Archive for December 13th, 2011

Music for Healing

December 13th, 2011

As some of you may know, I’ve been on a journey for almost a decade and a half to find the connections between music, vibration and health or healing.  We have studied the works of indigenous man, listened to the quotes of comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell on the power of music, read Nancy Shute’s article about a study, published by the Cochrane Collaboration which looked at 30 clinical trials of music therapy, both those led by trained music therapists and ones where patients listened to recorded music on their own. Both methods were found to reduce anxiety and pain, and to improve mood and quality of life for cancer patients.  Music may also improve heart rate, breathing and blood pressure in cancer patients, the review says.

While at the Windber Research Institute we engaged in a study commissioned by the Yamaha Foundation to determine the genetic nuances of music as a stress reliever and a few weeks ago we passed around a story from NPR where a musician  and teacher named Holland performed sound studies on various cancer cells and saw a 50% reduction of cancer cells in pancreatic cancer . . . but this is still a work in progress.

We have known that indigenous man has used music as a part of healing ceremonies for thousands of years, and we know the impact that music can have on us emotionally.  In fact, back in the early part of the 21st Century we spoke with scientists and leaders from the University of Hawaii and the University of Pittsburgh who were doing studies regarding the bending and folding of proteins within our bodies as they responded to music.

There are also numerous studies demonstrating that music provides some relief from Autism, and from an undocumented Autism blog we read the following:  Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects children, and its effects can be seen as early as infancy. Symptoms may appear at the age of six months, and the disorder is established before the child reaches three years of age. Typical symptoms of autism include impaired communication and social interaction, repetitive behavior, and limited interest. Autism is considered a disorder because it prevents the affected person from being self-dependent and leading a normal life. Most autistic people are unable to take care of themselves, even after they reach adulthood, but there are a number of them who have succeeded in becoming independent after they received proper guidance during their childhood.
Music therapy helps in treating autistic children, but it has to be applied with kids in mind. It should not be too complicated for them to follow. Music that engages autistic children in dancing and singing works very well in helping them communicate and develop social skills. Autistic children respond to music by singing in the same note, and some of them may even start communicating through singing. They may take up an instrument to play, and this will help them gain interest in acquiring a certain skill. Music therapy can help different autistic patients in different ways, but generally, it is beneficial to them because it makes them more responsive to things around them.

The reason behind such great response to music is that autistic children do not engage in normal social activities, and music sessions give them an opportunity to express themselves. Music therapy for an autistic child starts with learning how to play a musical instrument, as he or she may get intimidated by human contact. Slowly, the therapy moves on to include singing and even dancing, if the child shows interest for such activities. This gives the child an emotional outlet as well as a sense of fulfillment, which were lacking in the past because of limited social activity.

I’m still not exactly sure where this is all going, but today, I heard a segment on “The Splendid Table” on NPR in which an Austrian wine maker has successfully applied music to the craft of making wine.

Sonor Wines    December 10, 2011
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December 10, 2011

Episode Rundown

19:36 – 25:03 Sonor Wines of Austria

Markus Bachmann uses a unique fermenting process with his wines: He drops a speaker in the tank, plays music, and “the yeast starts doing total different things.”

The speakers have magnet and not membranes which makes the wine fluid  the membrane.  The vibrations mix the yeast . . . and the movement of the sound waves determines the type of mix.   Consequently, the yeast doesn’t have to move to get its food.   This effect is referred to as glycering and produces high end and enriched aromas plus it causes the yeast to use all the sugar.   The result is that it produces a very dry wine and sometimes sweet flavors.  Through this method the wines taste very rich and very mature, but it is actually a new wine, a new wine that tastes three years old.  It also tastes wooden but has never been in a barrel.  Mr. Bachmann describes it as a very oily wine that when tilted against the side of the glass creates sheets and not legs.   Finally, he says that the key in the music is that it depends on frequencies, volume, pulse.  It is like mixing the wine and keeps it more alive.  He has discovered that there is 30% more yeast that is alive at the end of fermentation than in regular fermentation processes.

Music for Grapegrowing
by Angela Ricci on June 28, 2011 – 12:47 amNo Comment

Sonor Wines is the brainchild of Viennese food and wine expert and horn player Markus Bachmann. This pioneering method exposes the wine to music during fermentation – a process that, according to its Austrian inventor, refines the finished product.

Bachmann explains that once in the steel fermentation tanks, a biochemical reaction is set into motion by tiny vibrations triggered by the sound. He also believes that varieties of wine that have been treated using this technique contain less sugar, have a fuller flavor and are more drinkable.

Different genres of music are also said to give the wines different characteristics. In principle, any type of music can be used, from symphonic works to hunters’ classics, waltz and polka melodies and even Viennese folk sounds such as Schrammelmusik. The process has been put to the test at the Wienbauschule Klosterneuburg on a Grüner Veltliner white wine. A number of leading growers have put the new approach into practice, including Vienna-based producers Peter Uhler and Franz-Michael Mayer, who have already bottled the first generation of Sonor Wines.

So, I’m going to keep on keeping on as I look for music/healing answers and would enjoy hearing from scientists and healers alike as this journey continues.  Seriously, folks, we know that the vast majority of our pharmaceuticals come from the rain forests or the oceans . . . why isn’t it possible that all of the cures that we need for everything are right here within our grasp?  Hmmmmm or oooooooooooooM?