Music is an important part of my life. When I am down, it is comforting. When I am feeling nostalgic, I can usually put a memory of some sort with about any song I hear. Lyrics of songs are important to me so if I can’t hear them clearly, I won’t listen to it.
In church, I used to get the most out of the music part of the service. The words of hymns and special music often shared lessons to be learned and I often understood them better than hearing a sermon.
I am a vocalist and musician. I play music by ear. Keyboards and autoharps are my favorite instruments. It has been a long time but I feel I need to make some time to play my instruments again. I think it will help me feel better. I used to sit down at the keyboard with my head set on and just play—play anything that came to mind. I would go from one song to another, and play something I had never heard before. It didn’t matter. I was just letting my fingers do whatever they wanted to do on the keyboard. It can be very relaxing and cathartic to do that.
One of the skills/tools in my pain management arsenal is concentration as a means of distraction. I learned how to focus my thoughts and I use music as my medium. I have learned to focus my attention on a particular instrument and follow it through a song. It takes practice to be able to be selective and remain focused but it is a wonderful skill to practice. When I am in severe pain, I will turn on some music and listen intently to it. Soon I find I calm down and begin to feel better. I would encourage anyone to consider this as another option for pain management. A floating flute solo, stringed instruments, maybe an oboe or a French horn – any of these can be great. The key is to find one that is not the main instrument carrying the melody. Listen for an instrument of harmony, or perhaps a bass guitar – something that will require you to focus your attention. You see, you can’t focus intently on two things at one time. If you are focusing on the music, you can’t focus on the pain. Consider giving it a try!!