The Power of Music

Music has a feeling, a rhythm, a quality that takes us to varying degrees of consciousness. It has always fascinated me how a specific song can take you directly into a memory. I have songs that take me back to specific boyfriends or memories of my youth. My younger brother has always had a fascination, almost an obsession with music. He is the individual that has his record player, his albums, collects speakers, and in some sense almost lives in the past with his songs that take him back to ‘seemingly’ better times in his life.

I think we are all at some degree influenced by what pulses rhythmically around us. Music has been scientifically proven to be able to help depression. Other studies have shown that music helps reduce pain and anxiety, it relieves stress, helps with memory, physical ailments, improves mood, improves sleep quality, improves immune function, improves learning…

DEPRESSION: A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.

STRESS: Just like listening to slow music to calm the body, music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, it’s an easy stress reduction option. -science of people article

BRAIN: Scientific studies – ranging from investigations of the brain at a cellular level, to psychiatric assessments of schizophrenics, to linguistic scores in stroke patients – are all leading to the same conclusion: music isn’t just a form of entertainment, it is evolutionarily significant. And the more we learn about the impact of music on the brain, the more we understand how it can be employed as a therapeutic intervention. -sciencefocus

“One of the things that makes music so interesting is that it’s pleasant but at the same time cognitively demanding,” says Särkämö. “This is one of the few therapeutic interventions we have that is both soothing as well as challenging.” -sciencefocus

HEALTH: Another study from Massachusetts General Hospital found that listening to Mozart’s piano sonatas helped relax critically ill patients by lowering stress hormone levels, but the music also decreased blood levels of interleukin-6—a protein that has been implicated in higher mortality rates, diabetes, and heart problems. -greatergood article

LEARNING: Music enjoyment elicits dopamine release, and dopamine release has been tied to motivation, which in turn is implicated in learning and memory. In a study published last year, adult students studying Hungarian were asked to speak, or speak in a rhythmic fashion, or sing phrases in the unfamiliar language. Afterwards, when asked to recall the foreign phrases, the singing group fared significantly better than the other two groups in recall accuracy. -greatergood

EXERCISE: Researchers in the United Kingdom recruitedthirty participants to listen to motivational synchronized music, non-motivational synchronized music, or no music while they walked on a treadmill until they reached exhaustion levels. Measurements showed that both music conditions increased the length of time participants worked out (though motivational music increased it significantly more) when compared to controls. The participants who listened to motivational music also said they felt better during their work out than those in the other two conditions. -greatergood

Music literally accesses every part of your brain. It is so good for you. It lights you up, it calms, it stirs action, movement, eases pain, heals illness, it truly is a miracle drug on many levels. We need to take high, daily doses of this good stuff. Listen to the music that seems to stirs your soul, that inspires, that seems to take you to levels of good health and happiness.

Here are a few ‘feel good’ songs from my music list:

To CALM

 

To FEEL PEACE

 

To FEEL HAPPY

Some of my other favorites (that I usually ask Alexa to play) include: Lights and Motion or Hammock to calm or play while working on projects. I do however smile and dance every time I play “Work this Body” by Walk the Moon. It is just FUN!

Hope you feel even better today.

Peace and Love to you.  -H

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Feed the GOOD

I literally read this on my dog’s bag of food, “Feed the Good” and it reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday. I was talking to a friend about the state of people around us and it seemed to have a constant theme—sadness. People are struggling to find the good in their lives, so I wanted to write a post that will have lots of GOOD things…POSITIVE things that will enrich any life.

If you or someone you know is feeling like they need a little something “good” then here is the prescription. I think there are enough people medicated on the seeming “feel good” prescriptions/medications, but there are real “feel good” things you can do without any side effects.

Take in HAPPY doses…

girl_blonde_nature_sitting_stone_69395_1920x1080NATURE: Get out in nature. Nature has so many healing benefits for the mind and body. Walking out in nature helps with depression, short-term memory, better vision, reduced inflammation, Stress, improved concentration, creativity, immune boost, improved mental health & some research has even found that spending time in nature (forests, in particular) may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins.

One study found that walks in the forest were specifically associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another found that outdoor walks could be “useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments” for major depressive disorder. 

Another study found that people immersed in nature for four days — significantly more time than a lunchtime walk in the park — boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%. 

In one early study, researchers worked to deplete participants’ ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task.

