Healing From the Ear

Healing From the Ear

Healing from the Ear

by Steve Rees, Ret. RN, Harpist

A new acquaintance that found my Calming Harp music online, introduced me to a goldmine of information that helped me to understand why the music I produce has such amazing effects on people for health benefits, sleep apnea, easing tensions, and so much more. Until I was introduced to this research, I was mostly dependent on anecdotal accounts of the benefits of the Calming Harp music and the frequency work that I have identified over the past decade and more.
This article is a synopsis of an article: THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF HIGH-FREQUENCY AUDITION
The full text is available at http://weeksmd.com/?p=714
© Bradford S. Weeks M. D. 1986:
To be clear, the frequency work was not my original discovery as I attribute much of the information to Dr. Leonard Horowitz and Dr. Joseph Puleo. However, even Leonard called me one time and told me that they knew the frequencies had to do with music, but they didn’t know what to do with it. He then told me, “But you know what to do with it musically.” That has been my contribution to this fascinating field of discovery; bringing specific frequencies into music and identifying types of music that bring the desired results.
But what does music have to do with the ear? What may seem like an obvious answer, is much more involved than I had ever understood. Yes, we must “hear” music to receive the benefits it offers, and the ear is what we hear with. I discovered that there are two kinds of hearing. There is active hearing, or listening, in which we are focused on what the music is doing. There is also passive hearing in which our ear apparatus is receiving the energy sound waves from the source, but we are not paying attention. Each has different effects.
The article begins by acknowledging that there are different schools of thought and research connected to the study of the ear and its mechanisms.
“Orthodox: It is commonly understood that the ear is divided into three parts – the external ear (meatus and canal), the middle ear (tympanic membrane, ossicles, middle ear muscles) and the inner ear (vestibule and cochlea).”
“Unorthodox: An appreciation of embryology suggests that there are, practically speaking, only two ears – an external and an internal ear. We know that the embryo originally consists of a series of five branchial arches [3]. The adult ear develops from the first two. More specifically, the first brachial arch will develop into the first two ossicles of the ear (the malleus with its muscle and the incus) and falls under the enervation of the trigeminal nerve (5th cranial nerve). The second brachial arch produces the third ossicle (stapes with its stapedius muscle) and is innervated by the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve). More can be made of the other organs which arise from these first two brachial arches (lower jaw with adductive muscles from the first and upper part of the larynx, the hyoid bone, and the anterior ventral segment of the digastric muscle with opposes the jaw adductors) …. My point here is that the ear is functionally understood as tripartite while comprising a polarity. This distinction becomes therapeutically significant in terms of high-frequency audition.”
This is just a look at the anatomical differences in understanding how the ear works and is structured. There are also other anatomical considerations as well. “The ear is now understood to be neurologically involved with the optic or 2nd cranial nerve, the oculomotor or 3rd cranial nerve, the trochlear or 4th cranial nerve, the abducens or 6th cranial nerve and the spinal-accessory or 11th cranial nerve which is responsible for posterior-lateral musculature of the neck.”
The writer went on to describe the anatomy of the nerves that run through the area of the ear in our bodies, likening it to a look at the roads that lead into and out of Rome. Everything leads everywhere else, and everything is interconnected. One cannot affect one nerve without involving at least one other and usually more. In other words, the ear is Grand Central Station for all communications and functions of the body. The longest nerve, the vagus, runs through the ear as well.
“What is the significance of vagal and acoustic interaction? Let us track this path throughout the body. The vagus wanders on contacting next to the postural back muscles via an anastomosis with the spino-accessory or 11th cranial nerve, then sensitizes that part of the larynx responsible for vocalization via the upper laryngeal nerve before delivering motor innervation via the recurrent laryngeal nerves. Subsequently, the vagus innervates the bronchi and heart before joining the opposing vagal nerve and diving through the diaphragm to innervate the entire viscera including the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the anus (via anastomosis with sacral nerves 2, 3, and 4).”
