[Shtoom] Cold Weather Blues Eased with Music Therapy - Asolidgoldsound

paul.kholer paul.kholer paul.kholer at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 15:30:45 CEST 2007


Sally Fletcher, a professional harpist and author on the healing power of
music, suggests ways to use music to cope with depression and negative
emotions during the gloomy winter months. "Music has often been used to
relieve stress, enhance mood, and create a general sense of well being,"
states Fletcher. "It affects emotions, which have been shown to have a
profound impact on physiology, including heart rate, breathing, and blood
pressure." The growing health care field of Music Therapy is often
associated with stress management programs, relaxation, pain management and
to promote wellness.

A Symposium at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and
Acoustics last year focused on the therapeutic benefits of musical rhythm.
Researchers suggest that rhythmic music may affect brain function and treat
a range of neurological conditions such as depression, bringing lasting
benefits to one's state of mind, even when no longer listening to the music.

Fletcher believes that harp music is well suited to provide these benefits.
The harp is a harmonic instrument that allows the harpist to play a wide
variety of music, styles, textures and accompaniments rather than melodies
only. However, the choice of music is very personal and needs to suit the
individual. Whatever the choice of instrumentation and musical style, she
suggests that people begin their listening sessions with music that has a
fairly slow and relaxing tempo, gradually adding selections with a more
rapid tempo. "The music will become a stimulant," continues Fletcher, "that
increases the production of endorphins, energizes and quickens brain
activity, and helps the listener to focus and think more clearly."

Fletcher is pleased that people who listen to her music, both those for whom
she performs live harp performances and those who listen to her CDs,
regularly write to her about the mood enhancing qualities of her music. "I
encourage everyone to embrace this effective, low cost way to ease
depression and stress," she continues, "especially during the winter season
when higher rates of depression are often reported."
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