Realigning the Body’s Natural Vibrations with Sound Therapy

sound therapy
As energy therapists and/or Reiki practitioners, we trust that the human energy field vibrates at different frequencies depending on health, mood, etc. We also trust that each chakra vibrates at its own optimal frequency. A study by the late Swiss doctor Hans Jenny, M.D. proves that sound waves create invisible energy fields. Dr. John Beaulieu uses Dr. Jenny’s study to optimize tuning forks and other sound healing tools for energy healing via sound therapy.

Since we can now identify that chakras and the human body have their own vibrations, it’s also now possible to re-tune them, just like a piano. By using tuning forks, singing bowls, didgeridoo, or other tonal vibration methods, we can reset our body’s vibrations to optimal health. Further, when we encounter other beings, our vibrations interact with theirs and determine our immediate response to them. That immediate feeling of connection/attraction or repulsion comes, at least in part, as a vibrational response which our brains interpret as desire or lack thereof.

Although sound therapy takes place on a physical level, it affects us physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Depending on the areas we’re seeking to heal, specific notes can be more or less beneficial. For example, someone with a sore throat or speech issues might focus on using G tones.

An up-and-coming sound therapy tool is the aboriginal didgeridoo. Joseph Carringer explains that the didgeridoo produces low tones that overlap with the frequency created by human brain waves. It operates on the same principle as ultra-sound therapy. Physical effects of didgeridoo therapy include pain reduction and accelerated healing. Energetic effects of didgeridoo therapy have been reported to be similar to Five Elements Acupuncture, with equally as long lasting effects. Lastly, didgeridoo therapy aides in meditation, which reconnects us to our own healing power.

Singing bowls have been around a long time and remain one of the most popular sound healing tools available. According to Rainbow Vibrations sound healing works even for the deaf and hearing impaired because they can still feel the vibrations. They cite work by Deepak Chopra indicating that the sound and vibration of singing bowls is processd by the body’s cells as a pain reducing opioid. In addition to pain reduction benefits, singing bowls are calming and are believed to clear away negative thought patterns and unblock energy.

Tuning Forks work in a similar fashion as singing bowls, but can be held close to or on various parts of the body such as those that correspond to chakras or meridians. Gongs and handheld cymbals are other commonly used sound healing tools that work in a similar fashion to singing bowls.

Which sound healing tools do you prefer?

top coloring booksSarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to live with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats. 

Reiki Treatments Lower Blood Pressure

In today’s high-stress, high-intensity society, more and more people are being diagnosed with high blood pressure. We all know high blood pressure can lead to other serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke, but other than prescription drugs and lifestyle changes can anything else be done to lower blood pressure and prevent such devastating occurrences?

It turns out that healing touch therapies such as Reiki are quite effective in reducing blood pressure and other factors that lead to heart attack and stroke. A study conducted by the University of Brazil in Sao Paulo looked at the effects of Reiki and similar alternatives on hypertension. The researchers used a double-blind study to determine that Reiki does have a positive effect on reducing blood pressure. They also found the effects were immediate and were able to be repeated with additional sessions.

Although the researchers note that new methodologies and equipment are needed to fully measure the effects of energy healing methods such as Reiki, they’re of the opinion that Reiki lowers blood pressure by balancing the energy in the “vital bodies” also known as chakras and meridians. Vital body is term most associated with Greek medicine, but the concept translates well here.

An article published for Reiki practitioners discusses the benefits of Reiki and energy healing as an adjunct and/or natural alternative to modern blood pressure treatments. Since energy work and Reiki treatments bring overall balance to the body and its systems, lower blood pressure and increased immunity are expected outcomes. The science behind Reiki is continuing to be discovered, but empirical studies who results time after time.

Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire conducted a study of patients requesting Reiki for stress or pain related concerns. They relied on patient input rating their pain or stress levels pre- and post- Reiki treatment.   Based upon the data they collected 61% of patients reported a significant reduction in stress and 35% reported a reduction in pain. Both stress and pain are known to increase blood pressure, so one can extrapolate that those same patients lowered their risk for hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. It’s important to note that 17% of patients who provided pre-Reiki treatment scores fell asleep during the treatment session and were not woken up to provide post-treatment data.

With studies like these becoming increasingly prevalent and all of them showing the benefits of healing touch and Reiki therapies, it’s becoming impossible to brush such treatments aside as being “new age” or metaphysical. Instead, they’re proving to be deeply rooted in science and body physiology in ways we’re only beginning to understand. Ways in which our ancestors perhaps innately understood, but which we’re now seeking to prove and quantify.

top coloring booksSarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to live with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats. 

How Sound Therapy Complements Healing

sound therapy
An increasing number of hospitals are turning to music and sound therapy as adjunct to medicinal treatments. Patients report feeling more at ease and less stressed in the harshness of the hospital environment when there’s musical accompaniment. Doctors have long listened to music while performing surgery to help them perform at optimal levels, so it’s no surprise that music helps their patients achieve optimal healing.

According to Rainbow Hospice, music therapy is beneficial for both the patient and their families. In a hospice setting, music has been shown to ease pain and suffering, including physical symptoms such as shortness of breath. Sound therapy has also been shown to improve emotional well-being by reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and confusion. For patients nearing the end of their life, music often enables them to review their lives and discover meaning in the dying process.

For the family of the person in hospice or palliative care, music therapy provides emotional support, an opportunity to connect and converse with their ill or dying loved one, and an opportunity to create some final wonderful memories.

Just as healing touch therapies like Reiki are performed by trained professionals, so too is music or sound therapy. In a typical music therapy session, participants do more than listen to music – they create it. Using instruments, voices, or any other noise makers, patients joyfully make noise and help themselves heal. As a recent Miami Herald article explains, music therapy combines musicianship with a clinical understanding of how the human brain works.

Music therapy faces a similar challenge to energy therapies – they’re both hard to study scientifically. For some hospitals and healthcare workers, lack of data surrounding these alternative therapies makes them reluctant to implement them as part of their care practices. Patients who’ve received these therapies, their families, and the practitioners, however, see a lot of value.

A WebMD article highlights Beth Israel’s unconventional approach and the positive effect it has on patients. Continue reading

I Know Dogs Go to Heaven

dogs go to heaven

Me and Cos.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably had that special bond with a dog or another pet.  For me that was Cosmo, my comfort dog who passed away one year ago today.  This is my story about how on April 17, 2015 the universe gave me proof that dogs go to heaven.

Cosmo was a lab/husky mix that was part of a litter tossed on a highway years ago. He was a sick, badly behaved oversized puppy who got into trouble on a constant basis,  but he loved me and I loved him. Whenever times were tough, he was there for me with a tail that wagged so hard the vets were concerned he would get an actual injury known as “happy tail syndrome.” We ran together, skied together and he was the leader of my pack of three dogs.In 2014  I was a caretaker for my mother, who was losing her battle with lung cancer. That summer I also got breast cancer and had to endure surgery and preventative radiation. Unfortunately, late in 2014 Cosmo also got cancer.

Although I recovered, my mother died in early January of 2015 and three months later Cosmo was failing. None of the treatments had worked, he had stopped eating and the vet and I knew it was time. Still, my fragile emotional and physical state made what is normally an excruciatingly hard task literally torture.  I prayed hard that morning, asking for something profound to happen to help me with what seemed like an impossible trip. After one last little walk around the block, Cosmo and I got in the car and headed for the vet. I listened to classicalMPR, trying to sooth my nerves. Even on my arrival, I was unable to tell the receptionist why we were there. I knew I had to stay calm for Cosmo but I thought there was a good chance I would lose control of my emotions. I so wanted to be for my dog who had done so much for me, but again I felt so frail.

