The basis of my approach to healing through music is to employ the body/mind's own wisdom and genetically programmed ability to heal itself by presenting it with the proper vibrations. My intent has always been to use music and sound to assist the body to enter its natural state of balance and harmony.
We know innately how to balance and heal ourselves if we are given the opportunity and encouraged to do so. We do this automatically and effectively when we're truly relaxed.
When the body relaxes, a specific set of psychological, physiological and spiritual correlates — called the "relaxation response" — occur. In his book The Relaxation Response, Harvard Medical School Director Herbert Benson describes this genetically programmed reflex as a "response against overstress which brings on bodily changes that decrease heart rate, lower metabolism, decrease the rate of breathing and bring the body back intoâ¦ healthier balance."
When the heartbeat slows, the brain is pulsed by the blood ejected from the heart with the greatest efficiency. This caused the electrical and chemical activity of the brain to produce electromagnetic waves at a frequency of approximately 7 to 13 Hz. These brain waves, known as Alpha waves, are emitted from our brains when we experience a relaxed and quiet mind. Alpha waves have also been identified as the predominant brain wave pattern among people who regularly practice mediation and yoga.
Medical authorities have documented the relaxing effects of music with electroencephalography, galvanic skin response and Kirlian photography, so this is not simply a matter of belief or musical taste! In addition to these physical changes however, I believe there is an effect at soul level, and an actual cellular resonance that takes place in the listener, on that assists body, mind and spirit in reestablishing its connection to the Creator, Source (or whatever name feels most appropriate to you).
We can describe these physical and spiritual responses in many ways. But it all appears to be related to a fundamental vibrational reality.
[Side Note: Is it any wonder that tuning into this frequency of brain wave activity and body resonance in deeply relaxed states feels so good, and is nurturing at a soul level?]
How Sound Effects the Body
Due to the physical Law of Entrainment, as described by Itzhah Bentov in Stalking the Wild Pendulum (Dutton, 1977), an external rhythm will automatically override your internal rhythm (the rhythm of our heartbeat or breathing, for example). This means that music with a fast beat inevitably causes the heart to beat faster. Music with a slow beat, alternately, can entrain the body to relax.
Resonance refers to the phenomenon whereby one vibrating entity such as a tuning fork, musical tone or noise, will cause a second entity — another tuning fork, for example, or part of you body — to begin vibrating when their respective frequencies match. In other words, if you took a tuning fork tuned to "C" and another tuned to "A", the second fork would stay silent when you struck the "C." But if you have two "C" forks and struck the first, the second would begin to emit a sound, because its atoms would be set in motion by its vibrational equal.
It's the same with music you listen to. If it's in harmony with the actual vibrational makeup of your cells– your internal organs' energy fields and rhythms– it amplifies your well being.
A Sound Prescription — The Benefits of Relaxing Music
1 — the gentle rhythm of this music will help evoke your relaxation response. You may find that your heart rate slows slightly, your breathing becomes deeper and slower, and your muscles begin to relax.
2 — the relaxing effects of this music will help synchronize the hemispheres of your brain. The left hemisphere is typically involved in analyzing the structure of music — which the over stimulated mind often focuses on. This music evokes a more balanced response, involving the more creative intuitive right hemisphere.
3 — Listening to this music will invoke an alpha brain wave pattern. Unlike most music, this music allows your brain wave activity to shift into the highly relaxing alpha range of 8–12 cycles per second.
Steven Halpern is a composer and recording artist who has received international acclaim for his work championing the use of music in programs of health, well being and recovery. He has produced over 50 recordings in the INNER PEACE and SOUNDWAVE 2000 Subliminal Series, and they are used in homes, hospitals, schools and offices around the world.
Halpern's recordings are featured prominently in John Bradshaw's two PBS–TV series, Homecoming and Creating Love, and has been heard on 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Dr. Halpern has appeared on 48 Hours, The Tomorrow Show and CNBC's American Talking. He is also the author of Sound Health (Harper & Row, 1933) and Sound Secrets and the Healing Power of Music, and is a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader.
For more information about Dr. Steven Halpern, please see www.innerpeace.com