When inflammation goes into overdrive, it’s associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city.

[taken from business insider.com article http://www.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-of-nature-outdoors-2016-4/#1-improved-short-term-memory-1] Incredibly interesting, science filled article that shows the various pros of getting out in nature. There are so many benefits. Please read the whole article. AMAZING!

Articles on the effects of nature on your mood/brain. Lots of great information. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/how-nature-changes-the-brain/?_r=0

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/01/call-to-wild/

Motivated by large-scale public health problems such as obesity, depression, and pervasive nearsightedness, all clearly associated with time spent indoors, Strayer and other scientists are looking with renewed interest at how nature affects our brains and bodies. Building on advances in neuroscience and psychology, they’ve begun to quantify what once seemed divine and mysterious. These measurements—of everything from stress hormones to heart rate to brain waves to protein markers—indicate that when we spend time in green space, “there is something profound going on,”

1129893324-music-gives-soul-to-the-universeMUSIC: Music can prevent anxiety-induced increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure, and decrease cortisol levels — all biological markers of stress.     Music relieves pain: In a 2013 study, sixty people diagnosed with fibromyalgia — a disease characterized by severe musculoskeletal pain — were randomly assigned to listen to music once a day over a four-week period. In comparison to a control group, the group that listened to music experienced significant pain reduction and fewer depressive symptoms.     Music has been found to help immune function: Massachusetts General Hospital found that listening to Mozart’s piano sonatas helped relax critically ill patients by lowering stress hormone levels, but the music also decreased blood levels of interleukin-6 — a protein that has been implicated in higher mortality rates, diabetes and heart problems.     Music helps memory function: In a study published last year, adult students studying Hungarian were asked to speak, or speak in a rhythmic fashion, or sing phrases in the unfamiliar language. Afterwards, when asked to recall the foreign phrases, the singing group fared significantly better than the other two groups in recall accuracy. to see the full article from Huffington http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/02/music-and-health-rock-on_n_6573132.html

The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information. [emedexpert.com]

Music enhances intelligence, learning and IQ: The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this. Music has the power to enhance some kinds of higher brain function: Reading & literacy skills, Spacial-temporal reasoning, Math, Emotional intelligence and recall. [emedexpert]

Music helps you sleep: Relaxing classical music is safe, cheap and easy way to beat insomnia1. Many people who suffer from insomnia find that Bach music helps them. Researchers have shown that just 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime can make for a restful night.[emed]

Music helps with the blues: Music’s ability to “heal the soul” is the stuff of legend in every culture. Many people find that music lifts their spirits. Modern research tends to confirm music’s psychotherapeutic benefits5. Bright, cheerful music (e.g. Mozart, Vivaldi, bluegrass, Klezmer, Salsa, reggae) is the most obvious prescription for the blues. [emed]

There are many more benefits, but these are some of the strongest for well-being.

walking-music-to-help-you-stay-active-outdoors2PODCASTS: I LOVE podcasts!! Here are a few of my favorites from my personal picks…How She Really Does it with Koren Motekaitis (love her & the great people she talks to), Change Nation with Ariane, Dr Wayne Dyer. TedTalks are always great!       Now to find some other suggestions from other sources: Medibank suggests “The Health Podcast” podcast by ABC Radio National is full of fascinating information on a range of health topics – perfect for answering those “I wonder how that works” questions, and giving you something interesting to say at dinner parties. A couple from lovelifesurf.com The Moth–If you aren’t familiar with the Moth, it’s all about the love of a good story. Some are told by famous writers, actors, other luminaries and others are told by ordinary people like you and me. I often find myself laughing out loud in the middle of the street. For me, it’s another way to study the art of storytelling and how to do that well. RealtalkradiowithNicoleAntoinette–she aims to get to the truth behind the scenes and what’s really going on with the people she interviews (athletes, writers, entrepreneurs, parents, spiritual teachers, etc.) so we can all learn something and be inspired to move towards our goals.

