to music as medicine at The Program for Music, Mind & Society at Vanderbilt University, The Blair School of Music, Third Annual Symposium: The Science of Song in Nashville, Tennessee.  The functional music created by Vitamusic is being used to assist patients as an intervention for anxiety and pain in hospitals and healthcare centers.   A Study is underway at a community hospital in Tennessee that is investigating the use of music as an intervention for anxiety in the perioperative arena in which the functional music of Vitamusic is being used as part of the study.   The details of the study and its methodology are to follow.

Search current and available musical vitamins at the Sonic Pharmacy.

Music Interventions for the Treatment of Perioperative Anxiety in the Healthcare Setting

Research Investigator/Sponsor: Edward Dowrick


Everyone has experienced the instant and profound effect that music can have on the emotions. For example, in nearly every culture around the world mothers sing to their babies to soothe them. However, music’s effects are not just emotional, but also physical. Brand new research has revealed that music therapy—specifically music of a certain kind — speeds the rate of physical healing for surgical patients.

Edward Dowrick, independent volunteer researcher is conducting a study at a community hospital in Tennessee, United States.  The purpose of this study will be to evaluate the role of music, both patient selected and functional music (specifically composed for the purposes of reducing anxiety), as an intervention to reduce patient anxiety and pain in the healthcare setting, specifically as it applies to patient anxiety in the perioperative arena.

The autonomic nervous system controls over 80% of bodily functions (cardiac, respiratory, peripheral circulation, reproductive, endocrine, gastrointestinal) and is very susceptible to stress and emotional tensions. For healing to happen, the body needs to shift from sympathetic (fight/ flight mode) to parasympathetic (resting mode) dominance.

Edward Dowrick, along with other musicians, have composed and produced pieces of music that are specifically designed to nourish and settle the nerves, to be calming and corrective upon the person who may be over-stimulated and too nervous, reducing anxiety and agitation, and thereby creating a state where the parasympathetic nervous system is the main actor at play during a medical procedure.

This also has applications in assisting recovery, reducing pain, and possibly preventing the onset of depression from prolonged stress that can often accompany a medical procedure or hospital stay.  Evaluation of the use of music intervention could lead to an evidence based change in the current routine care protocol. If effective, this could lead to a greater overall patient satisfaction with their hospital experience, possible better clinical outcomes, and possible reduction in the use of anti-inflammatory, pain, and anxiolytic medications.

Study Plan and Method

As part of an evaluation of patient care and service of procedures performed under local anesthesia (cardiac-catheterization) and performed without (lumbar puncture procedure) in the hospital setting, the purpose of this study will explore patient anxiety levels pre, during, and post-procedural.  This will mainly involve examining the role of music, both general and specifically composed (functional music) in patient anxiety levels.

Patients undergoing the above mentioned procedures will be invited to participate. The anticipated study period is estimated at 1 year with a projected enrollment of 800 patients, who are eligible and have given consent to participate.

The study will be explained about improving care and the overall experience for patients undergoing procedures in a hospital setting without mention of music as part of the study to prevent biasing the results.

The study will commence with measuring anxiety levels pre-procedural.  Anxiety levels will be quantified objectively (physiological measures) by measuring patient’s respiratory rate (RR) and other vital sign data (ie pulse rate, O2 saturation, blood pressure) if obtainable, and subjectively (psychological measures) by asking the patient to rate their anxiety levels on a Anxiety Self-Assessment VAS (visual analogue scale). The patient will be assigned a number for study identification and patient confidentiality along with a study group number of 1, 2, or 3 evenly assigned.

This study will consist of three groups. For all groups, respiratory rate (and other vital sign data) will be taken three times: first, when the patient has agreed to participate and signed consent and is waiting to proceed with procedure prior to filling out survey. The second time will be at the start of the procedure whilst the patient is on the procedural/operating table or during the procedure itself. The third time will be at the end of the operative procedure (whilst the patient is still on the procedural/ operating table).

In Group 1 (patient selected music), music, of the patient’s choice, will be played, after the first initial RR (vital signs data) measurements, completed self-assessment survey whilst waiting pre-procedural and during procedure.  Note: The patient will be offered a choice between playlists of easy listening, ambient, country, gospel, classical, meditative music, etc. Note: Literature strongly suggests that the element of autonomy may be a major factor associated with altering anxiety levels. Allowing patients the option to choose how to spend their time waiting for a procedure can give them a ‘sense of control’ or personal involvement within their own care. Musical options are important, however, music that is not anxiety provoking, ie ‘Grunge-Rock’ , which is associated with yielding anxiety states even when patients state that they enjoy such music.

In Group 2 (provider selected music), music, specifically composed (functional music) for ‘nerve settlement’ provided by Vitamusic, will be played, after the first initial RR (vital signs data) measurements, completed self- assessment survey whilst waiting pre-procedural and during procedure.

In Group 3 (control group), RR (vital signs data) measurements and a completed self-assessment survey will be acquired only and no music will be played.

Music will be audible to the patient only at a low volume (volume range 35-60dB). This way the patient can hear physician instructions if necessary.   Music will be transmitted via a small listening device and disposable earphones.  The music will not be audible to the physicians or hospital staff during the procedures.

At the end of the procedure, RR (vital signs data) measurements will be taken for the third time (whilst the patient is still on the procedural/operating table). After patient leaves procedural/operative theater, they will be asked to quantify their experience and satisfaction levels using a Likert scale where, for example, a score of 5 will indicate ‘very satisfied’ and a score of 1 will indicate ‘very dissatisfied’.


 In the Future

Music will be an integral part

of the healing process

The Future is sooner than you think

The year long pilot study for this research was successfully completed in 2017 with some interesting results.  If you are a university or research group that would like to do the full study, please contact us and we will pass it along to you.  You may find something that will change medicine as we know it.

Psychological measures were obtained by asking the patient to rate their anxiety levels on a Anxiety Self-Assessment VAS (visual analogue scale).  This newly developed Anxiety Self-Assessment VAS was created by Edward Dowrick and is available for use with license. Contact us if you would like to use this effective and simple assessment tool.

What does light sound like?  Translating sounds into electrical signals that then reach the brain via the auditory nerve. Hmmm… What you listen to does matter….  Read article here: Cochlear implants hear light    For music of a medicinal nature, visit the Sonic Pharmacy today.

″An artist who pursues original art seeks to express that not yet expressed, not by invention, but by exploring the affair between the human and the universe we exist within. Thus, their ways are the love of the unknown and the unexpressed, rather than the infatuation with what already exists and what is repetitive.″ – John Turner from ′The Tear′

“In the Future, Music will be an integral part of the Healing process” -Edward Dowrick. That future is now…. From the American College of Cardiology