December 2018 Service Spotlight:
Why Sound Therapy?
I often get asked why I do what I do and how it is that I came to this work. Seems that I have received this question more over the last few weeks than ever. As I review this year personally, the “Why” behind my work comes to light, so I would like to share with you.
In 2008 my father was hospitalized for an infection following knee surgery. During this time while my mom was caring for my dad, she also was caring for my grandmother and two nephews. After three months of hospitalization, I left my full-time job to help my mom. As the frequent 1.5 hr trek back and forth became tiring, I spent less time at home in Chattanooga. Thus I began taking my instruments with me as music has always brought much comfort.
At one point I had my mom & grandmother both in the same hospital as my dad. When stress began to build, I deepened my personal practice of Heart Math and breath techniques to settle emotions & nervous system. I also took my instruments into the hospital to have something to do on those long days at the bedside. At some point a nurse asked what the funny-looking bag was that I always carried. I told her about my instruments — the handpan and native flutes. The nurses thought that I had been playing CDs for my dad and asked for me to crack the door next time I played so they could enjoy the relaxing music. Before long I received requests such as “this lady down the hall wants to know if you can play for her mother?” Up until this time I had enjoyed the many benefits of music for myself but had not thought of the impact on others. After nine months my dad recovered and my parents began to need me less — it was time to find work again. As I pondered my direction, those days of playing in the hospital had become fond memories which I missed. So I did some research to find training so I would be able to do this work full time. This is when I began my training through the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP).
During therapeutic music training I learned the science behind Therapeutic Music, which is also the same fundamentals behind sound therapy (sound healing). Learning the hows and whys was important for my analytical brain and background as a Medical Lab Technician. I found the connection with our nervous system, hormones and feel-good chemicals in the brain most fascinating. And how music can be crafted in such a way to elicit the relaxation response gave validity to my experiences of composing music. Being an enthusiast of unique instruments, I found myself venturing down the path of sound work. Exploring sound became a powerful practice of mindfulness, getting to know each instrument intimately while expressing the voice within. As anyone who has seen or experienced my collection of singing bowls, gongs and other instruments can attest, I have a bond with these sound beauties!
Through various trainings in music, sound and energy healing, I have gained a clinical approach based in science with a healthy respect for The Unknown. Mindful listening and intuitive creativity have led the way for some transformative sessions both personally and within group settings. It’s somewhat hard to believe that I’ve been formally doing this work for almost 10 years now, sharing Therapeutic Music & Sound with others. My music lessons began at the age of 5 and are ongoing to this day. I am blessed to continue on this path of exploring self & sound.