You’ve Got the Beat

Sing loud and play along
Author: Heather Boerner

Boom, chaka chaka, boom!

Hear that? That’s the sweet sound of your pain going away.

See, pain from bleeds happens. Even if you get medicine to help with pain, sometimes you still hurt. But, after you’ve told Mom and Dad about it, you might not feel it so bad if you lean back, close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs. Here’s why: Your brain is like a really powerful computer—but one that can only open one window at a time. That’s why when you listen to music, your brain can’t “hear” the pain signals coming from your joints, your port or from a needle stick. So whether it’s Thomas the Tank Engine songs, Broadway musicals or hip hop, music can help you when you hurt.

The best part? You can enjoy music anywhere! Play some tunes at home or in the car. Your family may find a professional music therapist who can teach you how to use music to deal with the pain. Either way, all you need is to tune in, sing loud and play along.

Tune In

Tune in to the music you like and that makes you feel good all over. Mom and Dad might put a few rules around it, like how loud the music can be or they may even say no to certain bands. But other than that, if it gets your toes tapping and your body moving, it’ll help drown out the pain.

Ask Mom and Dad to help you create a playlist of your absolute favorite songs. If you listen to them when you are chilling out—like when you’re getting ready for bed—your brain will know that it’s music to help you relax. Then when you play that music when you’re in pain,  it will calm you even faster.

Sing loud and play along

Listening to music is great for pain relief, but singing and playing along are even better! That’s because your whole body and brain are involved, putting a “Go Away, Pain!” sign out that sends the pain signals packing in a hurry. The pain will still be there, but you won’t notice it as much.

Don’t own an instrument? That’s OK. Do you have fingers? Toes? Snapping and stomping and drumming out the beat on your chest or leg can get you in the groove. Now’s the time to pull out Rock Band, karaoke CDs or your air guitar. If your parents have a tablet personal computer, they might have an app that turns it into a musical instrument. All you have to do is swipe a finger across the screen, and you’re in the band!

Musical Healing

No matter how you engage with the music, humming your favorite tune or just listening can make healing from a bleed or sitting through an infusion more fun—and less painful.