Category Archives: Pain Relief

An App called MUSIC CARE© for Relief of Pain and Anxiety

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Dear Pain Matters blog readers,

Here’s some exciting news:

An App called MUSIC CARE© offers personalised music therapy to help with pain, anxiety, depression, sleep dysfunction, medication over-use and other health issues.  MUSIC CARE can be used in a hospital setting, at home or in an alternate quiet and relaxing environment (Guétin et al, 2016).

This App allows the patient to select their own favourite music genre (e.g. classical, world, modern, electronic). It also allows the user to choose a desired personal goal (i.e. improve sleep, obtain pain relief or become awake).

Patients welcome the distraction of being able to listen to their preferred music genre while also undergoing a medical intervention.  Patients even bring their favourite headphones in anticipation of MUSIC CARE during their stay in hospital.

The self-selected music sessions help soothe, relax and calm patients as well as reduce stress and anxiety while in a safe, relaxing and peaceful environment.

If the patients are relaxed, it leads to a calmer situation, overall.  It helps to optimise the sedation procedure and ensure that the medical intervention runs as smoothly as possible.

The MUSIC CARE App is based on pre-recorded music sessions by talented musicians.  Specifically, music sessions are created in line with the medical ‘U-Sequence’.  This U-Sequence comprises 3 phases, being:

  • A Stimulating Rhythm – a phase dedicated to a conscious state prior to sedation;  
  • A Slow Rhythm – a phase dedicated to a relaxed state during sedation or local anaesthesia; and
  • A Moderate Rhythm – a phase dedicated to an awake state, post-sedation or post-local anaesthesia.

According to Dr Boccara, Chief of Anesthesia at The American Hospital of Paris, the MUSIC CARE App can be used:

  • Prior to intervention;
  • During local anaesthesia and sedation; and
  • During recovery, both in hospital and at home.

When reviewing brain activity during MUSIC CARE, either clinically or via electroencephalography, there is a gradual reduction in brain activity during sedation that occurs in synchronicity with the rhythm of the music itself.

In fact, the Slow Rhythm stage of each music session can influence brain activity in the same way that sedation may affect activity in the brain.  In other words, it is as if the patient is sedated (when they may not be).  

Furthermore, heart rate and blood pressure visibly decrease as well as acute pain and anxiety levels in patients who use MUSIC CARE, compared to those who do not.

While the medical team can still talk to the patients (if necessary), the patients can otherwise feel completely distracted, ‘switched off’ or ‘tuned out’ during the Slow Rhythm phase of a MUSIC CARE session.  During this Slow Rhythm phase, patients lose all sense of time and space.

While drifting off into ‘la-la-land’, a patient may believe that an intervention lasted only a few minutes when in actual fact, it may have taken 45 to 60 minutes.  The effect is somewhat comparable to hypnosis.

For more details, see 5-minute video called ‘The American Hospital of Paris using the MUSIC CARE method’ (below):

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I did!

More details are available on MUSIC CARE’s website:

Please note that while available in English and French, and while downloadable to a smartphone, the music therapy-based MUSIC CARE App is only available to licensed healthcare professionals and patients who have a partner code from their healthcare providers.

Musically yours,

Sabina Walker

Blogger, Pain Matters (in WordPress)


(1) MUSIC CARE’s website:

(2) Guétin S, de Diego E, Mohy F, Adolphe C, Hoareau G, Touchon J, Thayer JF, Koenig J. A patient-controlled, smartphone-based music intervention to reduce pain—A multi-center observational study of patients with chronic pain. European Journal of Integrative Medicine (2016).