Healing approaches

Is music really a tool for healing?

By Debbie Walmsley, crystal healer and reiki practitioner

As music can have a big effect on clients and their experience during energy healing work, it makes sense to choose the tracks to play with care.

Have you ever noticed that when listening to certain kinds of music, it is impossible to keep your fingers and toes still, while other types of melodies make you want to throw the radio out of the window? Has a song ever reduced you to tears because it was sad, or happy or just beautiful? Maybe you have created a special playlist to motivate you when running or at the gym? Perhaps it is a different one when you want to relax and unwind?

So all in all, it seems that music could have a bigger impact than most of us realise. We know that it affects our internal functions, such as blood pressure, that it can speed or slow down our heart rate, reduce anxiety and even help digestion.

But how does it do this and why does it impact us in the way it does? The answer lies in frequencies. The way we feel and the way our brain responds when we listen depends on the combination of frequencies on the music track. This is known as the ‘frequency response’.

Most modern music is tuned to 440Hz. According to researcher Brian T. Collins, who also creates mindful music, this standard pitch (A=440 Hz) does not harmonise at any level with cosmic movement, rhythm or natural vibrations. Classical musicians such as Mozart and Verdi, on the other hand, based their music on the natural musical pitch of A=432Hz due to its healing energy and the natural ‘feel-good’ properties it evoked in their audiences.

According to Dutch journalist Richard Huisken, who has researched the origins and benefits of music tuned to 432Hz, these sounds are softer and brighter, provide greater clarity and are generally easier on the ears. Many people experience more meditative and relaxing states of body and mind when listening to such music. It also gives a more harmonic and pleasant sound than 440Hz.

Interestingly, the 432Hz frequency also works with the heart chakra, or ‘centre of feelings’, and may influence the listener’s spiritual development. Some people who cannot necessarily tell the difference between sounds resonating at 440Hz and 432Hz claim they can feel that the music is ‘warmer’, maybe as a result of its longer wavelength.

The 432Hz frequency resonates at the top end of the theta brainwave range, which induces a state of very deep relaxation, and the start of the alpha brainwave range, which brings about a deep meditative state. As a result, it makes us feel very relaxed but also conscious and open to intuitive learning at the same time.

Attuning with Mother Nature

But just think for a moment about how many different frequencies emanating from mobile phones, Wi-Fi networks, radios and microwaves travel through our brains in a given day. They all operate at different frequencies and pull our brain from one frequency to the next. It is no wonder that these devices, which all emit artificial electromagnetic radiation, have been linked to depression, insomnia and even cancer.

As a result, it makes sense to spend as much time as possible attuned to the natural electromagnetic pulses of the earth (the heartbeat of Mother Nature) – at 432 Hz – in order to feel more centred, balanced and peaceful.

Further evidence of music routinely being played at 432Hz, meanwhile, can be found in ancient Greece, where instruments associated with Orpheus – the God of Music – were tuned to this frequency. Moreover, according to international researcher and musician Ananda Bosman, the majority of instruments unearthed from ancient Egyptian sites were also tuned to the same pitch. Sound researcher Jamie Buturff likewise discovered that many CD recordings of Tibetan monks’ singing bowls were tuned to 432Hz too.

This situation is undoubtedly due to the frequency’s direct link with Mother Nature and its ability to help people relax for meditative purposes. The more you listen to music tuned to 432Hz, the more peaceful and happier you will feel as your brain becomes attuned to the Earth’s frequency.

We, like the plants and animals, are all part of Mother Nature and consist of energy that resonates at its own frequency. Therefore, playing music that is not tuned to this frequency over a prolonged period of time will make us feel out of sync. Could this be the reason that certain types of music are linked to behavioural issues and intense negative emotional reactions in some people? Possibly.

We all know music has healing properties: Music therapists use music to help restore memory in Alzheimer’s patients and improve basic motor skills in stroke victims. We also know that listening to specific frequencies in concentrated amounts entrains the brain to experience specific states of wellbeing.

Listening to 432Hz is proven to have a calming effect and regular listening will decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, while promoting natural healing and a deeper connection with all sentient beings and the world at large. So it really is time to tune yourself into Mother Nature’s heartbeat.

If you would like to try the healing properties of music for yourself, email me at debbie653@hotmail.com and I will send you a link to one of my free mediations based on 432Hz music – but do let me know how it makes you feel.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley is a reiki practitioner, crystal healer, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association. Debbie has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman.

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Inspiring lifestyles

Learning to eat in a more sustainable way

By Juliette Bryant, nutritional consultant

The world is changing in positive ways. For example, many people were moved by natural historian David Attenborough’s hard-hitting message in the BBC television series, Blue Planet 2, in which he revealed the extent of plastic waste in our oceans.

Sir David was very clear as to what he wanted to say: We must stop polluting our oceans with plastic because it is seriously harming ocean wildlife. Fish are consuming toxic amounts of micro-particles and the people eating the fish are being affected too.

As a result, it would seem important for each of us to take a long, hard look at our own plastic consumption and what we can do about it – something that can feel difficult when fair trade organic bananas (and many other items) come shrink-wrapped in non-recyclable plastic.

But the good news is there are other packaging options available that are better for the environment. Normal petro-chemical plastic does not degrade at all, and even so-called ‘degradable’ plastic is not great as it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces of the same toxic stuff.  

Biodegradable plastic, which is often made from plant-based materials, is better, although it may still take years to disintegrate too. So your best bet is compostable plastic, which actually biodegrades in your compost heap. 

Now that Sir David has sounded the alarm though, a lot of big companies are starting to look at how they can catch up with demand from supermarkets and fast food chains to start using natural, non-harmful packaging. So there is a powerful opportunity for positive change on the horizon.

Because if our children are going to live on a healthy planet, it is vital that we embrace more sustainable approaches. To do so, we need to ask ourselves a few basic questions:

  • Where does my food come from?
  • What practices are employed to create this food? For example, what chemicals have been used to grow it, what energy and resources were required in using the necessary farm machinery, what food miles did it rack up?
  • What un-recyclable or un-reusable materials were used in the packaging and transportation of this food?
  • Are there more sustainable ways to provide for our food needs?
basket of vegetables

Sustainable, locally-sourced food

The answer to the last question is a resounding ‘yes’. For example, transporting food around the world is a large contributor to global pollution levels, but home-produced or locally-sourced food has low, or even zero, food miles.

As for the issue of sustainable food production and packaging, there are solutions, as I made sure today’s recipe demonstrates. Most of the ingredients came in an organic veg box from Moyns Park Organics in the upper Stour Valley on the Essex/Suffolk border. The packaging consisted of paper only and the food travelled a mere six miles to get to me. 

I also used herbs and a bay leaf from the garden. Maldon Sea Salt, which added some flavour, came from just down the road and the veggies and spices were fried in East Anglian rape seed rather than coconut oil, saving a few thousand food miles in the process. 

But it was when I was looking for protein that I nearly came unstuck. As a vegan, I do not partake of produce from large-scale animal farming, which uses vast amounts of land, water and energy resources. But nuts and seeds are a good substitute as they add essential nutrients and a creamy flavour. 

In looking at their places of origin on the packaging though, I found the following: The hemp seeds came from Romania, the pecan nuts from South Africa and the hazelnuts from Turkey. Which meant that none of them would do for this particular recipe. 

But I remembered that, during a late summer outing, I had bought some walnuts from near the gate of a local garden.  They were still in good shape six months on and so went straight into the soup to complete a locally-sourced, sustainable meal.  

A small confession though – I did add an admittedly optional tablespoon of curry powder and a chilli brought back in a suitcase after my trip to India, but hopefully that does not amount to too much cheating.

Vegetable soup

Local winter soup

2 parsnips  

1 large potato

1 leek

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 cup of cabbage

1 chilli

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs rapeseed oil

1 bay leaf

1 litre of hot water

½ cup of hulled walnuts

herbs to garnish

Finely chop all of the ingredients. Heat the oil and fry the leeks, onion, chilli and cabbage with the salt for a few minutes. Add the water and other ingredients, and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until ready.

Juliette Bryant

Juliette Bryant is an author, nutritional consultant, superfood chef and presenter who runs courses, talks, workshops and retreats around the world. Her passion is helping people to thrive by showing them how to make delicious and healthy food. Juliette runs a busy practice providing nutritional consultations to individuals and businesses worldwide.

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Healing approaches

A healthy heart: What’s love got to do with it?

heart-love-romance-6371.jpg

By Anita Ramsden, kinesiologist

The heart represents many things. More than just an organ that pumps oxygenated blood around our bodies to keep us alive, it is also a universal symbol of love and governs our ability to give and receive this vital emotion.

