Perhaps the most popular relaxation modality is music therapy. Whether New Age, rock, jazz, or classical, many people find that music distracts them from the painful moment, helping to reduce mental stress. In fact, in some hospitals, staff members give patients tapes of soothing music and reassuring voice-overs to use during surgical procedures. In clinical studies, both doctors and patients agreed that listening to music produced greater decreases in peaks of tension, and produced greater compliance with relaxation practice. While the studies are limited, it’s thought that music therapy can help to improve mood and pain tolerance. This therapy is thought to enhance the parasympathetic response through the effects of sound, encouraging relaxation at a deep level.
(Source: The Women’s Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program, by Howard S. Smith, M.D., and Debra Fulghum Bruce, M.S. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)