Monday, January 07, 2008

10 Top Tips for Using Music in 2008

Looking for some powerful New Year's Resolutions, resolutions that you can start right now and that won't cost you a penny? Resolutions that can utilize things you already have (like CD's, MP3 player and a voice?) Are you trying to steer away from traditional prescription medications or even over-the-counters medications? Then this year, give music a try! Humans have used music for healing purposes for hundreds of thousands of years. They have used it for lulling a newborn, for calming a toddler, for energizing a tired adult, for celebrating a birthday, a wedding, or a graduation. We use music in nearly every possible aspect of life to enhance the positive effects of the occasion. Music as medicine, complimentary medicine is becoming as well-known as OTC medications. Here are some of the top ways I recommend using music to my patients on a daily basis:
1. If you are a pregnant woman, sing softly to your growing infant for 20-30 minutes each evening. It will calm and comfort both baby and you. more
2. If you sang to your infant, now these same songs will calm your toddler and pre-schooler. If you didn't sing to your infant, start now to associate soothing songs with comfort; crying will stops quickly. more
3. Having relationship problems? Try finding some of the songs that were "your songs" during your courtship. Playing them when your spouse arrives home in the evening or just humming them softly changes the mood and energy in the room quickly and effectively. more
4. Feeling stressed out with work, family and bills? Choose your favorite soothing music and listen to it for 5 minutes upon awakening, while driving to work, during lunch, on the way home, right after dinner and right before bed. These five-minute doses of calming music will do wonders for your body and mind. more
5. Anxiety, nervousness, jittery? Try the technique of vocal toning. It is quite simple and does not require a "beautiful" voice, vocal training or even knowledge of music. Toning just involves make along vowel sound such as "ahhhhhhhh" or "ohhhhhhhhhhhhh" on the exhaled breath. Five minutes of vocal toning 2 or 3 times a day has a very centering and calming effect on the mind and the body. more
6. Trying to quit smoking, or cut back on eating or drinking? Vocal toning can also help you through the craving moments when you're most tempted to give in to your habit. Once you've mastered this technique you'll find all kinds of uses for it. more
7. Insomnia keeping you from getting the rest you need? Music, whether making it or listening to it quietly though headphones, will calm down your heart rate, your breathing, and help you release and relax muscles. As you get more relaxed, your thoughts slow down and your mind empties itself as you drift into peaceful sleep. more
8. Having surgery or a medical procedure this year? If you're having anything requiring anesthesia whether local or general, bring your headphones and iPod or Discman. Listening to music through headphones before, during and after the procedure will allow you to use less anxiety meds, anesthesia, and pain meds afterwards. This is a well-documented phenomenon that few people take advantage of! more
9. Do you struggle with arthritis, fibromyalgia or other achy joint pains? Listening to favorite music through headphones can help you relax and simply take your mind off of your aching body and joints. Music will not take the place of analgesics but it will definitely help you to need less and your stomach will thank you for that! sample healing music
10. Have a family member of loved one with Alzheimer's or other dementia? In the latter stages of Alzheimer's, after the patient no longer knows their family members or where they are or what year it is, they can still hear the music of their courting years and youth, and recognize it and sometimes sing along to it!! You can get this music and lots of other healing music on my website, including "Music for Memory Care," and a "how-to" tape on singing with Alzheimer's patients. more
Make 2008 the year that you tap into the healing power of music and cut back on chemicals to feel better, Music allows your brain to release the natural endorphins and serotonin that makes you feel like yourself again. Give it a try!Dr. Alice H. Cash is a clinical musicologist who has devoted much of her career to researching the healing powers of music and teaching professionals and patients about using music for health and wellness. Her website has been viewed and enjoyed by people around the world. She also has ten blogs, each one focusing on a different aspect of music healing. See

No comments: