News

Grief in the Hospital and Music’s Role

TBriggs : September 24, 2019 12:50 PM

Music and griefGrief can be a common emotion in the hospital setting. What role does music play? Read on …

Before I entered the patient’s room with my harp, I was told the mother (patient) and daughter (caregiver in the room) were grieving. One of the first things they said to me was they lost a son/brother four months ago. I’m not sure what the mother’s physical illness was (the reason she was hospitalized) but I had the sense that whatever it was was completely predicated by grief and sadness. There was a heaviness, a deep sorrow prevalent in their room.

I used the musical principle of Inclusive Attention. (Inclusive Attention is the art of being attentive to the patient and modifying the music to accommodate for the mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual state. It is asking, “What is meeting me here? What am I observing? How do I need to respond?” The heaviness of grief, mourning, and intense sadness is appropriately met with music that is sad, melancholic, and minor. This is contrary to what many people think, but by meeting grief with sad, melancholic music, you acknowledge and honor the patient’s condition or situation and give him or her permission to feel and release the feelings.)

I played music that was quite somber for this mother and daughter. As tears flowed and the feelings of grief and mourning began to lift slightly, it was appropriate to transition the music very slowly from minor keys into major keys. The mood and the music shifted, ebbing and flowing between minor and major. (This is a sub-conscious way of demonstrating that it is vital to feel/express sorrow and dark feelings, as well as OK to feel hope and lightness, sometimes within seconds/minutes of each other … all a natural part of the grieving process.)

I ended our harp therapy session with Amazing Grace which felt like an important connection for them, as well as connecting with their transitioned loved one. While I was playing, I also had the feeling that this mother’s son was hovering above her shoulders and crown chakra. I mentioned this to the mother as I left and she hugged me saying, “This gives me so much comfort. Thank you…”

Tags: caregiver, Grief, harp, hospital
 
Posted in Caregiver, Grief, Harp, Hospital, News
 

Playing the Harp in the Hallway of the Hospital

TBriggs : September 10, 2019 12:53 PM

Hospital corridorI play the harp in patients’ rooms, but also in the hospital corridors or hallways.

Staff who do such important work (housekeeping, unit secretaries, nurse managers, etc.) may not be thanked for their contributions and they need the music as much as anyone. When I play in the hallways or at a nursing station, these hard-working employees can pause for a moment to “fill their wells.”

Playing in these locations, I see very busy healthcare staff and stressed family members stopping for a moment to connect with their breath, lower their shoulders to release tension and just be. Many comment that they have never heard the harp or never seen it played up close and in person. Having it on the hospital floor offers a personal touch and a gentle reminder of self-care.

Tags: Breath, harp, healthcare, Release, self-care, Stress, Tension
 
Posted in Breathe, Harp, Health care, News, Release, Self care, Stress, Tension
 

Music for Caregivers, too

TBriggs : August 27, 2019 10:31 AM

CaregivingThe following story highlights how music can benefit the caregiver, as much as the patient.

Right before I entered the hospital room with my harp, the patient and her spouse had just had a discussion of “no code” status.

The husband (caregiver) was sitting at his wife’s shoulder and I set up my harp right next to him so I could see both the patient and him.  At times, I felt like I was playing as much to him as I was for his wife … he “drank in” the music!

At one point, the patient turned to her husband and their eyes locked. Within these few moments of deep connection, they expressed a lifetime. It was beautiful to witness, as well as facilitate with this paradoxical instrument that is so gentle, yet so powerful.

As I was leaving, the husband said, “Thank you! I believe I enjoyed the music as much, and maybe more than my wife!”

Tags: caregiver, Connection, harp
 
Posted in Caregiver, Connections, Harp, News
 

Music and Emotions

TBriggs : August 13, 2019 11:27 AM

music and emotionsMusic connects us to our emotions, and can be a way to process and release feelings to help with our healing journey. This is an example.

Before I entered the next patient’s room, two nurses came up and said, “This patient wants to die … he feels hopeless.” I started by playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which is a song of hope. And then, as I played for him, I was very aware of using entrainment (playing slower and s-l-o-w-e-r) so he could rest, sleep (similar to how the CD “Calm as the Night” is created).

As I finished and was moving my harp out of the room, he gently rolled over and quietly said, “I now know I’m going to be just fine.”

Tags: Emotions, Entrainment, harp, healing, hope, Release, Rest, sleep
 
Posted in Emotions, Entrainment, Harp, Healing, Hope, News, Release, Rest, Sleep
 

Therapeutic Music in the Healthcare Setting

TBriggs : July 31, 2019 5:10 PM

healthcare environmentTherapeutic music in the healthcare setting can be helpful for both the patient and healthcare provider, as this example shows.

As I entered the patient’s room, her doctor was leaving. I asked the physician if she’d like to come in/observe while I provided harp therapy. She said “Yes!” As soon as I started playing, the doctor visibly relaxed and sunk deep into her chair.

The patient cupped her face during much of the time that I was playing the harp for her. At the end, I explained the term anchoring to her. This is holding the feeling of peace with the bodily memory (ie. cupping her face). For example, if she wants to feel the same peace that she felt after the musical experience, she can cup her face in the same way as when the music was playing and take a couple of breaths. She will bring back the peaceful feeling because her body is anchored to it.

As I was leaving, she said, “I will give that a try!”

