Ep. 150: Chronic pain relief and management through music; with Nancy Jackson, PhD, MT-BC

How can music help with pain relief?

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

There are multiple ways music can be used to reduce pain perception, manage chronic pain, and function as a healthy coping mechanism for those experiencing long-term or chronic pain. The music techniques may be used alongside pain medication, to reduce reliance on pain meds, or sometimes in place of medication.


My guest today is Dr. Nancy Jackson, Professor of Music and Director of Music Therapy at the Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music. Dr. Jackson is a board-certified music therapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience in areas including music psychotherapy and medical music therapy. She maintains a private practice in the Fort Wayne area; is a published author of numerous books and journal articles; and is an in-demand conference presenter.

Nancy Jackson, PhD, MT-BC


We discuss:

  • How do you define “chronic pain;” or when is pain considered to be “chronic”?
  • How is music used to relieve and manage chronic pain?
  • What does the process of look like?
  • What are the advantages of music as pain relief, compared to other forms of pain relief?
  • What is the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music?
  • When should music be considered for pain relief?
  • Recommended resources to learn more or find a qualified music therapist to help with pain management.

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:

In-Episode Promo

Arts for the Health of It podcast


Nancy says: There’s a piece I have been listening to a lot lately that, for me, speaks to the uncertainty of our current time and helps to shift me perspective on it (which is somewhat related to music and pain!). It is entitled Walking by Flashlight (The Thompson Fields version) by artist Maria Schneider.

Closing Words

Thank you so much to Nancy for sharing that, and for joining us today. There is a Spotify link in the show notes to this song, Walking by Flashlight, and also a link to the album on the artist, Maria Schneider’s, website. As always, there are lots of other links in the show notes as well, to all the resources we mentioned in this episode, as well as a list of related episodes you may enjoy.

All Enhance Life with Music episodes are evergreen; so check out the back catalogue for more ways that music can make your life better.

If you know of someone who would enjoy this episode, please share it with them! It’s easy to do right in your podcast listening app – just look for your app’s “Share” function to share by text, email, or social media. And of course you can always share the show notes webpage as well.

You can always connect with me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

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