Harp therapy in action

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.”

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Playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside

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.

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Defining a Certified Harp Practitioner (CHP)

Many people have asked what is a Certified Harp Practitioner (CHP). Being a CHP is obviously something I’m very passionate about!

To receive this certification, I completed an approved therapeutic musician curricula with a focus on the harp from the International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP). I have also continued to keep my harp therapy practice current by attending the necessary courses to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs). hospital[1]This includes participation in conferences, workshops, lectures and webinars on a variety of approved topics relevant to the field of therapeutic music and musicianship. The approved Continuing Education activities have been the equivalent of 20 hours every two years, and directly relates to and enhances my work as a therapeutic harpist.

The combination of past educational study and current-day CEUs allow me to provide therapeutic music at the hospital and hospice bedside with great care and passion. I am available to play the harp for you or your loved one; if you wish to discuss my services, please contact me.

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Playing in my parents’ dining room

Harp at RPMy parents live in an independent living apartment in an assistant living building. I visit them 5-6 times per year. On each visit, I rent a harp and play in their dining room for dinner one evening while I’m there. To say the residents love it is a huge understatement!! It gives me so much joy to bring them joy!

Their main question is always, “When will you be back?!”  Enjoy … in joy …

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More on the BioAcoustic Mat

BioAcoustic MatAs sound healing increases in popularity, the public continues to be more informed and asks for sessions with a variety of instruments – harp, crystal bowls, gongs, Native American flutes, etc. Science is also catching up to share specific benefits of using music therapeutically and as a healing modality.

The BioMat’s parent company company (Richway International) recently introduced the BioAcoustic Mat (which we rep!). It is vibroacoustic therapy for natural relaxation and renewal via certain frequencies connecting to different areas in the body. It does this through a three specially-designed speaker system:

  1. A powerful transducer delivering low frequencies (30-68 Hz) for a deep, large muscle cellular massage.
  2. Two smaller speakers playing higher frequencies (52-88 Hz), targeting small muscle groups.

The BioAcoustic Mat’s sound system vibrates and stimulates the nerves in the spine, deep tissue and limbic systems, and affects brain activity to drive an emotional response of well-being. This combination of music and an elevated emotional state activates the auditory nerves that connects to all of our muscle tissue, helping to induce relaxation on a physiological level.

The music in the BioAcoustic Mat was created by Dr. Lee Bartel. Four categories (energize, relax, sleep and stress relief) and 12 therapeutic tracks allow you to address your personal needs. Tracks include digital instruments to soothing nature sounds and range from 3 to 6+ minutes.

Details of Targeted Benefits

The BioAcoustic Mat comes in two sizes:

  • Professional (fits on a massage table – $3,000 + $60 shipping)
  • Single (fits on a twin bed – $3,500 + $100 shipping).

For more information about either BioMats or the BioAcoustic Mat, contact us at tami@MusicalReflections.com.

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Blessings…

Blessings Digi 2_05Do you select a “Word of the Year?” I do! For 2019, my word is blessings … I feel so blessed! Blessings abound in so many areas of life and in so many ways …

  • Basic needs (food, clothing, shelter)
  • Social interactions (friends and wonderful support system)
  • Finances (abundance and prosperity)
  • Spirituality (powerful meditation practice connected to the Divine)
  • Physical (great health and cadre of holistic healthcare practitioners looking after my well-being)
  • Etc., etc., etc.

This is the beginning of a gratitude list … you may enjoy making your own, as it’s a fun exercise! As you write, you might also enjoy listening to a harp CD called “Blessings to You” for even greater inspiration! The other ritual that I started on January 1, 2019, is to remember one image right before I go to sleep each night that brought joy. What a lovely way to drift off to sleep.

So, here’s to your blessed life … happy 2019!

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The Harp and the BioMat

A month ago, I mentioned the BioMat on this website. I actually got interested in the BioMat because of the harp! As you probably know, the harp is a very physical instrument – both in carrying it around and probably even more importantly, you hold your arms up for the duration that you play. Consequently, the neck and upper back hold a lot of tension because of the hands/arms position and the physicality of the instrument.

As I shared this information with the BioMat’s parent company (Richway International), they decided to feature this story via video. Click below to learn more and I’m happy to share additional information about how the BioMat has helped me and many, many others!

Video 1

 

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The Paradoxes of the Harp!

ParadoxI love the sounds that come from the harp and so many people share this same thought! Isn’t it interesting that an instrument of such beauty has three things “attached” to it that aren’t so glamorous:  1) packing it around – it’s heavy and awkward!, 2) tuning so many strings – time consuming and always a moving target with weather and humidity changes, and 3) re-stringing it. Oh well, carry on because even with the “not so fun” things about the harp, it sounds simply heavenly and amazing!

And that leads us to another paradox about this instrument … it is such a gentle, comforting, soothing, nurturing sound and it is also such a powerful healing tool. It is really a mystery how that works, but it happens time and time again at both the hospital and hospice bedsides.

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Always Protected

Always ProtectedI had an interesting thing happen at one of my Christmas gigs this past December. It was a very cold night and the parking lot was a sheet of ice … not exactly ideal conditions for moving a harp (or body)!!

After the event, I began packing my car. I had one more item – my harp! – to retrieve and put in my car before heading home. When I got to the church door, it was locked; my main contact was standing on the other side of the door (inside the church), trying to open the door, but the security system had already “set” and there was no budging! I was left sanding out in the cold. My client turned around to go get help and I heard a faint “click.” I tried the door and it opened!!

A miracle? Yes! And in that moment, I was reminded I am always protected.

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Changing the World!

Change the worldThe Israelian singer/songwriter, David Broza, said, “I don’t think I’m going to change the world; I’m going to change my world and this makes me happy.”

This makes so much sense, doesn’t it?! If each person does what s/he can to change each person’s world, think how much better the world will be! What are you doing this spring/summer to change your world?

Does harp music help you move into a reflective place to explore this question? If we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us … part of our mission is to help the world continue to be a better place. Let us know how we can be of service to you…

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