There are so many podcasts out there with various topics. Find those that resonate with what you want to hear and enjoy!! Podcasts are good for long walks, working while being inspired, long commutes, etc. Always a good thing!

best-body-leaping-high-res-imageEXERCISE: There are so many types of exercise. Lately I have taken up urban rebounding (mini tramp) & have found there are SO many positive health benefits–who would have thought! Try different exercises and see what invigorates, gets you moving, gets you feeling good and always be willing to try different things. Variety truly is the spice that keeps you moving. Here are some reasons why exercise is so GOOD for you…If you don’t exercise, your muscles will become weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as smoking! Exercise helps prevent diseases, improves stamina, strengthens and tones, enhances flexibility, improves quality of life…[healthdiscovery.net]

television-watchin_2954124bMOVIES: Now there are a lot of good movies out there, but I am very drawn to movies that are uplifting, you can learn something and they make you feel good. Some of my favorites that may be harder to find & are a bit soul searching/feel good include: I Am done by Tom Shadyac (big time director of blockbuster hits who took a big life shift), Happy documentary, Awake in the Dream,  Wayne Dyer’s movie “The Shift”…so many good things.

women-drinking-teaNATURAL REMEDIES: Eczema: aloe, Greasy hair: don’t wash too often & a weekly vinegar rinse can be helpful, Warts: a few drops of tea tree oil directly on wart to help remove it in 7-10 days, Ear wax: [my husband suffers from this] prone to build-up, you can use a drop of olive oil in each ear to keep the ear clean, Hiccups: give your tongue a good pull or breathe into a paper bag [from bodyandsoul] Headaches: Chamomile tea helps relax, Many natural healers believe that a foot baths is powerful tool against headaches.
They reduce the pressure on the blood vessels in the head.If you add a few drops of peppermint or lavender in the bath, their flavor will further soothe and relieve the pain. Cold Sores: Garlic or rub with fresh garlic juice a few times a day Hair growth recipe:  http://www.healthyfoodmind.com/best-homemade-hair-growth-treatment/.    [healthyfoodmind.com]

dothatGOOD FOR THE SOUL: Read, have real conversations, meditate, watch inspirational videos, declutter, write/journal, listen to music, laugh, walk, enjoy your favorite drink, nap time, long baths or hot shower, quality time with those your love to be around, give a hug, being honest with yourself, self-love, forgive, love, enjoy & find beauty around you, serve someone in need, pray, sit quietly, just breathe! have something green around you (plant in your office, natural view from a window, etc), be grateful for the day, appreciate loved ones, sing, dance, move your body, try something new, slow down, practice gratitude, unplug, whistle, hum, smile.

 

I hope all these “GOOD” things will lift your spirit & help you include “GOOD” things into your day.

-Happy day. -H

Traditions to bring people together 2

For this post I am again going to take from some of the religious traditions that were shared on Oprah’s Belief series and then share some of my own ideas of how you could incorporate the ideas into your world. Enjoy.

Belief-1

Zen Buddhist Lotus Flower: In one part of the series you were able to catch a glimpse into the life and traditions of Zen Monks. They shared a special lantern celebration.  I did a little bit of my own research and found The Lotus Lantern Festival that celebrates Buddha’s birthday. It is traditionally called the Yeondeunghoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) and was originally more of a religious and national event, not like a festival.  Here is a link to give you an idea of what it is like. It looks amazing–lanterns take the form of fruits, animals…it looks beautiful. People can even make their own lanterns.

In Buddhism the lotus is a symbol of the true nature of beings, which remains unstained by the mud of the world and is realized through enlightenment. Traditionally the lotus (“padma’’) is a very important symbol in India and for Buddhism. The lotus has been ascribed with special meaning since the time of ancient Indian mythology.
The lotus flower grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The flower closes and sinks underwater at night, to rise and open again at dawn. Untouched by impurity, the lotus symbolizes the purity of heart and mind.*taken from buddhachannel.tv      

My idea:   Create your own lotus lanterns with your family & then hang them somewhere special–above the dinner table, outside in a tree, etc.  Here is a Youtube with an idea of how to make them 

    This may be a great idea for a New Year celebration. You could create lanterns & even write something on them–hopes for the new year, gratitude for things from this previous year, dreams, desires, etc.

EP6_POLYPHONY_MAIS.02c56bb6353e

Bringing people together through music: In the series it explained how Israel is a place torn apart by religious separation, but luckily a music group was bringing together young people from different religions and having them work together to create something beautiful–music.      Music has a power all its own–it heals, it transcends, it liberates, it inspires, it brings people together. It is a heavenly gift that swells hearts here on earth.

My idea: Step out of your usual music comfort, listen to something completely new, maybe even foreign and see how you feel. Music can have positive and negative effects, so make sure you select genres that lift and inspire the soul. Also, step out of your music comfort by attending a local concert and experience the symphonic melodies first hand. Try it out and see how you feel.

