Music for CPR

When heart attacks or other emergencies occur, it is important to respond quickly.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can support the flow of oxygenated blood across the body until medical care arrives.  CPR emphasizes chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012).  Healthcare providers are encouraged to use conventional CPR according to their updated training, received about once every two years (AHA & ASA, 2014). You can find an online course or local training center here.

Anecdotal experience has suggested that the use of music as a mental metronome can improve CPR compression rates.  Researchers selected “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees which has an appropriate 103 bpm (and a perfect name), measured compression rates while medical providers listened to the song, then measured rates again at least five weeks later when participants were encouraged to use the song only as a musical memory aid.  All participants in both the first (x̅ = 109.1 bpm) and second (x̅ = 113.2 bpm) assessments maintained compression rates safely over 100 bpm.  Participants also reported that the music increased their confidence and technical ability to perform CPR (Hafner, Sturgell, Matlock, Bockewitz, & Barker, 2012; Matlock, Hafner, Bockewitz, Barker, & Dewar, 2008).  Disco music in general has a strong, steady tempo.  My most recent training featured Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” which is thematically ironic but rhythmically effective (e.g., Aleccia, 2008). Enjoy some lifesaving songs below!

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The Rhythm & Reason Blog is not an authoritative source for this topic. The R&R Blog aims to provide short, simple information for very complex conditions. Please conduct additional research and visit your doctor for more information.

Aphasia is a communication disorder characterized by difficulties with expressive fluency and/or receptive comprehension. Individuals with aphasia may now struggle with speech comprehension, spoken language, word retrieval, reading, or writing, as well as possible issues with articulation, oral motor control, and swallowing. However, intelligence and personality may not be affected if neurological damage is limited. Aphasia often results from stroke, but can also be caused by head trauma, tumor, infection, or progressive neurological conditions. The person’s location and amount of damage to the brain will produce symptoms and severity unique to that individual. Visit to learn more about learning to live, or supporting loved ones, with aphasia.

Some medications may help with certain symptoms. Treatments are best which begin as early as possible after injury. Clinical and research-based music therapy is a complementary treatment available to help individuals and groups rehabilitate speech and language skills or develop new augmentative or adaptive communication strategies. Careful control of the elements of live music and musical engagement through a therapeutic relationship  can accomplish tremendous outcomes. Music can activate most parts of the brain and help form new neural connections. Rhythmic entrainment can enhance motor initiation and control. Familiar melodies can help people sing even when they cannot speak. Vocal intonation can exercise speech prosody. Singing can augment traditional oral motor exercises. Preferred music can elevate mood, increase quality of life, and improve the overall treatment process, which can otherwise become repetitive and frustrating. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit

Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Aphasia. Retrieved from

Mosheim, J. (2010, November 8). Music Therapy for Aphasia. Retrieved from

National Aphasia Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Wikipedia contributors. (n.d.). Aphasia. Retrieved from

Wikipedia contributors. (n.d.). Music Therapy for Non-Fluent Aphasia. Retrieved from


Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The Rhythm & Reason Blog is not an authoritative source for this topic. The R&R Blog aims to provide short, simple information for very complex conditions. Please conduct additional research and visit your doctor for more information.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is one of two common cancers of the lymphatic system, with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma being more prevalent. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is usually associated with people 15-30 or over 55 years of age, with males more than females, a personal history with Epstein-Barr caused illness, family history of lymphoma, and/or a suppressed immune system possibly from HIV/AIDS or immune suppressing medications. Although there are various forms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and their cause remains unknown, doctors can explain that previously healthy cells develop a genetic mutation and become unusually large, abnormal cells. These cancer cells divide quickly and continue living when ordinary infection-fighting cells would die. Lymph nodes swell as mutated cells spread. Other symptoms may include fatigue, night sweats, weight loss, decreased appetite, itching, and increased sensitivity to, or pain in lymph nodes from, consuming alcohol. For more information on Hodgkin’s lymphoma, how to prepare for an appointment, tests and diagnosis, and treatment, visit and schedule a visit with an appropriate medical professional.

Treatment options include chemotherapy (drug treatment taken in pill form and/or intravenously – side effects include anxiety, nausea, and hair loss, with risk of serious long-term complications); radiation therapy (targeted high-energy beams attack affected areas – may cause fatigue and long-term side effects); and stem cell transplant (your own blood cells are collected, frozen, and re-injected after high-dose chemo and/or radiation).

Complementary medicines such as Music Therapy can decrease anxiety, stress, nausea, and pain; support healthy coping strategies; elevate mood; enhance relaxation; increase opportunities for self-expression; and increase overall social, emotional, and psychological well-being.