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Posts tagged ‘music’

6 Easy & Effective Ways to Fight Forgetfulness

6 Easy & Effective Ways to Fight Forgetfulness

Do you often find yourself losing keys, forgetting names, and wondering if you took your medicine this morning? Forgetfulness can be frustrating, indeed. But here is a handful of at-home ideas to help you keep your memory razor-sharp.

Smell some rosemary.

The essential oils of rosemary and basil have been shown to increase the brain’s production of beta waves. This increases awareness of your surroundings and clears confusion. Just sprinkle a few drops of the oil on a clean handkerchief and take a deep breath. (Leesa recommends organic rosemary and organic basil!)

Drink more coffee.

Coffee really can be the cup that cheers your memory cells. Research shows that coffee may have a positive effect on long-term memory. (Leesa recommends organic coffee!)




A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study, quoted by Harvard Health Publications, found that physically fit people have less brain shrinkage than less active people. The cells particularly helped by exercise are those that control memory, communication, and learning.

Keep your blood sugar in check.

Keep your blood sugar under control, and you will find your memory improving. This may sound surprising, but a study published in the journal Neurology says that those with high blood sugar are seen to suffer from cognitive impairment. Scientists say this happens because high blood sugar causes structural changes in the areas of the brain that govern learning. Find helpful blood-sugar regulating tips here.



Get your B & C.

The B vitamin group makes and repairs brain tissue. Foods that endow you with the B vitamins are nuts and seeds, wheatgerm, bananas and chickpeas. Vitamin C has been correlated with mental sharpness, so include more strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwi and leafy greens in your diet. (Leesa recommends Chews4Health!) 

Go musical.

Learning to play a musical instrument develops motor skills and enhances your brain’s ability to focus and analyze.

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine


Human beings are governed by rhythms. From our pulsing heartbeat, to the  cadence of our speech patterns, to when we fall asleep and wake up—countless  rhythms drive our existence.

Perhaps this is why we are so mesmerized by music.

“From lullabies to funeral  songs, music is a part of our lives from the moment we enter the world,  until the moment we leave it,” says Diane Snyder-Cowan, director of the  Elisabeth Prentiss Bereavement Center for Hospice of the Western Reserve.

She describes a phenomenon called, “entrainment,” whereby people’s biological  rhythms become synchronized with the music they’re listening to.

Entrainment exerts such a powerful force that simply listening to and  focusing on soothing music can actually help a person enter a more relaxed state  of physical and mental functioning. Once people enter this state, they’re better  able to physically and mentally process things—from medications  to emotions.

A professional music therapist, Snyder-Cowan is part of a specially-trained  group of care providers who use melodies to achieve a particular treatment goal. “Music therapy is all about the intentional use of music to bring about a  particular change; whether that change is therapeutic, emotional or spiritual,” she says.

Melodies may be better than meds

Music therapists work in a variety of different settings, from hospitals to  halfway houses.

In some cases, music may even be more powerful than more traditional medical  interventions, such as prescriptions and physical therapy.

Here are a few studies that demonstrate how Mozart may trump medicine:

Singing helps the stroke-stricken to speak sooner: A study  conducted on a group of Finnish stroke sufferers found that listening to their  favorite tunes while recovering helped them regain their ability to recognize  words and communicate. When compared to stroke sufferers who listened to  audiobooks or nothing at all, those that listened to music for a few hours a day  experienced a much faster recovery of their verbal skills. The music listeners  were also less likely to be depressed and confused, two common post-stroke side  effects.

Pulsing pitches set pace for people with Parkinson’s:  Numerous studies have indicated that music therapy can allow people with  Parkinson’s to regain some of their overall functioning. In certain cases, music  may even prove more effective at helping a Parkinson’s sufferer move better than  traditional physical therapy techniques, according to an Italian study published  in, “Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.” Music therapy  also upped the quality of life and overall feelings of happiness reported by  those dealing with the disease.

Classical compositions have calming cardiovascular effects:  German researchers discovered that people recovering from open-heart surgery had  lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, after listening to classical  music. Relaxing refrains also helped patients calm down pre-surgery. In some  cases, listening to music before an operation was more effective in getting  a person to relax than commonly-prescribed anti-anxiety medications.

Melodic intervention to manage grief

Music therapists also work with hospice care providers to assist a dying  person and his family as they go through the grieving process.

Depending on the unique needs and wishes of the ailing individual and her  family, a music therapist can perform services, such as helping to create a  compilation CD of songs that have special meaning to the dying person to give as  a legacy gift, composing a song about the person’s life, and selecting and  playing particular melodies meant to ease their emotional and physical  pain as they transition out of this life.

Harness the healing power of harmony at home

You don’t have to be formally trained to help an ill loved one reap the  holistic healing benefits of music. Snyder-Cowan offers a few simple  suggestions:

Make your own music: If you or your loved one have a passion  for playing a particular instrument, don’t hesitate to dust off the old  six-string and strum out a few chords. “Live music has its own set of special  rewards,” says Snyder-Cowan.

Travel to another time or place: Music and memory are  intimately intertwined. To help your loved one get in touch with their past, try  playing music that was popular when they were in their 20s and 30s.