As we waited for the vet to come into the little room, all of a sudden my phone started blowing up with text messages. Little did I know my best friend had sent out a mass message to many of our friends, asking them to pray for me at the appointment time. Their messages were full of support and love as one by one they filled up my phone screen. I turned off my phone, as it was enough to know that all these people were thinking of us. I suddenly had the strength I needed.  Cosmo snuggled up in my lap and the vet came back to ask if I was ready. I nodded and she gave him both injections.

Dogs go to heaven

Lucca

As Cosmo took his last breath, immediately in my mind’s eye I saw him well and happy once again, and literally nose to nose with my old dog Lucca. She was ancient when Cos was a puppy, but she raised him that first year before she passed.   I could see them now, both in the classic play bow and tails wagging wildly in the air. I had forgotten how much they loved each other.

But beautiful as this scene was, and incredibly comforting when I think of it now, this was not my profound moment. That moment was still to come.

I signed all the papers and left the vet without my darling Cosmo. As I slowly drove out of the parking lot and headed home the classical music station was still playing, and I thought about how beautiful both the weather and the music seemed that morning.  I was about halfway home when suddenly it stopped, mid-song.

A joyous young voice came out of the speakers and said “I love playing with Lucca.”

And then the music continued. I had to pull over and take a giant breath. I almost couldn’t believe my ears but it had been clear and unmistakable. Someone had actually said “I love playing with Lucca.”

After I got my senses together, I drove home.  I pulled up the classicalMPR playlist for that day and learned the music I had heard was from Trio Tesoro, a musical group made up of three high school students  – Sarrah Bushara, Cole Thompson…and Luca Tallarini. Although I never found that particular audio clip I was able to find the segment.

This was the profound moment I had asked for, from a universe that only knows how to say yes. I’ve remembered this moment often, and it seems particularly poignant today.  I would like to thank MPR and Trio Tesoro for being a part of this incredible proof that dogs go to heaven.  And thank you to my friend Mary and all my friends who sent me such loving messages  that day. I’m sure your prayers helped this message make its way to me so quickly.

The Power of Mandalas

Meditation doesn’t have to be about sitting quietly in the lotus position focusing on breathing. Meditation is about calming inner thoughts and easing the spirit. In a prior post, we looked at the benefits of coloring as a meditative practice. Mandalas are powerful circles currently available in a variety of coloring books, but they’ve been around much longer.mandalas

Mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit. Mandalas are also used by Tibetan Buddhist Monks, some Native American Tribes, and famed psychologist Carl Jung to meditate and bring about emotional and spiritual healing. A study by the University of New Hampshire discusses the power and use of mandalas in modern life. Personally, I find mandalas quite relaxing and find they bring about insights and personal growth.

Coloring mandalas as part of a meditative practice enables people to tap into inner creativity without the need for artistic skill. Circles symbolize wholeness, continuity, unity, and connection. As we color them, our subconscious taps into the collective unconscious while at the same time bringing our focus inward.

Mandalas are for everyone. All ages, races, and genders can achieve benefits by coloring mandalas. There is no right or wrong way to color them and it can be done at the artist’s own pace. For adults, it brings out the child in them. For children, it’s a fun activity they already enjoy that will also help them to feel calm. As an activity, it can be done alone or in groups and will activate inner genius in both settings. As a meditative practice, solo is preferred unless the entire group is using them as a meditative adjunct.

When I add mandalas to my meditation practice I find myself coming up with solutions to problems I didn’t think I could solve; I find myself more at peace and more secure with myself and my place in the world. Coloring mandalas helps release my natural anxiety and enables me to heal from past traumas. They’re not a solution by themselves, but they’re an excellent addition to other healing techniques.

Some of my favorite mandala coloring books:

Whether you’re just beginning your meditation journey or looking to add a new dynamic to an existing mediation practice, coloring mandalas can be a beneficial technique. Find our top recommended coloring books for stress relief here.

The same benefits can be derived from drawing your own mandalas. If you’re not a skilled artist, there are several websites available to help you draw them and provide a printable product. Color mandala and the mandala maker are two of these.

