Music: Food for the Soul, Healing for the Mind

Music: A Sweet Path to Healing

Music doesn’t only have “charms to soothe the savage breast” as the saying goes – it also has the power to heal.

Recent studies carried out at Utah University appear to indicate that music can help dementia patients – helping to relieve anxiety, depression and agitation.  More importantly, they work on the part of the brain NOT affected by Alzheimer’s.  A team is now being put together in the US to develop music therapies to address symptoms.

As Jace King, from Utah University said, “When person_locked_in_bottleyou put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive.”

I saw evidence of this myself at the Forget Me Not Ball I recently attended in Liverpool – the organiser’s mother lives with dementia and she just glowed with joy and memories when she heard Glen Miller playing!

Childhood Epilepsy: The Mozart Effect

There is also evidence that a certain piece of music by Mozart (whose music is already famed with helping to create geniuses!) may actually help children with epilepsy.

medication_with_daily_pill_dispenserAccording to researchers at Edinburgh University, Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D greatly reduced the frequency of epileptic activity in the brain.  This effect did not occur with any other music, including favourite children’s songs, such as Teletubbies’ tunes!

 

Isn’t it worth listening to a little music and perhaps do away with the need for medication?

Below is a talk given by Dr Audun Myskja of Norway, who has written books about his work with elderly patients – using music and flower essences as an essential part of their treatment (and with some success too!).  His books are used to train nurses in norwegian hospitals, so valuable is his insight into dementia and natural healing.

Changing Attitudes, not Latitudes

If You Can’t Change Your Latitude…..

As the wise surfer dude once said,

“If You Can’t Change Your Latitude, Change Your Attitude, Dude!”

Our attitudes with regard to people, places and things has the abililty to make or break our lives….what are your attitudes doing for you?

Attitude Adjustment:  Why it’s Necessary

In this short video, I look at the issue of attitudes and how they can affect our lives – personal and professional – depending on the direction they take us.

Colour Your World, Change Your Mood!

Colour Your Moods

The impact of colour is so important that it not only helps us to navigate through our lives, it can also help change and enhance our moods.  Think of the delight of the Holi colour festival in India; it’s literally an explosion of colour that makes people dance with joy.

Did you know that colour and light are so intertwined, that even blind people can sense the difference in colours?  Some more sensitive blind people can actually “feel” the vibrations of different colours!

Colour as a Mood (and Game) Changer

What colour(s) make you feel….

  • Confident
  • Sexy
  • PowerfulWatercolour-shades-of-blue

What suit, blouse or scarf gets you the most compliments and makes you feel you’re on top of the world?  Chances are, they are the colours that bring out the best in you!

I recently attended a colour consultation with a good friend, and my fellow WHYse woman, Harry Purewal.  What I learned about colour – and myself – was quite enlightening.  The video below talks about the experience and it’s impact on me.

The Forget Me Not Ball: A Night to Remember

Helping Those Who Have Forgotten Their Lives

I recently attended the Forget Me Not Ball, which was a fundraiser for Dementia UK.  It was a fantastic event for a good cause — and we had fMy Fellow WHYse Womenun too!

Kudos to fellow WHYse woman Clare Ellism, who organised the event – from singers and dancers, to a “people’s choir” – dressed as the people holding down the home front during the war – as well as great raffle prizes, made the night something to remember!

 

Music and Dementia

The Nylons PerformingHowever, the real star of the night and the reason the ball took place was Clare’s mother, who lives with dementia.

As she walked into the room on Clare’s arm, there was a Glen Miller tune playing and her response was immediate – her eyes brightened, she smiled and began bobbing her head and swaying to the music.  For those few moments, Clare’s mother was fully present and enjoying herself.  The sight left a few of us misty-eyed; we got a glimpse of the woman locked behind the dementia.

The video below talks about my impressions of the night, as well as suggestions as to how to assist people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s to have an improved quality of life, even as their memories grow dim.

If you continue to the end of this — there’s an extra treat for you!

If you’d like to make a donation to Dementia UK, just click on the link below:

DONATE TO DEMENTIA UK

A Little Mood Music

This extra little treat greeted us when we arrived at the ball — hope you enjoy it too!

BAATN: Supporting those Who Support Others

BAATN: Healing for the Healers

EugeneEllisPhoto

Eugene Ellis, Director of BAATN

I had the pleasure of attending my eighth annual conference of the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN) recently; as always it was both a joyful and painful experience, but again, as always I went away uplifted by the experience.

Each year a particular theme is chosen and this year’s theme centred around past and present trauma and it’s effect on those who practice psychotherapy and counselling.  The subject was particularly poignant as the WIndrush scandal had broken recently, as well as the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Witnessing the Cries of the Heart

The format of the conference was unusual, in that rather than listening to several short lectures, we watched a video – a collage of African, Caribbean and south Asian people recounting their traumas that resulted from events such as slavery and the British Raj in India; generational traumas that are still echoing in the psyches of people of colour until today.

The video below talks a little bit about the experience – in general terms – of the process of enabling a healing space for those who usually hold such a space for others.