EP7_ALEX_HONNOLD_FREE_SOLO_CLIMBER.3259ff2a29c2

Trust yourself: This part of the series I can honestly say, I was yelling at the television. I could not believe this guy would free climb (no ropes or anything) to such incredible heights. It was somewhat terrifying. You would definitely have to have tremendous faith in your personal belief in what you could do. One slip–you would be gone.

My idea: Do something that you have never tried or something that scares you. When you are able to accomplish a personal hurdle, you definitely feel you have reached a higher point for yourself. When you continue to trust your instincts, feelings, gut, desires, etc. you will be in a better personal place.

own-network-belief

Pray: Prayer was a huge message throughout the series. Whether it was the woman with cancer and was surrounded in a prayer circle to people praying in a sacred place, prayer beads to traditional dances that went on for days…prayer was shared in every culture and religion. It was a beautiful sentiment.  Prayer I believe holds a very strong gift, whether you pray alone or in a group, there are answers to what you need.

My idea: Give thanks in all you do. Hold a prayer in your heart. If you have a big decision or struggle you are facing, do not be afraid to ask others to help pray for you and your situation. Have faith and know you are not alone. I just read a great story this morning that shares some great examples of prayers being heard. Check it out—http://www.faithit.com/the-refs-said-if-he-points-at-god-again-hes-done-thats-when-his-sister-slipped-him-a-note/

Well, I hope these ideas help you to have a beautiful day.  Peace to you. -H

The Soundtrack of your life. What are you playing?

music-finds-the-secret-places-of-the-soulI have always had a fascination with music, the soundtrack of our lives and the way it can affect us–good or bad.  I think my first real experience with the power and influence of music was when I was a teenager and my brother had been talking to me about taking his own life.  Of course, I was worried and did my best as a young teen to help, but in the end, he followed his personal need & took our family car off a cliff. Luckily, he survived, even though the car was totalled (a dime on the car floor was bent in half), he was thrown from the car into a snow bank & was able to walk out of the canyon alive. After a few days, he shared a scary story about the power of music. While he was driving down the canyon the song, “Devil Inside” came on & in this instant he steered the car off the cliff. I cannot say this song or the energy behind it had any possible cause, but I can tell you that my brother distinctly remembered this song playing & then taking the car off the cliff.

So, why am I sharing this story?? Because I have always believed good or bad—music can have a powerful affect & we need to be aware of what we are playing as the soundtracks of our lives.

Here is another alarming study to show the harm of harsh music (I shared this in my positive vs negative post) but incase you missed it: Sixteen-year-old David Merrell, a student at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Va., thought that the loud sounds of hard-rock music must have a bad effect on its devoted fans and came up with a way to test that damage.

Merrell got 72 mice and divided them into three groups: one to test a mouse’s response to hard rock, another to the music of Mozart and a control group that wouldn’t listen to any music at all, rock or classical.
The young vivisectionist got all the mice accustomed to living in aquariums in his basement, then started playing music 10 hours a day. Merrell put each mouse through a maze three times a week that originally had taken the mice an average of 10 minutes to complete.

Over time, the 24 control-group mice managed to cut about 5 minutes from their maze-completion time. The Mozart-listening mice cut their time back 8-and-a-half minutes.
But the hard-rock mice added 20 minutes to their time, making their average maze-running time 300 percent more than their original average.
Need we say more? Well maybe we do. Merrell told the Associated Press that he’d attempted the experiment the year before, allowing mice in the different groups to live together.
 “I had to cut my project short because all the hard-rock mice killed each other,” Merrell said. “None of the classical mice did that.” (taken from edu-cyberpg.com)

So, please be aware of the negative music that you may have within your life or in the lives of those you love.

100101951_zps319d376eSo here are some great discoveries, wonderful articles, good information about how music helps heal.

