Music, one of life’s greatest pleasures, has power – the power to ignite a sprint on the treadmill, bring a tear to the eye or quiet a racing mind. Music also has the power to help heal, which is why I often use it as a relaxation aid for my patients, while they are getting acupuncture. By playing music that pulses at about 60 beats per minute, my patients can get a well-deserved break from the daily stress merry-go-round and start to stimulate their body’s own healing response, more deeply and in less time than it might take them to achieve such states on their own.
The key to achieving this relaxed, healing state is to have patients listen to music with fewer beats per minute than their average resting heart rates, which usually runs at about 75 bpm for women and 70 bpm for men. For most patients, the 60-bpm speed is ideal for helping to induce alpha states, the same relaxed state that’s induced by meditation.
Among my favorite “alpha albums” or cd’s that I use in my practice, are those by Jonathan Goldman, a musician and author who has spent much of his career studying the use of sound as a healing force and then creating therapeutic music based on his explorations. After I have put the acupuncture needles in, I put on one of these cd’s on and let patients listen with headphones. My favorites albums are Reiki Chants, Chakra Chants, The Lost Chord, and De-Stress. They are all beautiful, meditative albums of transformational sounds, available on Goldman’s Healing Sounds website or at Amazon or ITunes. If you want to explore these first, I suggest you try Frequencies, which is a sample collection of 13 different Goldman cd’s.
For those looking to create a personal relaxation plan to help set the stage for healing in their lives, I highly recommend these cd’s. They a far cry from the much-maligned “New Age” music of the 80’s and 90’s, Goldman’s compositions weave together sonic elements from multi-cultural musical traditions, ancient religions, harmonics, entrainment, toning and mantras. The result? Pure bliss at your fingertips—just press play!