Sarah WoodardSarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to live with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats. 

How the Bee Crisis Impacts Humanity

bee-839761__180According to a 2015 study, beekeepers have reported losing more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies over the last year. Bees are responsible for pollinating 70 out of the top 100 human food crops, which supply nearly 90% of the overall food supply. Without bees, the food we eat would not longer flourish. Contrary to popular belief, the bee crisis doesn’t just impact plant food. Our agriculture industry feeds plants to livestock. If bees die off, both plant eaters and meat eaters will suffer from a lack of food.

Monsanto and other large food companies want consumers to believe that the solution lies in GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops.  But GMO’s are actually adding to the problem. Pesticides made by these companies contribute to the bee crisis, as bees die in massive numbers.

In addition to pollinating crops, bees connect humans with nature. Most people feel strongly about bees either positively or negatively. Very few people have no reaction when they think a bee is buzzing around. They either get frightened or interested. For those who are intrigued, bees are a connection to nature. Bees are highly intelligent insects and scientists dedicated to studying them have figured out their language and are largely able to interpret their waggle dance.

If the bee crisis continues and we continue losing bees, we lose more than a key pollinator. We lose an intelligent insect who connects us to nature. Bees live and work in harmony in nature. By observing them, we can learn how to do that ourselves. Continue reading

Upcoming Conference Focuses on Science Behind Consciousness

consciousnessThe Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona is hosting the 23rd annual Science of Consciousness Conference April 25-30th in Tucson.  The Center is a unique institution whose aim is to bring together the perspectives of philosophy, the cognitive sciences, neuroscience, the social sciences, medicine, and the physical sciences, the arts and humanities, to move toward an integrated understanding of the mind-body connection. Although many used to consider consciousness a new new age term studying the mind-body connection is moving to the forefront of scientific exploration.

The Conference  will explore many aspects of the mind-body connection including questions such as:

  • Does the brain emit consciousness?
  • How did consciousness evolve:
  • Is there such a thing as free will?
  • Can and how does the brain “tune in?”

Organizers anticipate that between 800 – 900 people in the fields of science, philosophy, art, and meditation will attend the conference and add to the existing body of research between the physical body and the mental body.

Through their inter-disciplinary conferences, the Center aims to bring scientific awareness to consciousness studies, moving it from a new age belief to legitimate field of scientific exploration. Their efforts, along with the efforts of others in related fields, have proven that a mind-body connection exists, providing a basis for the use of Reiki and other energetic techniques. There are many questions left to answer, and the field is a long way from being able to answer most of them, but with each new discovery, the mind-body connection becomes clearer.

For more information on the conference and for registration information visit consciousness.arizona.edu

Top Coloring Books for Stress Relief

Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Although adult coloring may seem like the latest new age thing, or some sort of bizarre fad it actually has proven health benefits. In addition to being fun and allowing adults to connect with their inner-child, adult coloring also reduces anxiety, enhances meditation practices, increases creativity, focus, and concentration. I use adult coloring as an adjunct to meditation quite often so I decided to check with some friends and give you my list of the top coloring books for adults. (For more on the benefits of adult coloring books, check out this article from MindBodyGreen.)

top coloring books

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One thing to be aware of – some books will print designs on both sides of the page, others on only one side. I prefer the one-sided books so that the colors don’t transfer from one design to the other, but it’s a personal choice. Designs range from mandalas to nature to animals to buildings, etc. Although the selection is limitless, here are the top coloring books that are highly rated by me and my fellow adult coloring enthusiasts:

  • For a variety of design choices including garden pictures, mandalas, and paisley this Stress Relief Coloring Book by Twiggler is a great option. If you’re not sure what type of design will be most enjoyable for you or you just want options, this coloring book is worth a look.
  • For animal lovers, Blue Star Coloring’s Stress Relieving Animal Designs is a fun option. Promises to relieve stress and help you get in touch with your wild side.
  • If you’re looking to give mandalas a try, Angie Grace’s Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders
    adult coloring book series is a lot of fun.
  • Nature lovers will want to check out Cherina Kohey’s Flowers in Love : Stress Relieving Patterns . This adult coloring book promises to relieve stress and bring the person coloring closer to nature.
  • If you feel the need to be a little irreverent and blow off some steam, Sasha O’Hara can help with the irreverant Calm the F*ck Down  coloring book, for adults only of course.