How music heals 

Music can produce direct biological changes, such as reducing heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. There are so many proven positives to good music. Here are only some of them…Eases pain, anxiety, motivates, increases workout endurance, improves sleep quality, enhances blood vessel function, reduces stress, induces a meditative state, helps with depression, elevates mood, improves cognitive performance, helps people perform better in high-pressure situations, relaxes and more… (to read further details on the above benefits go to http://greatist.com/happiness/unexpected-health-benefits-music)

There is also preliminary evidence showing that listening to music can boost immune system function by decreasing stress hormones and increasing growth hormones. These changes should prime the body to be in a better state for recovering from and resisting illnesses, but the research is weak thus far and needs further investigation. -jamescleararticle

There are a range of studies that link music to happiness and pleasure in different ways. Despite the differences in the individual studies, the scientific consensus on the topic is that music does stimulate the same areas of the brain that trigger pleasure in other activities. A range of studies have found that listening to pleasurable music stimulates the mesocorticolimbic system in the brain, which is the same “pleasure center” that is triggered by humor, tasty food, and even cocaine. In this way, you could say that music is like a drug. If music makes you happy, then it might be possible that it is good for your health. -jamesclear.com (great article http://jamesclear.com/music-therapy)

One of the reasons why listening to music is so healing for us is due to the power of musical intervals.When we listen to all the intervals in the musical scale it is profoundly healing for our body and our mind. Listening to musical intervals is good for: Insomnia, Getting babies to sleep, Cancer, Joint Problems, Depression, Anxiety and most illnesses. -Positivehealth.com

Music Healing Mental Illness: Nowhere is this legacy more clear or important than in the movement to use music to treat mental illness. One in four(link is external) adults in the U.S. suffers from a mental illness in a given year, yet only 40 percent(link is external) receive treatment. The public health implications are considerable; mental health issues cost the world $2.5 trillion(link is external) annually in health care costs, loss of functioning and loss of life.     We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues. Research demonstrates that adding music therapy to treatment improves symptoms and social functioning amongschizophrenics(link is external). Further, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression(link is external)anxiety(link is external) and chronic pain(link is external).  -psychologytoday.com

In his book “Awakenings,” the British-American neurologist Oliver Sacks writes of patients who went from being catatonic to fully functional when music was added to their environment.  -WallStreetJournal article

Another article about “Alive Inside” documentary about patients with dementia, bipolar, schizo…and how music is a backdoor that awakens something inside. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865611277/Alive-Inside-is-a-testament-to-the-healing-power-of-music.html?pg=all

open-door-gabriela-insuratelu“Music might provide an alternative entry point” to the brain, because it can unlock so many different doors into an injured or ill brain, said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist. Pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm and emotion — all components of music — engage different regions of the brain. And many of those same regions are also important in speech, movement and social interaction. If a disease or trauma has disabled a brain region needed for such functions, music can sometimes get in through a back door and coax them out by another route, Schlaug says.

“In a sense, we’re using musical tools to particularly engage certain parts of the brain and then teach the brain new tricks — new tools — to overcome an impairment,” he says.

Reading: Research suggests that people with dyslexia, or difficulty reading, also fare poorly on tests of auditory processing. Their timing is also poor. They have difficulty filtering out unwanted background noise and “tuning in” to sounds — such as a teacher’s instruction — that they want to hear. Intensive music instruction has been found to improve those skills, and with them, some skills related to reading.

Movement: If you’re old enough, recall John Travolta walking down the street to the song “Stayin’ Alive” in the opening scene of “Saturday Night Fever.” Now imagine a patient with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative brain condition that affects the initiation and smooth completion of movement. Here’s where music’s rhythmic qualities appear to get in the back door of a patient’s brain and provide a work-around to brain functions degraded by Parkinson’s. By engaging the network of regions that perceive and anticipate rhythm, music with a steady, predictable beat can be used to cue the brain’s motor regions to initiate walking.

Once off the dime, a Parkinson’s patient can use the music’s beat to maintain a steady, rhythmic gait, like John Travolta.

“It works well and it works instantaneously, and it’s hard to think of any medication that has this effect,” Schlaug says.

Neuroscientists suspect that music may work in much the same way for stutterers, who can experience difficulties initiating speech and maintaining a steady flow of words. Case studies have long observed that when stutterers sing, their halting speech patterns disappear. Music’s predictable beats may help them initiate speech and continue fluently.

Memory: The progressive degeneration of memory in Alzheimer’s disease cannot be reversed or slowed by any intervention. But music can temporarily unlock memories for patients who have lost their grip on nearly every other detail of their daily life and relationships.