Much of the unorthodox view stems from the research of Dr. Tomatis. Born in 1920, Dr. Tomatis earned his M.D. from the Faculte de Paris before specializing in oto-rhino-laryngology. En route to establishing the International Association of Audio-Psycho-Phonology. His research led him to develop therapies for a multitude of pathologies that were related to these cranial nerve-to-vagus nerve connections.
“As a clinician, Tomatis has achieved a reputation for successful and unorthodox therapies whose scope exceeded the scope of oto-rhino-laryngology. The list of maladies successfully treated via high-frequency auditive therapy includes Ear, Nose, and Throat disorders: (hearing and voice loss, stuttering, tinnitus, otitis media, scotomas); Neurological disorders: (toe walking from vestibular nuclei problems, drooling, strabismus); Psychiatric disorders: (depression, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity); and Learning disorders: (dyslexia, inability to concentrate); and a variety of balance/coordination problems related to the ear’s vestibular disorders. These therapeutic coups occur via retraining the ear muscles using another Tomatis invention, the electronic ear.” (References are given for all these case studies in the original article.)
A whole network of Tomatis clinics has been established worldwide and their website is:
https://www.tomatis.com/en
Dr. Tomatis once said, “The ear builds, organizes, and nourishes the nervous system.” With that understanding, the various therapeutic modes offered are all based on these amazing connections between our process of hearing and listening and how they affect all the other conditions within our bodies and minds.
Dr. Tomatis also found that different frequencies had different effects on different organ systems and different levels of nerve connections to the spinal cord. Many therapies utilize different frequencies to address specific areas of pathology.
What I have found to be most interesting in all these research and therapy modalities is the underlying fact that our ear’s structure and anatomy are so designed that every part of our body is somehow connected to our ear. As we listen to the proper frequencies, our ears detect these frequencies and carry the benefits of those frequencies to the various parts of our bodies that are connected to the nerves that pass through the area of our ears. This, then, begins to explain how and why so many people are so positively affected by music either as a therapy modality or even as entertainment. It explains why so many people write to me and tell me their stories of how positively the music I present has affected their lives.
Another fascinating aspect of this article is the research into intrauterine sound production and reception with the fetus. “Dr. Tomatis asserts that the brain receives more stimuli via the ears than from any other organ. He considers skin to be differentiated ear rather than vice versa. In his two-volume work, ‘Towards a Human Listening,’ he builds an intriguing defense of this radical departure from orthodoxy which involves, for example, phylogenetic data suggesting, paradoxically, that the ear preceded the nervous system.”
“The most exciting theory of Tomatis, and the one which led me to consider the role of sacred music as therapy, is the concept of cortical charge. Experience tells us that some sounds put us to sleep (lullabies) and some keep us awake (traffic); some calm us down (surf on the beach) and some make us dance all night (rhythm). A hard-driving beat practically forces us to tap our feet. The screech of chalk on the blackboard makes us scream and contract in discomfort. We are constantly bathed by sound, and Tomatis has devoted his career to analyzing the effect which various components of sound exert on our physiology. The claim that music exerts a profound effect on us is beyond question. What remains is only to establish the correlations, perhaps psychosomatic, perhaps vagally innervated, of these sound components to our physiology.”
Dr. Tomatis said, “The ear is primarily an apparatus intended to provide a cortical charge in terms of electric potential. Sound is transformed into a nervous influx by the coliform cells of the cochlear-vestibular apparatus. The charge of energy obtained from the influx of nervous impulses reaches the cortex, which then distributes it throughout the body toning up the whole system and imparting greater dynamism to the human being.”
Therapeutically, “the aim will be to provoke, with sonic training made of high frequencies heard in a listening posture, this cortical charge to energize the individual. The effect of the training generally manifests themselves in the following ways to the greater subject: -greater motivation and competence in working -lower susceptibility to fatigue -awareness of dynamism -better possibilities of attention and concentration -better memorization.”
In summary, the benefits of music for improved health have much to do with the way we hear and the mechanisms and anatomy of the ear. The music and frequencies we select to listen to have much to do with affecting the whole nervous system which is the basic communication apparatus for every system of our bodies. If we choose wisely our health benefits. If we choose poorly, we suffer. In the end, the choice is ours!

How Music Affects Sleep

How Music Affects Sleep

by Steve Rees, Ret. RN, Harpist

Many of the comments on my YouTube channel describe how the calming music of the harp helps them sleep through the night. While this may seem to be a natural result of the music, I decided to do a little research to see if there might be some scientific studies that better explain how this happens.

One study set out to determine if it takes more or less time to fall asleep using music.  In the study, women with symptoms of insomnia, played a self-selected album when getting into bed for 10 consecutive nights. Before adding music to their evening routine, it took participants 27 to 69 minutes to fall asleep; after adding music it only took 6 to 13 minutes.

Johnson J. E. (2003). The use of music to promote sleep in older women. Journal of community health nursing, 20(1), 27–35.

Over the years, many people have commented on my YouTube channel. www.youtube.com/peregrinnatti  Most of them tell me that they found the music to be very helpful in getting to sleep. Some have claimed to be plagued by insomnia before finding my harp music but were now sleeping through the night with no disturbance. Some also tell me that playing my harp music while trying to get their children to take a nap has been very successful at getting them quiet so they can actually fall asleep.

This should not be surprising. From time immemorial, the softly sung lullaby has been used to bring wide-eyed toddlers into a dreamy sleep state. No matter the culture, or the language, the lullaby has been employed countless times for the benefit of both mother and child. We probably don’t even need a “scientific study” to convince us of this fact because of its universal application and observation.

But scientific studies have been done and are being done, so let’s look at a few more.

In a study conducted by László Harmat 1, Johanna Takács, Róbert Bódizs, they used a three-group repeated measures design. Ninety-four students (aged between 19 and 28 years) with sleep complaints were studied in 2006. Participants listened for 45 minutes either to relaxing classical music (Group 1) or an audiobook (Group 2) at bedtime for 3 weeks. The control group (Group 3) received no intervention. Sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index before the study and weekly during the intervention. Depressive symptoms in experimental group participants were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory.

At the end of the study, it was determined that group 1, listening to classical music, had a significant improvement in sleep as well as reduced depression. At the same time, the other 2 groups had little change. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18426457/

Another paper reported on a meta-analysis conducted to evaluate the efficacy of music-assisted relaxation for sleep quality in adults and elders with sleep complaints, with or without a co-morbid medical condition. The results suggested that music-assisted relaxation can be used without intensive investment in training and materials and is therefore cheap, easily available. Also, it can be used by nurses to promote music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19456998/

In a previous article I wrote, one of the factors that music provides is a slow constant rhythmic beat that our heart tends to entrain to which is beneficial for sleeping. If you remember, entrainment is the phenomenon in which a strong dominant beat is gradually matched by surrounding devices or organisms. A Dutch clockmaker was the first to notice the feature as his clocks would gradually fall into the same rhythm, tic-tocking in unison. In the same way, our heart tends to slow (or speed, depending on the music chosen) to the rhythm of the music that is surrounding us. Obviously, a slowing heart rate will assist in relaxing, and help to bring us into a sleep state.

Another study I found very interesting was conducted in China by On Kei Angela Lee 1, Yuet Foon Loretta Chung, Moon Fai Chan, Wai Ming Chan. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of music on the anxiety of patients on mechanical ventilation, as assessed by objective parameters and a subjective validated anxiety scale. Mechanical ventilation, although sometimes lifesaving, is often associated with levels of anxiety requiring sedatives, which has inevitable implications on costs and complications.

“A total of 64 subjects were randomly assigned to undergo either 30 minutes of music intervention or a rest period. The subjects were asked to answer the Chinese State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scale before and after the study period. Physiological indices and resting behaviors were recorded before and after the study period in both groups. The subjects’ satisfaction with music was also obtained after music intervention.

Results: The findings indicate that patients on mechanical ventilation that listened to a single 30-minute session of music appeared to show greater relaxation as manifested by a decrease in physiological indices and an increase in comfortable resting behaviors.

Conclusion: Music can provide an effective method of reducing potentially harmful physiological responses arising from anxiety in mechanically ventilated patients.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15840076/ 

While this study was not specifically designed to access sleep assistance, it is easy to infer that this reduction in anxiety would contribute to better sleep, even when a person is undergoing a radical medical intervention such as mechanical ventilation.

We will look at one more study by Jespersen KV, Pando-Naude V, Koenig J, Jennum P, Vuust P. Cochrane. It is a meta-analysis study designed to see if insomnia can be positively affected by music. “Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in modern society. It causes reduced quality of life and is associated with impairments in physical and mental health. Listening to music is widely used as a sleep aid, but it remains unclear if it can actually improve insomnia in adults.”

The study was designed to assess the effects of listening to music on insomnia in adults and to assess the influence of specific variables that may moderate the effect. The results suggested that music does indeed affect the amount and quality of sleep. The exact quantification is difficult to arrive at since there are so many variables involved. However, it is at least agreed, that music has a positive effect on sleep.

As I read through the different studies, a common theme emerged. First, music doesn’t cost anything to listen to on electrical devices, or at least the cost is low. Second, good music doesn’t have the harmful side effects that drugs do. Finally, music is available no matter where you are on the planet. Music is everywhere, in every culture, and in every language. From the sounds of nature, a quietly sung lullaby, to a professionally played harp or orchestra, there is no end to the possibilities of music that can bring a quiet, peaceful atmosphere that helps bring on sleep.

Sound Frequencies for Health

Sound Frequencies for Health

by Steve Rees, Ret. RN, Harpist

This article continues to explore the subject of Serenity and some of the scientific reasons for surrounding ourselves with the wonders of the natural world.

John Stuart Reid from the Shift Network provided a class on the subject of Sound Therapy. As this subject was close to my area of interest, I decided to pay for the course and learn from John’s knowledge. I’m glad I did because he is providing information that confirms what I have understood for some time now. Also, he presents it in a very scientific way.

One of the recommendations that I presented in my last article was to take the time and enrich your senses to the wonders of the natural world. These are the places and times when you will find rejuvenating energy for your body, mind, and soul.

As I listened to one of John’s modules, he explained that when we sit and listen to a waterfall, creek, or river, we expose ourselves to ultrasound frequencies that are not audible but are present as documented by instrumentation. A walk by the ocean will produce the same effect. He had a meter that recorded the presence of ultrasound frequencies and played a recording of a waterfall, and it lit up. Amazing! At the same time, it did not light up when a voice spoke into it.

John also observed that there are many sources of these ultrasounds in the natural world instead of the artificial environment that most people live within. The sounds of the wind in the trees, the birds chirping, and many other sounds one encounters on a walk in the woods produce these frequencies that are so beneficial.

What is even more amazing about this phenomenon is the biological function that occurs within our nasal passage.  When exposed to these ultrasound frequencies, special cells stimulate the production of nitric oxide which is responsible for reducing our blood pressure and slowing our heart rate. Other producers of these ultrasounds are full sound spectrum musical instruments such as the harp! This explains why so many people are positively affected by the music I present on CDs, on YouTube, and at live concerts.

A look at the properties of nitric oxide reveals that the endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses nitric oxide to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, resulting in vasodilation and increasing blood flow. It also results in reducing blood pressure. Interestingly, breathing through the nose produces nitric oxide, but breathing through the mouth does not have the same effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitric_oxide

I recommend John’s work to you if you were interested in sound therapy. His website is:

https://soundmadevisible.com/                                                       https://theshiftnetwork.com/       

He has also developed a Cyma Scope that can display beautiful geometric patterns of different sounds that are sampled or spoken into a microphone.

One of the pieces of information that started me on my whole journey with understanding the healing qualities of the harp and its music was when a friend shared the concept of cymatics. He had shown me an article on geometric designs produced on a metal plate sprinkled with sand that had sound conducted to the plate. Different sounds result in different patterns. As I considered this, it suggested there were material properties to sound.

This inspired me to investigate if the physical letters of the Psalms of David might have clues to connections with musical notes or sound frequencies. I wondered if I could decipher those notes into musical compositions. This understanding has led me to produce the Calming Harp music that I present today at:  

www.calmingharp.com                                                                            www.youtube.com/peregrinnatti

John’s research takes this concept well beyond my original understanding. Through the images produced by the Cyma Scope, he demonstrates how structured sound is, and how beautiful it is to be able to “see” sound. For example, he experimented with a dolphin research group in Florida, which demonstrated that the sonar signals a dolphin sends out can be used by the dolphin to produce an image of what the sonar signals are bouncing off. This ability enables it to “see” with sound, even in murky water.

Experiments are underway to find out if the sound from a heart beating could be used to help diagnose any pathologies that might exist. Another area of possibility is the ability to hear cells and determine if they are cancerous or healthy. John even showed a Cyma Gram of a healthy body cell compared to a cancerous cell. This ability leads to the possibility of a surgeon being able to use the Cyma Scope to be able to tell if they were able to excise all of a tumor during an operation.

The medical world is embracing music and sound therapy more and more as studies reveal the abilities of sound and music to address disease. As we come to understand more about the properties of sound that can be applied, additional applications will be developed.

My hat’s off to John and the work that he has been doing over the past few decades. Fascinating discoveries have been made about the benefits of sound frequencies for health, and no doubt there are more to come.

Health in Spirit

Health in Spirit

Steve at the Recording Studio

I wanted to share my recent article I wrote for Masters of Health Magazine. I think it is important.

In this issue, I would like to present a topic that is not usually considered when we talk about health. In my nurse training, we were taught that the person must be considered holistically in our approach to healing. We are not just physical bodies with all our various anatomical features, but we are psychological and spiritual beings as well. It is to this third component that I would like to speak in this article. Don’t worry, I am not going to get preachy or religious. Actually, “Religion” has presented a major obstacle to understanding the importance of our spiritual health in the cycle of life.

Our spiritual life is what takes place in our minds and is many times difficult to separate from our psychological health. If we are focused on ourselves and ignoring those around us; being happy or upset about what is happening to us personally, we become neurotic and petulant. Our observations continue to narrow down and we see only what is taking place within our little bubble. Many people in that condition are also expressing many health pathologies and are seeking medical attention and pharmaceuticals to help alleviate their physical conditions.

If we lose sight of the idea that we are not just here by accident; if we foster the idea that we just happen to be here by chance and there is no real purpose in life but to ‘’eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” then we are missing one of the greatest health conditioners that life has to offer. If we think that life is all about, “what do I get out of it for MY pleasure,” then we truly are in a state of ill health, and pharmaceuticals have poor answers to that.

A wise king once wrote in an ancient manuscript that has been preserved for us to be able to read:

“I give thanks to You, For I am awesomely and wondrously made! Wondrous are Your works, and my being knows it well. My bones were not concealed from You, When I was shaped in a hidden place, Knit together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. And in Your book, all of them were written, the days they were formed, while none was among them. And how precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great has been the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would be more than the sand; When I wake up, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:14-18

How different it is to realize that we are not just an accident but rather we were planned with a purpose. We were actually “knit together” by an intelligent designer who knew what He wanted to produce in us to be able to have a full and fulfilling life. In another part of that ancient manuscript, we are told by this designer:

“For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.”   Jerimiah 29:11

What a difference it makes to know and understand that you have a future and that plans have been made for you by your designer to have a full life with peace. In the language of the writer of these words, Hebrew, the word for peace is shalom. Shalom has the pictographic meaning of, “the authority that destroys the one who is trying to bring chaos into your life.” That is an awesome understanding of what my designer has for my life. It is my choice as to whether I want to walk it out.

Another part of this understanding of a design and a plan for our lives is how we relate to our fellow travelers. I was invited by a friend of mine to share with my readers a program he has developed for assisting widows and orphans with their extra challenges in life. Charlie started his interest at the age of 48 and decided to start training to run in the Boston Marathon to help raise support for his newly formed non-profit “Fatherless and Widows.”

WEBSITE: www.FatherlessAndWidows.org

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/fatherlessandwidows/

When he turned 50, he qualified for the race and has run in it several times since. Two things contributed to Charlie’s health. First, he is much healthier since he began running regularly. Second, his mental, spiritual, and psychological health has improved as he has put more of his attention on other people’s needs, especially those who have few resources to deal with their daily lives. There is also the satisfaction of knowing he has made a difference in the world, leaving a positive legacy.

I know for myself, that becoming involved in other people’s lives that have specific needs has been a very fulfilling and joyful endeavor. I was approached by a young man in India to help him deal with a surgery that was badly needed for an orphan he was taking care of. After several investigative questions for him, I was convinced that he was legitimate and sent the money to help. I was amazed at how far my currency would go in his economy.

One thing led to another, and I discovered that he had 21 orphans that he was supporting in a bamboo hut with a plastic tarp over it to keep out the rain. I started sending him modest monthly support and he started sending me pictures of what he was doing with the money. I was amazed at his thrift and resourcefulness. As I started sharing what he was doing with some of my friends, one of them asked if it might be possible to purchase a piece of land so they could grow food. Shortly after, we had a piece of land purchased, and more people were involved in the project.

A few months later, Prabu sent me a picture of a larger piece of land that had a house on it and asked if we might be able to sell the first piece of land and help purchase the house and land for better living space than the current bamboo structure they were using. We all put together the USD 10,000 needed to purchase the house and land and told him to use the sale of the first piece of land to do the needed improvements on the house.

Today, the orphan family keeps growing in a nice home environment, and the whole village is becoming more involved in the care of these orphans. The village headmaster even participated in the ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies when the home was completed.

The importance of reaching out to those around us can not be overstated. I believe we are each placed on this planet to accomplish amazing acts of kindness – “random acts of kindness” – as it has been termed by better authors than myself. As we reach out, we broaden our focus and see our interconnectedness to each of our fellow travelers. As we fulfill our destinies, our spirits soar, and we begin to reach a place of health that we could never achieve on our own.

There is a plan for Hope and a Future!

 

417 Hz – Frequency of Cleansing

417 Hz – Frequency of Cleansing

The Frequency of Cleansing – 417 Hz CD is the 4th in a series of 7 that will eventually be available as a set, once I get them all recorded. As I explained in the previous announcement for the Frequency of Fire, each of these CDs will be about 45 minutes long and be recorded in the frequency that corresponds to the piece of Tabernacle furniture that resonates with that frequency. If you want to know more about the relationship of the frequency to the furniture piece, order it for free at the Marketplace page.

I call this the Frequency of Cleansing because it is associated with the Laver which is where the priests would wash before entering the Tabernacle. This cleansing was performed in order to prepare to come into the presence of YHVH – Remember God told Moses to have the people make a sanctuary so that He could dwell among them. The Shekinah presence of God rested on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

The music comes out of the chord progressions that appear as I have transcribed each Hebrew letter of the text in Exodus that describes the construction, dimensions, and materials that the Laver is made from.

I think it is important to understand that these Frequencies of the Tabernacle are not just novelties to say we have another tidbit of knowledge to tuck away in our brains. These frequencies are actually imparting life to us because they are bringing us into the presence of our Creator – Sustainer – Redeemer. Without Him we are already dead, even if we’re still walking around. Knowledge is not going to save us. Only relationship with Him – our Abba – is going to bring us into His kingdom. We don’t want to be standing at the door and hear Him say, “I’m sorry; I don’t know you, depart from me.” Only relationship – being in His presence will bring us into the wedding feast. It is my prayer that the music of these frequencies played on the harp will serve to bring you into that place of fellowship with Abba so that you can ascend the mountain of Yahovah with clean hands and a pure heart.

Remember that the main purpose of the Tabernacle was for worship to which is in the Hebrew understanding of the word “Worship” = to come close as if to kiss – a second definition/understanding is the picture of a dog coming to lick its master’s hand. The idea is closeness and intimacy.

It’s true that we don’t have a physical building to call a Tabernacle where we can go for a ceremony, but remember, Paul said, “What, don’t you know that you are the temple of the Holy Ghost?” Worship is within us, not dependent upon a physical structure. I believe that these frequencies assist us in entering into the place of our minds and hearts where we can be prepared to come into the presence of the King of the Universe. This cleansing should help prepare us for that journey into the Heart of God.

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