As a result, the kind of language we use in relation to the heart tends to be quite profound. We say things are ‘heartfelt’ and advise others to ‘speak from the heart’ or ‘follow your heart’. The phrase ‘you can’t decide with your head, you need to trust your heart’ is also a common one and positions this important organ as a key link between mind and body.

In physiological terms alone, the heart is an incredible machine. The size of a fist, it weighs about 10oz (283 grams) and beats around 70 times a minute. In that time, it moves five to seven litres of blood around the body, or up to 7,600 litres a day. Without its constant activity, we would die immediately.

The heart also has its own electromagnetic field, which being the largest in the body, permeates every cell and sends signals to our brain. Electrocardiograms (ECG) have indicated that the power of this field is 60 times greater than that of brain waves and can be measured several feet away from the body. The heart and brain synchronise through these energetic impulses and scientists working in the relatively new discipline of neurocardiology believe they are the basis of heart-brain communication.

These scientists have also discovered that the heart is a sensory organ, which consists of 40,000 neurons that are commonly associated with the brain. In fact, according to the HeartMath Institute: “The heart acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing centre that enables it to learn, remember and make independent functional decisions that do not involve the cerebral cortex” of the brain.

Such information may help to explain why cardiac surgeons counsel patients and family members about the surprising after-effects of some heart transplant surgery. The patient who receives a donated organ can take on the characteristics, memories, tastes and preferences of the donor.

heart-brainlink

Heart-brain link

Recipients may also recall their donor’s personal details and in some instances, recognise and even feel love for their family and friends. In the words of Dr Daniel Keown, a practitioner of both Eastern and Western medicine and author of ‘The Spark in the Machine’, this scenario would appear to indicate that the heart has carried the donor’s memories within itself and shared them with its new recipient’s brain.

But there is also other evidence of a heart-brain link. For example, more heart attacks take place at 9am on a Monday morning than at any other time of the week, possibly due to an association with stressful situations such as work.

Stress-induced or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, otherwise known as broken heart syndrome, likewise occurs when part of the heart is temporarily no longer able to pump well. This condition is commonly seen in patients following the death of a loved one. Metaphorically and physically, they are heart-broken.

But the heart is just as responsive to love and compassion. According to Deepak Chopra in his book ‘Training the Mind, Healing the Body’, the survival rate of patients who have had a heart attack is 80% higher if they believe their partner loves them. Research also shows that people who are in loving, kind and affectionate relationships experience less hardening of the arteries.

If someone is caught up in negative emotions such as anger, frustration or anxiety, on the other hand, their heart rhythms become more erratic and disordered as the endocrine system responds to the situation and their body goes into fight or flight mode.

Experiencing positive emotions such as appreciation, love or compassion produces the opposite effect though, creating highly ordered or coherent patterns that move the body into a state of peace. The heartbeat becomes even and synchronises with other bodily functions, such as blood pressure, digestion and breathing, which calms everything down.

boy gives flowers

Being kind

Another consideration in this context are the health benefits of being kind. The feelings generated from performing acts of kindness and compassion, or even of simply witnessing them, creates oxytocin – the ‘happiness hormone’ – in our body. Oxytocin, in turn, produces nitric oxide, which softens the walls of our arteries, improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure.

So it makes sense, both for ourselves and others, to choose a day each week to undertake kind acts. As Dr David Hamilton indicates in his books ‘Molecules of Kindness‘ and ‘Born to be Kind’: “We are genetically wired for kindness. The kindness gene, in fact, is 500 million years old – it’s one of our most ancient genes – which is WHY kindness impacts our biochemistry. It’s our deepest nature.”

Hugging someone, including your pet, is also another great way to produce oxytocin. Doing so will lead to a drop in your heart rate, reduce your stress hormones, cut your production of free radicals and lessen inflammation.

A lovely correction technique that I also use from the Creative Kinesiology school of practice is called ‘Heart Appreciation’. You can try it yourself by simply concentrating your mind on someone or something that you really appreciate and feeling how good it feels to do so.

Then breathe the feeling into your heart and let it spread throughout your entire body. Imagine your heart as a cup and watch it overflow. Your whole body will relax and your energy levels will rise significantly. Because it really is about feeling the love at every level – in body, mind and most particularly in the heart.

Anita Ramsden

Anita Ramsden is a kinesiologist. She is emphatic about affecting positive change and her work encourages wellbeing for mind, body and soul. Anita is also a member of the Kinesiology Federation.

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