Preemies’ weight gain: An Israeli study, published December in the journal Pediatrics, found that playing Mozart quietly in neonatal intensive care units supported the weight gain of premature infants by slowing their rate of energy expenditure. Babies exposed over two days to 30 minutes of music (drawn from, yes, an Israeli “Mozart for Baby” CD) slowed their metabolisms, helping to accelerate their growth.      -LATImes Article

music-and-focusA number of studies show that music therapy – the use of music for medical goals – can reduce pain. In a 2001 study on burn patients, whose burns must be frequently scraped to reduce dead tissue, researchers found that music therapy significantly reduced the excruciating pain. Patients undergoing colonoscopy also seem to feel less pain and need fewer sedative drugs if they listen to music during the procedure, according to several studies. Another study done at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people who were listening to their favorite music felt less pain and could stand pain for a longer period.       Deforia Lane, director of music therapy at the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, has found an improvement in immune response among hospitalized children who played, sang, and created music compared to children who did not get music therapy.    Research conclusions have identified how the affect of music could replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Music that a person likes – but not music that is disliked – activates both the higher, thinking centers in the brain’s cortex, and, perhaps more important, also the “ancient circuitry, the motivation and reward system,” said experimental psychologist Robert Zatorre, a member of the team.  

The brain grows in response to musical training in the way a muscle responds to exercise. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston discovered that male musicians have larger brains than men who have not had extensive musical training.   -wakeup-world.com (to read the whole article–interesting http://wakeup-world.com/2013/10/08/9-healing-benefits-of-music/)

imagesStudies have proven that music can beneficially affect heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and shifts in emotions and energy levels. Even more interestingly, the research has proven that the healing power of music goes beyond humans and extends to the animal world. The mood enhancing capability of music has provided tranquil restorations to animals that have been previously abused or neglected. The animals connect with the tones and tempos as a source of relaxation, just as we connect with music in a similar manner.  -Massagetoday.com

Great article: Prescription with Pleasure: The Healing Power of Music http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/prescription-with-pleasure-the-healing-power-of-music.htm

Well, I hope I have given you enough food for thought on this one. Feel your mind and your life with good things!!

Peace to you.  -H

The search for Positive vs Negative

My daughter recently had a Science experiment to perform and we put our heads together and I made a few suggestions in ways to find Positive vs Negative energy and how it works in our lives. It was a really fun project to work on together, so I thought our findings may be interesting to you too!!

children-playing-videogamesWHAT ARE YOU PLAYING/WATCHING? I had heard about a test to tell if a particular video game had positive or negative energy. OUR TEST: We gathered up 7 different types of video games/movies (Playstation Destiny, Wii Daring Game for Girls, Crash Bandicoot, Wii Leela, SourceCode (PG-13 movie), Wii Christmas game, Wii 007 game), Put them in empty boxes with no covers (so no one knew what was inside). We then took six kids (ages 8-12) and had each kid hold each video & feel if it made them feel stronger or weaker. As the parent I would push down on the arm holding the video/game & could feel if it made them stronger or weaker. We then looked inside to see the results. It was fascinating.  The results were on target every time. The negative (violent–Destiny, 007, SourceCode) games would make the child weaker in their physical strength.     You may be skeptical at this moment, but I wanted someone else’s opinion. We were visiting my brother-in-law (Harvard grad) & thought he would be a perfect one to get in on this test, especially since his boys play video games non-stop!! He was a little skeptical and wanted to see it for himself. He took the games & tested them on his son. He couldn’t believe it!! He could literally see and feel the difference in the physical change. It was amazing!! Try it out yourself. Just know this—adults are a little more hard to determine because they try so hard to physically stay strong & you need to have harder (prob R) rated violence to get results. My belief—Adults are slightly jaded to negative energy. Try it and see for yourself. Good luck!!

if-we-understood-the-power-of-our-thoughts-betty-eadieWHAT ARE YOU SAYING? In this experiment we took the information from Dr. Emoto’s work with rice. Here is a link to his experiment: 

We did the same thing. We took rice & placed the same amount into two different containers. We labeled ours “I hate you. You are Stupid” and “I Love you” After about 2.5 weeks they both had mold, but the negative labeled rice had more mold. Many people have conducted this experiment and have been amazed at what happens. While I was at my daughter’s science fair I talked with a couple who had done this experiment with their family over a year ago. They shared how the positive rice never got mold & is still mold free after a year. WOW!! They said the Negative rice turned black.

