healing with music…
Music has been a huge help in healing my heart. For the longest time I couldn’t go anywhere alone without having my earbuds in or the stereo blaring one of my favorite Spotify playlists. In the beginning of my journey they were all sad songs about broken hearts, betrayal and lost love. I felt I needed the sound of music to fill my head and soul and drown out the horrible thoughts rolling around my mind. Even my beloved Forrest Park hikes with birds singing and rushing streams or walks on the beach with the glorious sound of pounding waves couldn’t drown out the drone in my brain. Music gave me comfort when I needed it, still does actually. It’s only recently I decided to try leaving home without the earbuds and be with my thoughts, bare and naked. It’s been nice to reconnect with natures sounds again. I still enjoy listening to music most anytime, but now it’s a choice, not a necessity. Music is back to being a happy, joyful and creative inspiration.
Many studies have proven how music helps heal physical and emotional ailments. From calming premature babies to alleviating symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and chronic pain, listening to music can make a big difference. Music therapy is a respected practice in the mental health community. This article from Psychology Today, Does Music Have Healing Powers? by Michael Friedman, Ph.D. discusses how music helps lower blood pressure, slows heart rate and so many other benefits…to many too list here. Someone wrote about the medicine of song and said in part…”Sound creates a rooted sense of vitality in the body, mind and heart. The medicine of song and vibration is potent.”
Introduction to chakras:
Yoga is over 5,000 years old and is a system that benefits the whole body, mind and spirit. Chakras came out of yoga as a way to understand energy systems throughout our body that, when in balance, bring mental and physical health to our lives. Chakras were discovered in India but can found in other early cultures as well. There are seven main chakras in the body, (listed below) and thousands of smaller minor chakras. When chakras are blocked it can affect our well-being. Figuring out which chakra is blocked can help us understand what we need to focus on and do to get it unblocked. It is a rare person that doesn’t have at least one partially blocked chakra. Each chakra also has a sound associated with it, chanting the sound out loud or silently while focused on the the area in need of attention 2-3 times can help balance and unblock the problem area.
The seven chakras:
Root – Grounding, energy. Base of the spine. Sound: LAM
Sacral – Feelings, emotions. Behind pubic bone. Sound: VAM
Solar Plexus/Naval – Confidence, willpower. Just below the ribs. Sound: RAM.
Heart – Love, compassion. Sound: YAM
Throat – Communication, self-expression. Sound: HAM
Forehead/Third Eye – Intuition, spirituality. Between eyebrows. Sound: KSHAM
Crown –Universal Consciousness. Top of the head. Sound: OM
The Yoga Journal (on my Resources page) has a fun test you can take to find out which of your seven main chakras might be out of balance. I took this test and the chakra I need most work on is the throat chakra which made sense to me. “The physical sign of a blocked throat chakra is a sore throat, thyroid problem, neck and shoulder pain, issues with hearing, jaw pain to TMJ. Mental signs are that I may not feel like I know how to ask for what I need and feel unable to shape the world I want to create. Poor communication is the result.” I take medication for my thyroid, if my body is sore it is usually in my neck or shoulders and oftentimes I have trouble expressing myself verbally. It’s why I like writing, I have no trouble expressing my self with the written word.
I’ve been reading a lot about chakras lately but the most understandable definition of what chakras are came from a trip to Arizona where I bought the chakra necklace above from the Sedona Crystal Vortex store. A card in the necklace box said this: “Chakras are the energy centers of the body connected with the vital life force energies. Located in key points, they receive and discharge subtle energy to keep the body healthy and balanced. These spiraling energy vortices (like a vortex) energize the aura and reflect our current state of consciousness.” If you’re curious and want to learn more about chakras there is a great book I would recommend that is beautifully laid out and easy to read A Handbook of Chakra Healing ~ Spiritual Practice for Health, Harmony & Inner Peace by Kalashatra Govinda you can find in the Books & Things I love section of this blog.
My wonderful Yoga instructor, Emily Light, talked about the heart chakra recently. Emily shared that one of her early teachers taught her how the front of the heart reaches outward to others – love, compassion, empathy, while the back of the heart is how we feel about ourselves and more introspective. Do we love and take care of ourselves, are we compassionate toward others? When we are in balance we aren’t too self-centered or too other focused, the heart is full and open to all experiences we encounter. We are calm, present, living in the here and now.
Learning more about chakras, the power of music and sound, Buddhism, meditation, yoga and more is exciting to me. It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole not knowing exactly where I’ll end up, but I know it all leads to inner peace as my path to Zen continues.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
~ Plato ~
Till next time…
Peace & Love,