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Mitch Nur
from: Mitch Nur
Category: Sound Research

A Sound Journey to the Heart

We all share something in common, which is almost a rarity in today's world of discursive thinking. The belief that sound and music can change one's personal perspective, and more importantly their well being.

This is actually nothing new. My research shows this to be a 12,000 year old belief, that surfaced from time to time as a popular science. In the West, it became a topic of discussion and practice amongst the Greeks, specifically Pythagoras. And around 900 years later amongst the Arabs who translated the Greek writings and extrapolated on them. So Sound Therapy is not new, it's only being rediscovered.

Our topic of discussion is a journey to the heart. This can mean many things. For me personally, this has been a lifetime endeavor, a combination of academic studies, field studies in far off lands, teaching and mentoring students on a wide range of musical instruments used in ritual and ceremony by indigenous cultures.

But let's look at the physical model of the heart for a moment. 60 to 65 percent of the cells of the heart are actually neural cells, not muscle cells as previously believed. They are identical to the neural cells in the brain, operating through the same connecting links called ganglia, with the same threadlike nerve connections that take place in the brain, as well as the very same neurotransmitter behavior found in the brain. In other words, there is a brain in the heart whose ganglia or network mass, is linked to every organ in the body; and the responses that the heart makes effect the entire human system. Biophysicists have discovered that the heart is also a very powerful electromagnetic generator. The heart creates an electromagnetic field that encompasses the body, and extends out anywhere from 8 to 12 feet away from it. It is so powerful that you can take an electrocardiogram reading from as far away as 3 feet away from the body. The intriguing thing is how profoundly this electromagnetic field effects the brain. All indications are that it furnishes the whole radio wave spectrum from which the brain draws its material to create our internal experience of the world.

Perhaps most importantly, we now know that the radio spectrum of the heart is profoundly affected by our emotional response to our world. Our emotional response changes the heart's electromagnetic spectrum, which is what the brain feeds on. Ultimately, everything in our lives hinges on our emotional response to specific events. And a specific event like being diagnosed with a life threatening illness or a serious accident has a dramatic effect on the entire microscopic environment of our bodies. Overwhelming research worldwide concludes that recovery from any specific health related event is tied to 3 factors: Medicine, Surgery, and Self Care. Traditional medical practice is tied to the first 2, medicine and surgery, and often neglects the critical 3rd component - Self Care.

Medicine and society have yet to take full advantage of the healing resources within the mind/body realm. Research has shown that when mind/body medicine is employed, patients make fewer visits to their doctors. In the East, all illness is viewed as being 75% mental, and 25% physical. A 2013 stress study in Great Britain found that 8 million men, woman, and children suffer from anxiety related disorders costing 10 billion pound sterling a year; with around 5 billion pound being spent on medication or drugs. 40 million adults in the USA 18 years and older are suffering from anxiety disorders, costing the US Healthcare system $42 billion dollars a year, with women twice as affected as men. 83% percent of Americans are stressed at work, and 66% of all American doctor visits are stress related. This is an epidemic in both our countries.

Research shows that sound therapy can de-sensitize the person with sensory issues by stimulating the auditory system of the brain. Research papers submitted to the Journal of Neuro Therapy outline many sound based therapies as relaxation treatment for stress disorders. What the research is showing, is that stress related issues can be alleviated or treated with relaxation therapy with sound based applications as the leading treatment. For example,

A 2012 University of Kentucky study showed that listening to music can reduce patient's pain and aid in surgical recovery. The University examined the use of music before, during and after surgery, researchers found that listening to tunes during all 3 stages proved beneficial. Patients were less anxious, required less sedative medication, recovered more quickly, and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results. A 2011 study by the School of Nursing at the Taipei Medical University also concluded the same results involving 60 patients.

A 2013 study in the Department of Emergency, Gaziantep University Medical School in Turkey examined the effects of musical intervention on patients scheduled for invasive medical procedures, concluded that musical intervention significantly decreased stress hormone levels and acute procedural pain and anxiety involving 100 oncology patients.

A 2013 study on preoperative anxiety on 2,051 patients by the College of Nursing at Drexel University in Philadelphia revealed beneficial effects on preoperative anxiety and a viable alternative to sedatives and anti anxiety drugs.

Numerous conclusions have also collaborated the benefits of musical intervention as an effective tool to manage pain and anxiety after surgery.

But music and sound used in conjunction with a passive attitude can dramatically decrease heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolic rate. Which are effective treatments for hypertension, headaches, cardiac rhythm irregularities, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, and mild to moderate depression. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, and encouraging Alpha brain waves, digestive and sleep related issues can decrease.

But it's more than just the instrument, when the practitioner with the instrument enters the energy field of another, with a compassionate, and loving intention, this dramatically enhances the bioelectromagnetic energy field or what science calls the endogenous energy field of the body. This energy field can be modulated via conscious intent, which was the findings by the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona. So it's important for the practitioner to enter into a journey to the heart, prior to working with someone. The ancient Japanese called this 'returning to the divine' or Chin Kon Ki Shin. And the great Japanese Akido master Morihei Ueshiba said ' The Way is like the veins that circulate blood through our bodies, following the natural flow of the life force. If you are separated in the slightest from the divine essence, you are far off the Path.'

There is a very esoteric Tibetan Text, it is actually a pre Tibetan text or Bonpo in origin. It is known as the Golden Spoon. In the text, it reveals that the heart and mind come to be joined at a point just above the heart, about midway to the breastbone. At this point there is a green spark or luminous green glow. That's where the nuero tissue of the brain and the heart meet. But inside the heart, tied to this green orb is a tiny rectangular space known as the Casket of the Heart. Within this casket of the heart is an energy, an essence, some believe that it is the spark that ignites the Kunshi or the base of all illumination. Find this, and you will have completed the journey to your heart.

©2015 Mitch Nur, PhD

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