Here was another great illustration of this idea:

plant-thought-experiment-love-511x315To begin, the children were given 2 plastic containers with a bunch of green beans and cotton pads. The task was to grow the beans sprouts in 2 separate containers, one marked with ”Love” & the other container marked with “Anger”. Each day they were to talk to the green beans. The container with “Love”, they had to say all sorts of positive things, direct their positive energy toward it and talk to it with love and compassion.  On the other hand, for the container marked with “Anger”, they had to direct anger and talk to it negatively, even to shout at it. After one week, they brought their 2 containers of beans sprouts with much enthusiasm and showed me the visible difference in terms of how the growth of the beans sprouts.  See photographs below. One could visibly see the “Love” beans sprouts grew healthily taller with luscious leaves whereas the beans sprouts in “Anger” containers had stunted growth or some died prematurely with dried leaves. – See more at: http://yourpresenceheals.com/love-vs-anger/#sthash.XQ5iIL9d.dpuf

Try it out and see for yourself. It is a good experiment to try with your family & share the lesson of how words have an affect.

dog_listening_to_ipodWHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO? We did some research on music and its affect and the results were pretty amazing and also disturbing. We came across David Merrill’s project on Music and Mice. Here is the description of the experiment. It is pretty alarming. Sixteen-year-old David Merrill, a student at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Va., thought that the loud sounds of hard-rock music must have a bad effect on its devoted fans and came up with a way to test that damage.
Merrill got 72 mice and divided them into three groups: one to test a mouse’s response to hard rock, another to the music of Mozart and a control group that wouldn’t listen to any music at all, rock or classical.
The young vivisectionist got all the mice accustomed to living in aquariums in his basement, then started playing music 10 hours a day. Merrill put each mouse through a maze three times a week that originally had taken the mice an average of 10 minutes to complete.

Over time, the 24 control-group mice managed to cut about 5 minutes from their maze-completion time. The Mozart-listening mice cut their time back 8-and-a-half minutes.
But the hard-rock mice added 20 minutes to their time, making their average maze-running time 300 percent more than their original average.
Need we say more? Well maybe we do. Merrill told the Associated Press that he’d attempted the experiment the year before, allowing mice in the different groups to live together.
 “I had to cut my project short because all the hard-rock mice killed each other,” Merrill said. “None of the classical mice did that.” (taken from edu-cyberpg.com)

Another interesting experiment was Music and Plants done by In 1973 Dorothy Retallack at the Colorado Women’s College in Denver wrote a book The Sound of Music and Plants (it’s still for sale). Her research consisted of playing different music to identical groups of plants, one group got rock and another easy listening. After two weeks, the plants in the soothing-music area were uniform in size, lush and green, and were leaning between 15 and 20 degrees toward the radio. The plants in the rock music chamber had grown tall but were drooping, the flowers had faded and the stems were bending away from the radio. By the end of two weeks, most of the plants in the rock music chamber were dying whilst the easy listening ones were growing abundantly.

23-copy-copyAll the experiments were very useful in trying to find Positive vs Negative energy and how what we say, listen to, play, and watch can definitely have an impact on our lives. I challenge you to take this information to your families, do some of your own experiments to see for yourselves the positive and negative things we put into our daily lives.

-Peace to you. Heather

Music has power

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Music always has a power for me. When I am feeling down I yearn to find music that speaks to my feelings. Music seems to be a playlist of our life. You can listen to a song and it takes you back to specific moments and memories. Music inspires, moves us, pushes us, and will always remind us of the greatness we hold within. It holds the theme songs for our life.  I saw the following ad and wanted to post it because it sang to my soul, so then I gathered a few more to instill the magic that music holds. Hope you enjoy.

I saw this ad for the iPhone and fell in love with the whole concept, the song, the visual, the simplicity.  fyi: the song was written by Rob Simonsen specifically for apple, but he does have some additional music that is calming and beautiful.

Another moving commercial that illustrates the power of music…enjoy. Sweet, heart breaking, but powerful.

Here is one more Coke ad that has a great vision, good music and great heart. It will make you smile & maybe do a little something extra today!!

And one last song I wanted to share. I just came across it & appreciated the musicality of it…

This song has a beautiful balance of instrumental edge with feeling.

 

Music speaks to the SOUL.

-Heather

Teacher THANK YOU gift ideas

 

Image“It takes a special person to light that fire, to raise our children’s expectations for themselves and never give up on them, no matter how challenging it might be. All of us are here because, at some point, somebody did that for us.”

