Aging Healthy through sound therapy and meditation
By Bernadette Yao, Certified Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, musician, recording artist, music producer. www.BernadetteYao.com
September is Healthy Aging month which applies to young and old. It’s about living our best life with truth, purpose, and curiosity. Learn how Sound Therapy and music meditation can add comfort, balance, and peace to your life.
“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” Poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909-1966)
Sound therapy is a non-invasive and effective method in healthy aging by easing you into a deeply relaxed state where healing can happen. Research has shown sound therapy to be an effective tool to counter chronic stress which may slow down the aging process, boost your immune system, and brighten your mood. Sound therapy can help seniors improve focus and memory, reduce pain, boost good hormones to fight the negative effects of aging including stress and insomnia, reduce anxiety and depression, boost brain activity which may increase emotional and mental clarity. During the past 18 years, working as a holistic health practitioner, I have witnessed how sound therapy supports palliative care for patients suffering from chronic illness such as cancer. Through the following methods of exploration and experimentation, you can experience transformative healing in your own self-care practice through the benefits of music and sound therapy.
Since ancient times, sound has been useful as a form of therapy to help slow down our brainwaves and calm our nervous system. And sound can recharge our energy and help us feel more focused, happy, and support our creativity. Restoring our energy flow or chi improves our overall health by unblocking stuck energy and allowing equilibrium in our holistic system. Sound helps us remove distractions and chaotic energies that can lead to exhaustion and possible dis-ease. Once our mind and body achieves a deeply relaxed state, we become in tuned with our life’s longings which can bring us lasting effects of peace and joy while living our life with purpose.
Personal healing journey finding sound therapy and meditation:
I discovered sound therapy during my personal search for healing. As a mother of two grown daughters (my youngest with autism), a wife, a daughter of aging parents, and former TV producer/host, I gratefully lived my life with passion and joy, but sometimes felt overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted from all the responsibilities and conflicting demands on my time and focus. I also experienced an accident in which I sustained a crushed foot and compound fractures in my leg. After 6 foot/ankle surgeries, I’ve had to find ways to manage the pain through conventional and complementary medicine. Combined with emotional and physical health challenges, I experienced increasing chronic stress which created a chaotic inner life of self-judgments, anxiety, and depression from post traumatic stress. I found relief from this cycle of chaos when I embarked on a healing journey which led me to discovering the benefits of music for meditation, sound, and energy therapies. Through frequent practice in sound and energy therapies, I found my overall health improving with more walks and less pain, strengthening my relationships with my children, husband, and community, and experienced a surprising byproduct - spiritual growth, heightened intuition, and improved creativity. Music meditations and sound therapy is a transformative and fun way for me to get to that place of stillness and calm. I have found deep peace and joy while listening to healing music, and creating music and sound therapy by playing alchemy crystal singing bowls and singing energy healing frequencies for meditation and healing.
Sound therapy and music playlists enhances a healthy lifestyle:
There are many factors we need to adapt into our lives to promote healthy aging. Proper diet and exercise of course is key to living a healthy lifestyle. In addition, plenty of research has confirmed the importance of meditation as a key to overall health and wellness. There are many ways to get to this meditative state of calm, ease, and balance such as yoga, Qi gong, a walk-in in nature, mindfulness, and deep breathing. Meditation through music or sound therapy is a simple and natural way to achieve calm and inner peace. All you need is an open mind and the ability to listen and breathe deeply to the sounds or music that is present for meditation.
Choosing music you like for meditation or for dance with inspiring rhythms, can deeply support energy healing and restoration. For example, I like to listen to happy dance music when I do housework or take a walk with my dog. The music and the rhythms give me a bounce in my step, and makes me feel younger and more energetic. I particularly enjoy music by the Korean supergroup, BTS! Their music reminds me to embrace my Asian joy which helps me release trauma during these volatile times of anti-Asian sentiments.
Create your own playlist for healing:
Listening to your favorite music can evoke feelings of pride, joy, deep introspection, or even help release your grief. You can start to choose your preferred songs and create a playlist on your phone or computer. I start my day listening a playlist I’ve entitled, Wake-Up Music, with songs that inspire, enliven, and bring feelings of happiness to my morning. You can create any type of playlist that helps to support the emotion you are feeling at that time. Finding beautiful music to support sadness and grief, such as Samuel Barber’s, Adagio for Strings, is a brilliant way to aide in the movement of grieving emotions and stuck energy to flow throughout your holistic system (body, mind, spirit) for healing. Just start from where you are, what you’re feeling in the moment, and begin building your playlist one song at a time. Breathe deep, and listen to the music with intention for experiencing and healing through music.
Benefits of sound therapy and meditation during stressful times.
In the current stressful climate of the pandemic, and the political and cultural divisions, cultivating a meditative practice can be very useful for aging healthy. If you are experiencing anxiety and stress, sound therapy and meditation can help with the following:
“When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.” (from Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858)
The emotional benefits of meditation can include: (according to the Mayo Clinic)
• Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
• Building skills to manage your stress
• Increasing self-awareness
• Focusing on the present
• Reducing negative emotions
• Increasing imagination and creativity
• Increasing patience and tolerance
According to the Mayo Clinic article, “some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:”
• Chronic pain
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Sleep problems
• Tension headaches
While elevated stress can intensify some medical conditions, meditation through music and sound therapy can help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone in your system, which can boost the good hormones to help improve sleep, uplift your mood, and calm your nervous system.
Using your voice while listening to meditative music and sounds can enhance your well being.
Similar to finding a variety of ways to achieve a calm, meditative state such as yoga, Qi gong, mindfulness, there are many methods in sound therapy to help you find calm and peace by sending sonic vibrations to your vital organs by using your voice and intention.
Through my online workshops, I guide the class to find healing through deep relaxation by teaching you how to use the tools you already possess, your breath, voice, intention, and active listening. I design and lead guided meditations and sound baths using my collection of powerful 99.99% pure quartz crystal singing bowls infused with precious gemstones, crystals, and precious metals such as gold and platinum. These Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls are tuned to frequencies corresponding to specific energy centers and systems in the body using concepts from vibrational medicine. After attending my class, participants reported feeling more calm and relaxed, less pain, improved sleep, more centered, and peaceful.
I have added, in 3 links below, to sample the Alchemy singing bowls, and to meditate to the last link of healing music from my album, Light Embracing. Just be curious when listening to the following links, and notice any sensations or vibrations in your body. I suggest singing or humming along with the sounds of the bowls and observe any sensations in your nasal cavity, neck, or upper chest. This practice of listening and humming can create a stronger effect with more practice over time. Be curious and experiment with your own sounds you produce with your voice.
This is a good time to take some deep breaths, feel your gratitude, and set your intention for your day. Practice this everyday and experience a shift in your perceptions and embrace and receive more positivity in your life. Notice what’s here now for you. Focus, be in the present moment, and breathe.
Click here to listen to a Sound Bath with Alchemy Crystal Bowls and healing voice by Bernadette Yao.
Click here to experience an Alchemy Crystal Bowl and special prayer by Bernadette Yao.
Click here to listen to a meditative music track from Bernadette’s meditative music CD, Light Embracing.
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