Within a span of five months, 58 patients undergoing surgery participated in a study, to examine the effect of massage on intensity of pain, post-surgery. Thirty participants, who received massage, reported that their average pain scores were less than one (on a one to ten scale with ten deemed as most painful). Before being subjected to massage therapy, these patients rated their average pain score to be three, on a scale of one to ten. However, the other 28 patients in the control group noticed that their pain levels remained the same.
As a result, a team of surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, anesthesiologists and hospital administrators got working together, to form ˜Healing Enhancement Program for cardiac surgery patients, which offers music and guided imagery along with massage. The program clubs together evidence-based conventional care and evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Through music therapy, the team endorsed relaxation music based on studies that showed the positive effects of music on hospital patients, while the guided imagery, a complementary health method, taught patients to use their imagination along with spoken messages and music to guide them through their recovery.