Much like rhythm is a dancer, music is a healer. Music walks a line between science and spirit with its mathematical vibrations that elicit emotions and can elevate us to a higher level. Out of all the information I combed through online for Suboxone withdrawal, finding the advice to use music for pain management was a gem. Most people already know instinctually that music is therapeutic—written on our DNA—but many might not think to use music for pain management. After I heard the tidbit about music, I started carrying my headphones around with me everywhere: the grocery store, the skating rink at the mall, the halls of the High School I work at, everywhere. It became a cushion between the harsh world and myself. When I got off of Suboxone, I felt as though my nervous system was in overdrive and being out in the world was intense. With music bumping in my ears, things were a little more comfortable.
There are a plethora of studies on using music therapeutically and for pain management. One of the studies I read did an experiment where people were given white noise, relaxing music, or their preferred music while experiencing pain. Though it was only a study of 54 participants, all of the participants were able to withstand the pain longer with their preferred music, and they all mentioned that they felt more in control of the pain while listening to their preferred music.
The common denominator for music to be as beneficial as possible for pain relief was that it had to be something that the listener liked. Whether it be Cardi B, Concrete Blonde, Led Zeppelin, Mozart, Etta James, etc. if the music speaks to you, it will be therapeutic. There is one caveat, however; evidence shows that the music needs to suggest contentment to be beneficial, so that Mazzy Star song you relate to an unrequited love might not be your best pain reliever.
Music doesn't just stop helping when it is turned off. Researchers believe that music also affects the brain's opiate receptors; this means that while listening to music it has an analgesic effect and when the music's over, it still has an analgesic effect.
Music During Suboxone Withdrawal
Music not only has analgesic properties but anxiolytic properties as well. Anxiety is a magnifier of pain. Are your withdrawal symptoms considered pain? It isn't the same type of pain that one feels when dislocating their shoulder, but it is discomfort, and it is often accompanied by anxiety. Creating a playlist or two and walking around like a teenager with earbuds in all the time is incredibly therapeutic during withdrawal. If you want to uplevel your therapy, close the blinds (if you are shy) and get your dance on. I have really excellent anecdotal evidence that it is an effective antidote to multiple withdrawal symptoms.
Mitchell, L. A., & MacDonald, R. A. (2006). An experimental investigation of the effects of preferred and relaxing music listening on pain perception. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17348757Sound Health. (2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/01/sound-healthUpadhyay, J., Maleki, N., Potter, J., Elman, I., Rudrauf, D., Knudsen, J., . . . Borsook, D. (2010, July). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912691/Upadhyay, J., Maleki, N., Potter, J., Elman, I., Rudrauf, D., Knudsen, J., . . . Borsook, D. (2010, July). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912691/