Musical therapy - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Musical therapy

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LA JOLLA (CBS 8) - It's been said that music can soothe the soul, but can it also help heal the body? Larry Himmel shows that a local nurse is proving it can.

When Registered Nurse Rod Salaysay makes his rounds at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla patients are happy to see him, because not there to poke or prod or prick. He's come to sing.

"Been singing for about three years now, ever since I transferred from trauma to ICU," he said.

Most of his songs are original compositions written for the very patients he serenades.

"I write my own material, and it's a blessing because it all just comes from me," said Rod.

Whether it's an original or a classic, there are signs that Rod's vocalizations are vital.

"If you look in the monitor while you play for a patient you could see a heart rate drip for 100 down to 90 or 80 at some point. And to me that is revelation that music really does help," continued Rod.

Family members concur.

"Mom's been in and out of the hospital. Rod has continued to come up and play for her as well as other guitarists, so music is very important for the therapy of a patient," a patient's daughter, Elizabeth Schulte.

For Rod Salaysay, caring is more than a career.

"To me, it's a calling and I like to do that," noted Rod. "If I could just make one person or family member smile and forget about what's going on, on the bedside, I've done my job."

Spend some time with this trauma troubadour and you'll not only believe in the healing powers of music, you'll be convinced that there are angels on earth.

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