Entrainment: The Rhythm of Everything
Musically, entrainment invloves the "merging with, or synchronizing to, the pulse of the music".(7) This principle is related to the isomorphic principle which states that one's mood should be matched to the mood of the music and then gradually moved into the desired direction. The principle of entrainment is universal. Appearing in chemistry, pharmacology, biology, medicine, psychology, sociology, astronomy, architecture and more. The classic example shows individual pulsing heart muscle cells. When they are brought close together, they begin pulsing in synchronicity. Another example of the entrainment effect is women who live in the same household often find that their menstrual cycles will coincide.
The entrainment process is quite evident in music. It is possible to have rhythmic entrainment, melodic entrainment and dynamic entrainment. Entrainment music has the potential to (1) resonate with the listener's feelings, (2) transform negativity into positivity, and (3) promote a state of liveliness or serenity. Certain sounds, in specific sequence can help bring the listener from one place to another.
Entrainment is the tendency of two oscillating bodies to lock into phase, so that they vibrate in harmony.
The following are great tools for entrainment:
Music Therapy Tools
1. Affirmations One of the many things that sets musical affirmations apart is that the music and text represents an integration of words, rhythm, voice and melody. Using this type of affirmations will give you the power to think positively, to remove the barriers to prosperity, minimize stress and create pathways to love and confidence. Today's non-stop, high-stress world means our minds are constantly in the beta (unreceptive) state, where the mind's mental energy fires neurons at random. Musical affirmations will return your mind to the alpha (receptive) state, a state where the neurons fire in harmony. Where the positive message of the affirmations can be absorbed effectively by the conscious and subconscious mind due to the power enhancing affects of a musical accompaniment.
2. Mind Quieting: A disciplined mind is a free mind. Gain control over your thoughts and you maintain control over your life. Retrain your mind and you regain your freedom. Calming the mind is a behavioral technique used to interupt, minimize and eliminate "psychological noise". Obsessive, repeatitive thoughts, anxiety and fears are all apart of negative, self-destructive patterns that can benefit from the power of music and mind quieting.
3. Breathing : Breath is life! Exchange of electrons. Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is so important that you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your spirit. It's depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing. With the addition of music and it's rhythm, the "musical breath" can even help stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the music.
4. Mantras : No one can fully explain the mystery of mantras. Their magical sounds help heal physical imbalances, relax the mind, quiet the emotions, and open the heart. They stimulate, activate, motivate, and rejuvenate. Mantras can help you dance or sleep, laugh or cry, make love or meditate, turn tedious housework or heavy exercise light-hearted fun. They can help you forget someone or find someone. They are designed to remind us that love, laughter, and inner peace are our birthright. They help us go beyond borders, realize our potential, and celebrate the power of love. Mantras offer increased flexibility and strength while they gently expand your consciousness, and help you experience love, compassion, and inner peace.
5. Chanting : Chanting begins with an invocation - a prayer, a group OM, or some small line of remembrance that connects everyone to a higher source. To learn chanting has a healthy strengthening effect on the mind; it develops concentration, patience and determination. So, almost any word group - or even sounds - can be used although the emphasis should be on goodness. Try repeating the word 'love' a thousand time over. Creating a connection to Self is the goal of chanting, and the process is meant to be inclusive and fun.
6. Toning : Toning with your own voice can improve health, greatly reduce stress, release negative emotions, strengthen immune system, increase energy, improve self-confidence, enhance memory and creativity, transform relationships, accelerate natural healing help you ascend to new dimensions of reality. Toning is the basis process of "letting go" of basic, natural sounds to attain a sense of balance, harmony and centering. Some examples of natural toning include: yawning, moaning, crying, sighing or screaming. The release of these natural tones result in the harmonizing of emotions, mind and body.
7. Drumming: Research has shown that drumming can actually strengthen the immune system, create a calming focus and is even hypnotic. A steady rhythm on the drum connects us to the heart. The healing effects have been shown to improve conditions of Alzheimers, autism, trauma and emotional disturbances.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
1. Aldridge, David. Music Therapy Research and Practice in Medicine from Out of the Silence. 1996
2. Aldridge David, Brandt G, Music therapy and Alzheimerï¿½s Disease. British Journal Music Therapy. Vol 5. p.28-36 1991
3. Donaldson, F.O., Playing By Heart: The vision and practice of belonging. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc. 1993
4. Finnema E, Droes RM, Ribbe M, Van Tilburg W, The effects of emotion-oriented approaches in the care for persons suffering from dementia: a review of the literature. Internation journal geriatric pyschiatry. 15(2); 141-161 2000
5. Gaston, E.T. (1968). Man and music. In E.T. Gaston Music in therapy. London: Collier-Macmillan.
6. Gfeller, KE. (1990). Music as communication. In R.F.Unkefer (Ed.) Music therapy in the treatment of adults with mental disorders: Theoretical bases and clinical interventions. New York: Schirmer.
7. Gfeller, K.E. & Thaut, M.H. (1999). Music therapy in the treatment of mental disorders. In W.B. Davis, K.E. Gfeller & M.H. Thaut (Eds.) An introduction to music therapy theory and practice. Boston: Mc-Graw-Hill College.
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