Many experts suggest that it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has the
calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it. They point out that
when we were a baby in our mother's womb, we probably were influenced by the heart beat of
our mother. We respond to the soothing music at later
stages in life, perhaps associating it with the safe, relaxing, protective environment
provided by our mother.
Music can be one of the most soothing or nerve wracking experiences available. Choosing
what will work for any individual is difficult, most will choose something they 'like'
instead of what might be beneficial. In doing extensive research on what any given piece
of music produces in the physiological response system many unexpected things were found.
Many of the so-called Meditation and Relaxation recordings actually produced adverse EEG
patterns, just as bad as Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. The surprising thing was many
selections of Celtic, Native American as well as various music containing loud drums or
flute were extremely soothing. The most profound finding was Any music Performed Live and
even at moderately loud volumes even if it was somewhat discordant had very a beneficial
response. Whenever the proper sounds were experienced an amazing right/left brain
hemisphere synchronization occurred. The normal voltage spiking pattern changed to a
smooth sinusoidal waveform and the usual voltage differential equalized. The entire human
energetic system is extremely influenced by sounds, the physical body and chakra centers
respond specifically to certain tones and frequencies. Special consideration should be
given to the positive effects of one actually playing or creating music themselves.
Among the first stress-fighting changes that take place when we hear a tune is an
increase in deep breathing. The body's production of serotonin also accelerates.
Music was found to reduce the pain during dental procedures.
Playing music in the background while we are working, seemingly unaware of the music
itself, has been found to reduce the stress.
Music was found to reduce heart rates and to promote higher body temperature - an
indication of the onset of relaxation. Combining music with relaxation therapy was more
effective than doing relaxation therapy alone.
Maximizing With Music Therapy
As we mentioned before, there is not a single music that is good for everyone.
People have different tastes. It is important that you like the music being played.
following are general guidelines to maximize the effectiveness of the music.
To wash away stress, try taking a 20-minute "sound bath." Put some relaxing
music on your stereo, then lie in a comfortable position on a couch or on the floor near
the speakers. For a deeper experience, you can wear headphones to focus your attention and
to avoid distraction.
Choose music with a slow rhythm - slower than the natural heart beat which is about 72
beats per minute. Music that has repeating or cyclical pattern is found to be effective in
As the music plays, allow it to wash over you, rinsing off the stress from the day.
Focus on your breathing, letting it deepen, slow and become regular. Concentrate on the
silence between the notes in the music; this keeps you from analyzing the music and makes
relaxation more complete.
If you need a stimulation after a day of work, go for a faster music rather than slow
When going gets tough, go for a music you are familiar with - such as a childhood
favorite or favorite oldies. Familiarity often breeds calmness.
Take walks with your favorite music playing on the walkman. Inhale and exhale in tune
with the music. Let the music takes you. This is a great stress reliever by combining
exercise (brisk walk), imagery and music.
Listening to the sounds of nature, such as ocean waves or the calm of a deep forest, can
reduce stress. Try taking a 15- to 20-minute walk if you're near the seashore or a quiet
patch of woods. If not, you can buy tapes of these sounds in many music stores.
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Positive Thoughts, Positive Feelings