Music and Wellness: Ten Top Tips
For the past few issues I've been focusing on music and wellness in a variety of settings, from summer camps and vacation church schools, to music for the soldiers and families of soldiers abroad. It just so happens that I'll be giving a lecture here in Louisville in just a few days about my "Ten Top Tips" for using music in everyday wellness, so I thought I would share some highlights with my readers this month.
1. Understanding the two basic principles of music healing
- A. Entrainment
If one is to use music for therapeutic purposes, it is crucial to understand these two principles which I have discussed many times in these pages. Entrainment is simply the principle from physics that tells us that our biorhythms tend to synchronize with the rhythm , tempo, or pulse of the music. We instinctively choose slow music when we want to calm down and faster music when we want to energize ourselves. The isoprinciple states that in order to change a person's mood with music, you must first begin with music that reflects the state he is in to start with. If you're feeling depressed you cannot simply put on "happy" music to change your mood. It must be done slowly and carefully.
2. Music with Pregnancy and Newborns
B. Music and developing infant brain
We know now that the growing fetus ear is functional from the fourth month gestation. At that point mothers should begin to sing to their unborn children on a regular basis. If you choose 5 or 6 lullabies to sing regularly, these same songs will comfort the newborn for at least 18-24 months after birth. They will also form the foundation of a healthy mother-baby bond, which is critical for the establishment of later healthy relationships.
We also now know that when the unborn and newborn child listens to Baroque, and Classical music, more neural connections are formed, which create a greater infrastructure for future learning. The Mead Johnson company has now made two CD's just for infants that they call "Smart Symphonies" and these CD's are given out to new mothers in the hospital.
3. The "Mozart Effect"---why Mozart?
The so-called "Mozart Effect" was based on three controlled studies that were done at the University of California, Irvine. All three were very different but all three used at the music of Mozart to elicit various positive results. Afterwards, marketers put out the word that Mozart makes you smarter or raises a child's IQ. Not so. There is apparently a temporary effect after listening to as little as 30 minutes of Mozart that improves a students sense of spatial IQ. It is possible that other highly structured and highly organized music would do the same.
4. Music for Depression & Anxiety: how does it work?
A. Recorded Music
B. Live Music
There is no doubt that "music soothes the savage breast." In the hospital where I work, I often go on wards where patients have attempted suicide and are deeply depressed about the state of their lives. Usually I pull out my electric keyboard and some of my books of favorite songs. Invariably people begin to stream out of their rooms and find chairs near the keyboard. I invite patients to choose songs they'd like to hear. Many ask me to play "You've got a Friend," or "Unchained Melody." The music that works best for people is the music that has positive associations for them, reassuring and encouraging words, and music that calms them. Live music is always preferable to recorded, if possible.
5. Music for Surgery
I know I've talked about this many times in previous issues and have now created my own tapes that you can order for your surgery. In a nutshell, people who listen to their favorite music through headphones before surgery need less anxiety medication; those that listen to their favorite slow, steady, instrumental music through headphones during surgery need less anesthesia, and those that continue listening into the recovery room, changing the music to be a little more upbeat, need less pain medication. There is ample documentation for this in the medical literature.
I believe I'm going to have to finish the last five next month as I am running out of space. If you have questions or comments please do not hesitate to write them in to me! Until then, happy listening!
Several private workshops scheduled in Louisville: call 502-895-7688 to see if there is room for you.
Topics in July & August include:
Music in Health Care
Music and Wellness
Toning and Chanting
People in the Louisville area have been asking for specific dates LOCALLY that I will be presenting workshops and/or lectures. Here you go:
Thursday, July 31, 8-9:30 "Music and Wellness: Top Ten Favorites" Milestone Fitness Center, Louisville.
Saturday, August 30, 2003 9-12 noon "Music in Healthcare" a workshop for healthcare professionals. CEU's applied for, for RN's, LCSW, Psychologist, MFT's and others.
September 2003: - Hamilton, Ohio. The Workshop for Daycare providers on "Music in the Daycare setting" went very well. Part II of the content will be presented in the fall. Email Dr. Cash for more information.
September 9th, 2003
Northern Kentucky. 9:30 - 5, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, 1 Medical Village Dr., Edgewood, KY. 8 hour workshop on "The Healing Power of Music and Sound"for LCSWs - CEUs
If you haven't visited my new "shoppe" yet, I'd really urge you to do so. There is an impressive array of musical instruments from piccolos and harps to table drums and violins. If you need books on how to play them, those are available too. Please write to me if you ever have a problem or question.
Dr. Cash is available for as a keynote speaker, workshop and seminar leader, course educator, and individual "music medicine consultations" with people, as well as other group and individual instruction in using music for healing and promoting health and wellbeing. Go to http://www.healingmusicenterprises.com/services.html for more information.
Attention: Louisvillle Area Health Professionals
Dr. Cash offers classes on a regular basis on:
- How to create music tapes for surgery
- Using music with pregnancy, childbirth and newborns
- Understanding how music affects the Mind-Body-Spirit & applying this to practice
- Toning, Chanting, and Drumming for Health
- Using Music with Alzheimer's Patients
2 -3 hour long classes are offered on demand for four people or more. Class can be booked for Fri am, Sat pm,
& Sun eves. Also private sessions.
Call 502-895-7688 to register or Send an Email .
Dr. Cash offers helpful products to guide you reap the benefits of music for healing.
Each product is expertly created to offer you sound tools for self directed therapeutic music sessions. All purchases are secure and guaranteed.
1. "Notes for Tuning Your Life with Music"
(available as soft cover book or ebook, with CD or Mp3 music supplement)
- BOOK & CD-
(Book - $14.95; CD - $14.95 or Book/CD Combo - $24.95 & S/H)
- EBOOK & Mp3s (Ebook - $8.95; Mp3s - $5/set)
Mp3 Sets include:
- Alzheimer's & Dementia Collection
- Lullaby Collection
- Chant Collection
2. AUDIOTAPES - $10 & S/H -
Tape titles include:
- The Healing Power of Music
- Toning & Chanting with Addictions
- Why Mozart? The Research on Mozart and Learning
- The Use of Music with Alzheimers and other Dementias
- Music for Surgery ($19.95 for two tape set)
3. Healing Music Shoppe Do you have some birthday presents, wedding gifts, or shower gifts to buy? Why not go to my new Healing Music Enterprises Store and buy a book, CD, or even a musical instrument for that special someone? You can get a troubadour harp or a didgeridoo; a djembe, a bongo, or a bagpipe! Now that's a surprise isn't it? Feel free to write me personally for advice on the best instrument for you or your child. We also offer sheet music, music books, musician career services, musical recordings and more.
4. Music Book and CD Library - the place to browse and shop online for Amazon music books, CDs, VHS and DVDs. Hand picked to ensure that content reflects music for healing and well being.
Please feel free to forward this issue to
friends and associates. Anyone can subscribe for free (see below)
Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW
Healing Music Enterprises
(502) 895-7688 (502) 419-1698 (mobile)
(502) 896-7277 (fax)