Match tempo to temper: No one genre of music is more  therapeutic than another. According to Snyder-Cowan, it’s all about personal  preference. Pick songs that you and your loved one enjoy listening to. Keeping  in mind the principal of entrainment, try to synchronize the songs to the mood  you’re trying to invoke.

Highlight hobbies: For example, a sick person may not be  able to visit the opera like he used to, but that doesn’t mean he has to forgo  his favorite arias. You can help bring the opera to him by purchasing or  downloading some of his favorite performances and playing them.

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music (video)

Elderly Man Revitalized by Music  (video)
By Anne-Marie Botek,  Editor  connects family  caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing  options for people caring for their elderly parents. is a trusted  resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed  decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.


Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~

visit ~

consult ~

chews ~

enjoy ~

follow ~

learn ~

like ~

join ~

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The Antidote for an Overly-Teched Brain

The Antidote for an Overly-Teched Brain

The Cassandras among us have warned for some time that Internet  addiction—obsessive texting, tweeting, posting, surfing, along with a compulsion  to be always connected—threatens to make us dumber, more anxious, and more  depressed. Such warnings are becoming harder to dismiss; a recent article by Newsweek‘s Tony Dokoupil presents  evidence that Internet addiction may lead to more extreme forms of mental  illness. And according to The Observer, social media titans will  gather in February for the Wisdom  2.0 Conference, whose theme will be finding balance in the Digital Age – a  sign that even Silicon Valley is worried about our online habits.

An obvious proposal for avoiding Internet-induced anxiety, depression, or  psychosis, would be to turn off cell phones, limit time online, and engage in  offline activities like reading books or gardening. I have nothing against those  pursuits—I engage in both of them frequently—but I want to suggest another sort  of remedy for Internet addiction which to my knowledge has not been explored by  others. I claim that the performing arts have something special to offer in this  context.

Now, I’m not recommending that people take up the violin or the piano or  start dance classes as an alternative to spending time online. I am recommending  something less obvious, something which may perhaps seem less plausible. I urge  people to become patrons of the performing arts: attend live  performances, music, dance, and theatre.

But how, you may ask, does that address Internet addiction? What is special  about live performance?

Consider what happens when I attend a concert. I go to the symphony and I  hear, let’s say, a work by Beethoven. But I do not merely hear Beethoven’s  music, which I could do at home on my CD player, I hear it in a special way.  Beethoven composed two hundred years ago, and at the concert it is re-created,  one note at a time, by real people playing real instruments, and their activity  occurs now. In my new book, Motion, Emotion, and Love: The Nature  of Artistic Performance (GIA Publications), I argue that the  musicians’ activity of making the sounds is an activity of artistic creation.  Beethoven composed the symphony but this example of it, this  realization, is also an artwork, created by the musicians, moment to  moment, in my presence. An exactly similar analysis applies at a dance or  theatre performance.

At a performance, we are present at an ongoing exercise of artistic creation.  But we are not just onlookers or listeners: we are participants. We know—and it  is the performer’s job to make us feel—that this music, these movements by the  dancer, these speeches by the actors, are for us. This is part of what “stage presence” or “projecting the character” entails. The performer  communicates, the audience feels engaged, caught up in what is happening, and if  this element is lacking, if the audience does not feel included, the performance  is in this respect a failure.

The performer communicates with the audience but the audience also  communicates with the performer. Performers are vividly aware of the differences  from one audience to another; some audiences are “hard,” some “easy.” It is the  responsibility of the audience to communicate, in subtle ways, its involvement  with the proceedings. Doing so is essential because the message communicated by  the audience influences the performance. We should think of the situation as an interaction of performers and audience and the quality of what the  audience sees or hears depends partly on its contribution to the occasion.

Members of the audience do not communicate only with the performers, they  also communicate with one another. We all know the difference between being in  an audience where everyone is caught up in the performance and being in an  audience that is indifferent or even hostile. Part of the thrill of a live  performance comes from knowing that it is a shared experience; we share with the  performers, they with us, and we with the others in the audience (which is why  obvious demonstrations of indifference or inattention, shown for example by  texting during the performance, are so intolerably rude. They destroy the sense  of sharing.)

At a performance we encounter an artwork—a symphony, for instance—but we  encounter it as emerging from an activity of artistic making in the present  moment. In addition to experiencing the symphony as a work by Beethoven we  experience this realization of it as an additional artwork, created by the  performers aided by the attentive involvement of the audience, and we experience  all this in a context of sharing.

Live performance offers much more, therefore, than just a period of turning  off our cell phones. The kind of integrated experience that I claim performance  offers can stand as an antithesis to the fragmented, frantic, never-ending  run-around that some people subject themselves to by spending too much time  online. Performance offers more than a respite, it offers an experience of an  entirely different order. In addition, the sort of attentive interaction that I  claim should occur between performer and audience, and of audience members with  each other, stands in stark contrast to the interaction of a person with his  iPhone. Nothing like it is available—or possible—online.

By  Thomas Carson Mark

Mark is the author of Motion,  Emotion, and Love: The Nature of Artistic Performance (GIA Publications,  September 2012).

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