SInce school is nearing the end I thought it would be a good idea to shower those wonderful teachers in our lives with love, kind words and happy deeds that will make them feel appreciated. So I am digging up ideas and compiling them here for you to use. Take the ideas and make them your own, shower those people who have taken good care of your child and make them feel loved and acknowledged. Here is to PRAISING & APPRECIATING those who make a difference each and every day. Ask you child—their teacher is probably one of their favorite people in the whole world–Let’s make them feel that way!! CHEERS TO OUR TEACHERS who touch, inspire, teach and admire…love to you.

FUN SCHOOL TEACHER GIFT IDEAS:

In searching I found many teachers said they most appreciate a hand written note from a parent or child appreciating all they do. This is the #1 cherished gift, so here is a link to a darling printable Teacher Thank you card your child can color & give. Darling!!

http://www.giverslog.com/?p=8020

Here are a few more ideas if you are feeling creative…

ImageImageSome of my favorite sayings I came across:

There is no “sub”stitute for a teacher like you (given with a subway gift card)

A fun summer kit: a bag filled with any of the following…a fun reusable cup, magazines, sunblock, chapstick, towel, flip flops, water bottle, sunglasses, etc.

Thanks for sparking my creative “juices” (given with a juice card)

“Owl” always be thankful for you. (give with something that has an owl)

What would I “DEW” without you. (given with a bottle of Mtn Dew)

Thanks for helping me “grow” (given with a plant, flowers, pot with seeds, etc)

Thanks. You are so “sweet” (given with a jar of favorite sweet treats)

You are o”fish”ally the best!! (given with a decorated bag of sweedish fish)

Thanks a “latte” (given with a starbucks gift card)

You’ve been a “highlight” of my year (given with a set of highlighter pens)

Out of the ordinary gift ideas

Imagea unique journal idea. Write a nice thank you note inside to your teacher

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Cute charm your teacher would appreciate–book, charm bracelet with teacher type charmsImageRecycled Pencils

ImagePersonalized sticky notes: they have all shapes (leaves, kitty, flower, stars, hearts, characters, quotes, etc.) Pick something specific to your teacher.

Personalized book mark Ideas: always a good idea for a teacher who loves to read.

Here is a great link to print & have your child color a fun, personalized book mark. You can then have it laminated, add string or a fun charm to make it even more special.   http://kathyahrens.deviantart.com/art/Simply-Fun-Bookmarks-340279461

Some other cute book mark ideas to make: ImageImageImageImage

OTHER TEACHERS that are beloved and not forgotten: Don’t forget to praise and appreciate the other “specialty” teachers your child has enjoyed in music, art, PE, dance, sports, the school Principal, etc. Make sure you take the time to thank them. They often get unrecognized because we usually only think of the class teachers, but these other teachers do a lot to inspire and enrich their lives too. Don’t forget to reach out to them. Here are some additional ideas for them…

Dance: I just sent my daughter with a package of playing cards for each of her dance teachers. I wrapped them in red cellophane & made a large playing card (5 of hearts) that I typed on each of the hearts…”You are a dancing QUEEN”  “You are a ONE OF A KIND”   “DIAMONDS are a girls BFF & so are you”   “Never miss a chance to dAnCE”   “Dance brings everybody a great DEAL of joy” & wrapped them up with fun red ribbon tied with a thank you note.

Other ideas I came across for dance: cute dance charms, a t-shirt that says “Dance is cheaper than therapy”, personalized water bottles with their name, an iTunes gift card with a card attached that said “Thank you for helping me get my groove on”

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Music Teacher Ideas: Music note charm for necklace or bracelet, Cute sayings like “Music=Life without music life would “B (flat” symbol), Keep Calm & Love Music, Flowers made out of paper music sheets, a guitar pick etched with the saying “I’d pick you every time”, cute banner made out of sheet music with the teachers name.Image

Sports & PE: Hoodie or T-shirt that says “PE Teacher or Coach”, personalized whistle, water bottle with their name on it, A Skor candy bar with they saying “I “Skor”ed big getting you for my coach!”, a small cooler for game time, personalized towel

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Well, I hope these ideas get you thinking of something to do to say THANK YOU to the amazing teachers in your child’s life. Big or small, handmade or store bought, anything will bring a smile to a teacher’s heart…just make sure you take the time to say THANKS!

Happy Day  -Heather