Saturday, January 31, 2009

Many people have blogged about the importance of music to our workouts. There has been a lot of research about the effect of music on mood and even matching tempo to heart rate. There also appears to be a magic number for volume; Spinal Tap had it right all along.
Dr. Neil Todd and his team has been cited extensively on their research regarding the sacculus, an organ in the inner ear that helps regulate balance. The sacculus is attached to the hypothalamus by the vestibular nerve. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps regulate appetite, libido, temperature, anger, and fatigue. They report that this connection could explain the rush that many feel when their balance is effected through carnival rides, bungee jumping, or even swinging as a child.
They have found that the sacculus also appears to be stimulated by sounds above 90 decibels. A very similar physical and emotional rush can be experienced when we listen to music above 90 decibels. Todd has stated that “the distribution of frequencies that are typical in rock concerts and at dance clubs almost seem designed to stimulate the sacculus.” Rock and dance music are often the most commonly chosen playlists for exercise, and most people like to turn the volume up to drown out the rest of the world, likely putting you at or above the 90 decibel level.
Normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels, a dial tone is about 80 decibels, and street traffic while sitting in your car is approximately 80 decibels. Singing (you know you rock out in the car) can have the same effect on your sacculus. No wonder we love turning up our tunes and hearing ourselves sing while driving in traffic; it’s not just the acoustics of your vehicle. Large groups of people chanting or cheering can also have a similar effect, adding to the emotional tie to your favorite football team; isn’t it more fun to watch the big game at the stadium or a party?
Exercise alone provides a sense of euphoria, improves circadian rhythms, and improves mood. Music helps us prepare for exercise, makes it more enjoyable, and helps us extend our workouts. When listening to loud music, you may be regulating appetite, temperature, libido, fatigue, and mood through your hypothalamus. However, research states that continued exposure to noises above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, so we are not suggesting that you turn up the tunes too far.
Post from: Diets in Review Blog

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Music at the Inauguration: Healing the Country

What a day of beautiful and varied music this has been! I have cried tears of joy and of gratitude more times today than I have in a long, long time. I LOVED all the music that I heard today and was reminded once again that music can do as much to bring people together as anything on the planet. At the actual inaugural ceremony we heard everything from multiple trumpet fanfares to Aretha Franklin to Yo-yo Ma and Ithzak Perlman and it was all simply wonderful! The atmosphere was so electrified however that I think most any music selected would have been well-received and beautifully performed. I believe that our country, just today, began to heal in way that is desperately needed. It's going to take years and years, but with God's help and lots of beautiful music, it will happen!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Apollo, Greek God of Music and Healing

In Greek mythology, Apollo was a powerful and diverse God. He was lauded as the Giver of Music, Medicine, Light, Law, Prophesy and the Arts. Apollo was considered to be the son of Zeus and Leto, and the father of Asclepius, also associated with Medicine. Apollo was the most handsome of all the Greek Gods, depicted with golden hair, an archer's bow, and a lyre. Apollo represents the principles of rational consciousness, wisdom, courage, clarity and truth, who shows people how to bring light to their minds and inner beings.

Apollo is said to direct the Muses, which puts music, history, dreams, dance, poetry, and art under his realm. The Muses are said to be the invisible forces that we call on when we exercise our creative talents and imagination.
Apollo has been called the true paradigm of a Greek God. He represented harmony, order and civilization, a bright and rational God. Associated with the cultivated arts of Music and Healing, he was a patron of intellectual pursuits and human development.

Apollo had a great temple built for him at Delphi which bore two Greek maxims, "Know Thyself" and "Nothing In Excess". Hermes invented the lyre, a harp like instrument with nine cords, in honor of the nine Muses. Hermes gave this first lyre to Apollo. In return, Apollo gave Hermes the caduceus, still used today as the symbol of Medicine.

Apollo was a gifted musician, who delighted the Gods with his lyre performances. He was also a master archer and a fleet-footed athlete, credited with being the first victor in the Olympic Games. He is said to have taught humans the art of healing.

Ancient sculptors showed Apollo as a beautiful youth with flowing hair tied in a knot above his forehead, wearing a laurel wreath, holding his lyre or bow. His most famous statue is the 'Apollo Belvedere', a Roman copy of a Greek bronze original, now kept in the Vatican Museum, in Rome, Italy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

One Man's Approach to Healing Music

David Darling is a fantastic musician who believes in the healing power of music. I urge you to check out his CD's and other products. I higly recommend his work! Happy New Year