Chip Davis, composer and founder of Mannheim Steamroller, entertains holiday audiences every season. He's mostly known for his Christmas music. But he's also teamed up with experts at Mayo Clinic and other health institutions to bring a new experience to some patients. It's called ambient therapy. The goal is to make patients feel as if they've been transported to calmer surroundings. Some patients say they even feel less pain when they listen to it.
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Davis is a king of Christmas music.
"We do approximately 100 cities within about five weeks in the fourth quarter of every year," says Davis.
Davis' other passion is harnessing the healing power of nature sounds. He calls it ambient therapy.
"It puts you someplace different than where you think you are," says Davis.
It's a, sort of, 3-D sound that Davis records with special equipment out in nature. Experts at Mayo Clinic have installed ambient therapy systems in certain operating rooms and patient rooms.
"Whether it's ocean, whether it's streams or rivers, whether it's an autumn day in the Midwest — I can put you in the circumstance," Davis says.
Patients say they feel transported to calmer places. Research shows the sounds can help patients relax, and some reported feeling less pain.
"It completely can take you away from the distracting sounds and noises in a hospital room," says Davis.