Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Relaxation Music - "Lyrical Imagery" research and rationale - part 3

To summarize the last two weeks blog posts... we introduced my concept of "Lyrical Imagery." Typically relaxation music consists of instrumental music or music with nature sounds. And typical relaxation exercises such as imagery or progressive muscle relaxation consist of, again, instrumental music with (or without) nature sounds with spoken imagery or directives. Lyrical Imagery uses sung imagery (lyrics) that utilize right and left hemispheres of the brain. Some universal imagery topics such as ocean, mountains and snow are used. See (printable) research and rationale about Lyrical Imagery in the Resource Center - MT Lyrical Imagery 1, 2 & 3
Last week we discussed the important issue of how music affects us. Part 3, lets continue...

Download "Lyrical Imagery" for FREE! - Click Here  Lyrical Imagery is a collection of relaxation and stress management pieces. I particularly like this modality to establish sleep rituals for children (and adults). I will address this specifically in future blog posts.

Continued below is associated research and rationale for this project which can be accessed in full under the name "Lyrical Imagery 1, 2 & 3" in the Resource Center... (see bottom left of home pg)
What is entrainment music? The entrainment mechanism that is utilized in "Lyrical Imagery" is a technique in which stimuli, particularly periodic or rhythmic events, time lock thus affecting similar actions or behaviors (Rider, 1985). It is quite common to use sedative music that approximates the tempo of an individual's relaxed heart rate (60 to 66 beat per minute) or respiration rate (12 to 16 breaths per minute) to slow down an individual's vital rates. A chain of events can occur where a less rapid respiration rate leads to decreased heart rate, which leads to less brain wave activity and decreased anxiety and stress levels, overall eliciting a relaxation response. Bonny (1986) also points out that tempo is not the only concern, mood states that influence body imbalance can be effected by the "mood" of the music. In research by Rider (1985) and Karim (1988) using entrainment music with spinal pain patients results indicated that pain and EMG levels were reduced. Lenard (1978) "characterized entrainment music as an underlying mechanism describing the pull one dynamic system has on another, and it is explained in physics as nature's way of preferring the most efficient energy state" (as cited in Rider, 1887).***NOTE: the above vital rates are for healthy adults

What are overtones and bow do they affect us? Webster's
dictionary defines overtone as: "an accompanying tone produced over the basic tone by a musical instrument". Guitar and piano are two particular instruments that produce many overtones. In 1975 Carmon, Lavy, Gordon and Portnoy found that patients who listened to classical guitar music as opposed to speech experienced an increase in blood flow to their brain's right hemisphere (as cited in Rider, Mickey, Weldin & Hawkinson 1991). And Sidtis (1980) found that "the more harmonic overtones embedded in the sound, the greater the right hemisphere advantage" (Rider et al., 1991). This is significant as it relates to "Lyrical Imagery" because it is well documented that the right cortical hemisphere functions in a nonverbal,holistic, imagistic, visual-spatial, metaphoric, intuitive manner (Hodges, 1980). Therefore it is most beneficial, with regard to inducing imagery and relaxation, to stimulate our brain's right hem1sphere. The "Lyrical Imagery" pieces utilize the acoustic guitar as to maximize the effects of overtones.

Overview... the purpose of past three weeks post information regarding "Lyrical Imagery" was to highlight the uniqueness of this concept, i.e., using sung lyrics (imagery directives) that affect us positively at a higher level than spoken imagery directives. Unique benefits to sung imagery directives include music being processed differently and at a deeper subconscious level than speech, music having the capability to induce a relaxation response, etc. Also, as opposed to imagery experiences or exercises that do not include music Lyrical Imagery employs the advantages of entrainment and overtones. So, as to not reiterate all of the information from the past three weeks, review the last two blog posts, including this one, to comprehend a complete summary of Lyrical Imagery's distinctive benefits.

My prescription this week??? Again, grab the free download of "Lyrical Imagery" and use it to relax with. But listen to it with NO DISTRACTIONS!!! Enjoy...
AND!!!! Please share with others, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter ... Thanks, David P.