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The Healing Power of Music
Helen Dugdale
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The Healing Power of Music

It’s no secret that music can alter our mood, whether we listen or participate. Loud and active is more uplifting; smooth and soft, more calming. As long ago as 1697, William Congreve wrote that music has the power to “soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”

Now, research has shown us we can harness these powers to create calmness and help us heal in many ways. When we are calm we can function better, both emotionally and physiologically. This is when healing can take place.

The role of binaural beats therapy

Binaural beats therapy is an integral part of the Brain Coaching technique that I practice. It is an inexpensive, non-invasive treatment that utilises the latent power of our brains. Binaural simply means ‘relating to both ears’. Binaural beats are achieved by delivering slightly different frequencies to each ear to achieve a calming tone in the middle of our brains. Combining this type of music with a positive saying or mantra helps to reinforce those messages in our brain, creating new synaptic connections. In other words, it harmonises the different parts of our brain. This leads to new habits that make us more able to leave behind our old pathway of negative thoughts and behaviours.

The stages in Brain Coaching are:

  1. Identify the actual trigger for negative thoughts and behaviours
  2. Process and resolve that trigger
  3. Develop strategies that suit your life-style (that is, re-program your thinking habits)
  4. Use binaural beats music to reinforce these new thinking habits and replace anxiety with relaxation. (Please note- not all clients need or want this last stage, it is up to each person to decide what suits them)

During the brain coaching session, I supply a recording of meditation music with added binaural beats (left/right beat) that you can upload to your own phone. I then help you come up with your own mantra that suits your situation, and you agree to how many times a day or week you want to listen to it.

The outcome for my clients

Many of my clients have had success using this method to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. They are then able to come up with strategies that suit their lifestyle, personality and situations. Clients have also noticed an improvement in concentration and performance, whether for work, creativity, exams or sports. Here are some examples:

Sue has gone from two hours of sleep to seven per night: “So happy. I am walking on air!”

Marian says, “I can recommend Helen, as I have recently been seeing her for help with insomnia. The music with binaural beats is certainly beneficial. The sessions have been very helpful and insightful”.

Christopher says, “I loved working with you, I am more productive now. Helen is great at getting to the bottom of what is going on for you. Being able to listen to the music whenever I want is a plus. If you haven't had the opportunity to work with Helen before, now is the time”.

Esther says, “Helen is a very experienced practitioner. I find her very approachable and her coaching has amazing results. I used her music technique to improve my concentration at high level golf. I can personally recommend her whatever your concern is. Give it a go, don’t be afraid, you will never look back!!”

Emily says that she can now handle previously stressful situations and has the ability to banish negative thoughts. “The elephant has left the room!”

The science behind music as therapy

 “Scientists have observed for decades that exposure to sound waves can affect brainwave patterns. In a process called entrainment (aka ‘tuning the brain’), when exposed to sound waves at certain frequencies, brainwave patterns adjust to align with those frequencies.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/think-act-be/201911/how-improve-anxiety-sleep-and-more-binaural-beats)

Technology developed over the years has enabled brainwaves to be measured in response to various sounds and music. Scientists have been studying sound waves effects on the brain for a number of years. Research indicates that low-frequency tones can lead to a state of relaxation. This is where music with a binaural beat can aid relaxation and reduce anxiety.

For example, scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Music & Medicine, found that group singing has helped Parkinson’s disease sufferers. They also found that music reduces anxiety and can help to reduce pain.

Binaural beat music also influences the production of different hormones, reducing the stress hormone, cortisol, and increasing the relaxing hormone, melatonin, thus leading to greater calmness and better sleep. (Dr Vincent Giampapa, New England Journal of Medicine.)

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