Continue reading

Reiki, the Biofield and Science

reiki

Popular belief is that energy medicine techniques are metaphysical and do not have any scientific basis. Emerging studies, using the most up-to-date technology have begun to prove a scientific basis for complementary medicine such as Reiki (pronounced Ray-key).

To understand the science behind Reiki, you must begin with the biofield. The biofield is an invisible field of energy that surrounds all living things, including humans. It is responsible for regulating physiologic, biochemical, developmental, and healing responses. Just as we cannot see the field of energy surrounding a magnet, we can measure it and its effects, so too can we, with the right tools, measure the biofield and the effect of energy upon it.

The basic premise of Reiki as a healing modality is that the Reiki practitioner is able to use his or her body to channel universal energy through themselves into the person or animal receiving it. Just as liquid passed through a straw leaves trace amounts inside the straw so too does Reiki energy benefit both the practitioner and the person receiving the treatment. As the Reiki energy is channeled, the biofield of both individuals is altered to a healthier state.

Basic theories of quantum physics provide for the concept that biofields may be made up of electromagnetic or acoustic energies at levels we cannot currently measure. It’s also possible that biofields contain energy types as yet undiscovered by science. Although we cannot currently isolate or analyze biofields, we are able, to a small degree, to measure impacts on it. We know that a being’s biofield is influenced by coming in to contact with other biofields, earth itself, and the cosmos. Theses impacts are currently assessed by equipment measuring ultra-weak light emissions. Based on these changes, a correlation can be made to health, illness, healing, etc. Continue reading

Resources for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Narcissus is a character from Greek mythology who fell so in love with his reflection that he wasted away gazing at himself. Pop culture usually portrays narcissists in a similar way for comic effect, with characters like the arrogant, womanizing Barney on How I Met Your Mother and a children’s cartoon character named Vanity Smurf who couldn’t go ten minutes without gazing in a mirror. These portrayals might be good for a laugh, but in reality narcissism at its worst is a mental health disorder that can do serious harm, especially when the narcissist is a parent. Daughters of narcissistic mothers are affected in a unique way, because of the special relationship between mothers and daughters. They frequently suffer from feelings of inadequacy, may need treatment for depression and anxiety, and have a hard time achieving wellness and peace. That’s because narcissism isn’t just about someone taking a bunch of selfies. Lack of empathy for others is a common trait.

When a mother has little or no empathy for a daughter’s feelings, the emotions and behaviors that result can hurt the relationship and take a serious toll on the daughter’s mental health and sense of self-worth. Many daughters recovering from a narcissistic mother seek out therapy and may need treatment for depression. Energy healing techniques like reiki or acupuncture and practices like meditation can also help people achieve a better state of wellness. But understanding maternal narcissism and the negative effects it can have on daughters is a huge step toward real healing.

Self-Help Books for Recovery and Wellness

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride is largely considered a bible for daughters trying to heal from life with narcissistic mothers. You can take a survey at her website to help you figure out if your mother is a narcissist.

Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle for Self by Dr. Elan Golomb combines case studies and personal accounts of her childhood in a humanist approach toward mental health and emotional recovery.

You’re Not Crazy – It’s Your Mother: Understanding and Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Danu Morrigan was written by the daughter of a narcissistic mother to help others going through the same thing. She also advocates a form of energy healing known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping on her website Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Dr. Linda C. Gibson is for anyone whose parent is emotionally immature, including narcissists.

Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters by Dr. Susan Forward talks about several types of mothers, including narcissists. Other helpful books by Dr. Forward are Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You.

 

Healing Support Groups Continue reading