Thursday, February 2, 2012

Live Music and PTSD

Back in the 70's  when I was getting my B.A. in Music Therapy, the texts talked about how it got it's start in the modern era as something that helped veterans of WW II suffering from what was then called "shell shock". Now there's this article talking about how live music performed in waiting rooms at a VA hospital is making a difference with patients dealing with PTSD and brain injury.

Dr. Hani Khouzam, a psychiatrist who treats both disorders, said patients have been arriving for appointments so notably calmer that it takes him longer to make a diagnosis — something he welcomes.

"You have to understand what it means for a combat veteran to be agitated in the waiting room. Their pupils are dilated. They are angry or waiting for something to happen," he said. "But when we have live music that day, they come to me far more relaxed. It's like an amazing miracle, and I don't say that lightly.". . .

. . . The "amazing surprise," Khouzam said, has been that the random playing of live music in the waiting room — doctors and therapists have not seen the same result with recorded music — helped patients with psychological damage from war.

Down in the comments to the post, there's this:

As the Executive Director of Musicians On Call, a national nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music directly to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, we recognize the healing power of music. Forty-one times a week in five cities we have local volunteer musicians - and volunteer guides who accompany them – who go room to room, bed to bed to play for patients, their families and caregivers. . . . . For more information on Musicians On call please go to Leslie Morrison Faerstein, Ed.D., LCSW, Executive Director.

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