"Music therapy cannot be practiced as a pain reducer exclusively, but it can work if it is done alongside scientific treatment," said Dr Venkatesh Neugi, an anaesthetist and a leading figure in pain therapy in Goa.

Margao-based Horizon Hospital, where Dr Neugi practices, has installed a television set in labour room of hospital, that plays only music channels.

"There are enough studies which have clearly indicated that it can be an effective therapy," he said.

Dr Neugi said that for patients admitted in ICU, music therapy is one of the remedies when they are on life support system.

"When a person is on ventilator and life supporting instruments, that's a time when we play music near his ears as a therapy," he said.

Similar therapy is also used in treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain in cases like slip disc.

While there are ample studies related to music therapy, one such study, conducted by an MSc student from Belgaum-based KLE Hospital, has hinted that music therapy can help relieve pain and anxiety in "primigravida" (first time pregnant) females.

Ekta Karkal, who graduated with the Obstetric and Gynaecological nursing, has conducted the research for her project in select hospitals in Belgaum, which has substantially proved usefulness of this therapy.

"The subject of non-pharmacological measures for relief of labor pain and anxiety is relatively neglected in health and medical literature. Although, music therapy for pain relief and relaxation has been used extensively, scientific evidence regarding clinical effectiveness of this technique is limited," says Karkal's thesis.


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