Tags: Anchoring, harp, healthcare, peace
 
Posted in Anchoring, Harp, Health care, News, Peace
 

Harp therapy in action

TBriggs : July 16, 2019 9:56 AM

harp therapyContinuing to share several unique harp-in-the-hospital stories …

This female patient was very alert, communicative and engaged. I played familiar music for her (Edelweiss, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Brahm’s Lullaby, Pachelbel’s Canon, Ode to Joy, All Through the Night, etc.). I finished our time together by playing a less recognizable song called Hear Thy Children, Gentlest Mother (on the “Dreaming” CD). I mentioned the song name and that song really seemed to resonate with her. The patient said, “I have seven children and they had been telling me something was wrong with my lungs and I needed to see a doctor. Now here I am … and I’m amazed that you chose that song for me with a perfect title. I’d never heard it before, but it was exactly what I needed on my journey at this moment.”

Tags: harp
 
Posted in Harp, News
 

Playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside

TBriggs : July 3, 2019 1:38 PM

music jokeOne of my passions is to play the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing a variety of experiences I’ve had. This will give you an idea of the power and potency of this work!

Before I walked in to this female patient’s room, I was told she was very agitated the day before. By the time I played for her, she was heavily medicated and very sedated.

While I played, she was very peaceful and sleepy. I had a sense that she was very sad and perhaps had some dementia. I played Amazing Grace and other familiar songs (which is helpful to demented patients because it brings them into the present moment and while they may not remember anything else, they may still hold music memory – melodies and/or words). The word that came to me as I was playing for her was “protection.” I had the feeling that she was very protected by many angels.

Sometimes, sleep is more difficult in the hospital environment, yet can be the most restorative/healing. That’s where the harp can work its magic … in fact, I always say I’ve done my best work if I put the patient to sleep!! I left her in a peaceful state and helped her drift off to sleep.

Tags: Angels, dementia, harp, healing, hospice, hospital, Peaceful, sleep
 
Posted in Angels, Dementia, Harp, Healing, Hospice, Hospital, News, Peaceful, Sleep
 

Summer Detox with the BioMat

TBriggs : June 18, 2019 5:32 AM

DetoxWe are reps for a product (that we’ve mentioned on this website before) called the BioMat. It is a great product! And one of its three elements is amethyst crystals. The pro-size BioMat has 22 pounds of amethyst – that’s a lot of amethyst!! And amethyst is a potent detoxification agent – perfect for your summer detox program.

In the summertime, you lay on the amethyst bed, using the infrared heat on the lowest setting (or not at all) and this can help your body rid toxins and “junk” that doesn’t serve you for optimal health.

So, here’s to your health and summer detoxification. Be sure to contact us if you would like more information.

Tags: amethyst, BioMat, Detox, Health, Infrared heat, Toxins
 
Posted in Amethyst crystals, BioMat, Blog, Detox, Health, Infrared heat, News, Toxins
 

Code of Ethics for Certified Harp Practitioners

TBriggs : June 4, 2019 6:45 AM

code of ethicsThe following Code of Ethics has been adapted from the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. Graduates from the International Harp Therapy Program adhere to this Code:

  1. Respect: rights of others are respected, including values, attitudes, diversity of cultural traditions, and musical preferences and opinions. Proselytizing any religious beliefs through choice of music or speech during a therapeutic music session is unacceptable and unethical.
  2. Practice: We practice with integrity, honesty, fairness, and respect for others; not engaging in any type of discriminatory or exploitive relationship(s). Any serious ethical violations observed will be reported to the appropriate agency or persons.
  3. Confidentiality: All patient information and records, and all information observed or shared will be held as confidential according to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule requirements.
  4. Public Statements: We protect the proprietary interests of patients and professional colleagues.
  5. Self-Interest: We avoid actions, which promote self-interest at the expense of the profession, and we will uphold the standards with honor and dignity.
  6. Corrective Action: We have a disciplinary policy and procedure that is fair to both the practitioner and the program; a grievance procedure is in place.

It is an honor to work with this Code of Ethics on a daily basis.

Tags: Code of Ethics, International Harp Therapy Program
 
Posted in Code of Ethics, International Harp Therapy Program, News
 

More on Being a Certified Harp Practitioner

TBriggs : May 21, 2019 7:29 AM

harp therapy1In this blog post, we will share the “Scope of Practice” for being a Certified Harp Practitioner.

A Certified Harp Practitioner’s practice is to use the intrinsic healing elements of live harp music to provide an environment conducive to the human healing process. (Healing is defined as movement toward mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness.)

Requirements in the following categories are required to be a Certified Harp Practitioner:

  1. Musicianship
  • Demonstrates/applies knowledge of basic music theory and techniques.
  • Improvises and plays music in a fluid, musical fashion.
  • Plays appropriate repertoire.
  • Is sensitive to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient.
  1. Professionalism
  • Uses appropriate interpersonal skills, etiquette, and legal, ethical and moral judgment, when interacting with patients, families and hospital/hospice staff; adheres to a strict Code of Ethics. (Stay tuned for our next blog post.)
  • Presents a positive, mature and professional image in manners, communication and dress.
  • Respects diversity of cultural traditions, values and musical preferences.
  • Demonstrates a responsible attitude about personal identification, documentation, scheduling, infection control, hospital equipment and privacy.
  • Focuses on the welfare of the patient above all else in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner.
  • Works within the determined scope of practice of therapeutic musicians; seeks appropriate assistance when needed.
  • Engages in appropriate self-care and continuing education.

If you are interested in learning more or wish to have me play at the hospital or hospice bedside for you or your loved one, please contact me.

Tags: Certified Harp Practitioner, Emotional, harp music, healing, hospital, Mental, Physical, self-care, Spiritual
 
Posted in Certified Harp Practitioner, Emotional, Harp Music, Healing, Hospital, Mental, News, Physical, Self care, Spiritual
 

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