Art Of Healing


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art of healing Music Therapy

Music therapy is the prescribed use of music and musical interventions in order
to restore, maintain, and improve emotional, physical, physiological, and
spiritual health and well-being (Lindberg). So one finds the selections under
the New Age/Relaxation section of the record store about as relaxing as water
torture? Just because one's taste runs more to Sousa than to soothing doesn't
mean one can't reap all these relaxation benefits music is supposed to have.
Music therapy works primarily by changing moods, which alters brain chemistry.
This can have many effects--making concentration easier, easing anxiety and
fostering patience(Hendrick-16). "Music," as the old saying goes,
"has charms to soothe the savage beast." It can improve a person's
psychological, cognitive, and social functioning--especially when it has
familiar lyrics that evoke pleasant memories and a strong , repetitive beat that
makes it easy to follow along (Sacks). "(Rhythm) is there in the cycles of
the seasons, in the migrations of the birds and animals, in the fruiting and
withering of plants, and in the birth, maturation, and death of
ourselves."--Mickey Hart of Grateful Dead "(Music Therapy) can make
the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and
interaction, between chronic pain and comfort, between demoralization and
dignity."--Barbara Crowe (Quotes About...) "It lifts us from our
frozen mental habits and makes our minds move in ways they ordinarily
cannot...when the sound stops, we fall back into our mental wheelchairs."--
Robert Jourdain (McDonnel-C05) Music Therapy benefits many types of people, such
as the mentally ill, abused, terminally ill, developmental learning disabled,
and academic learning disabled. The goals of music therapy include improving
self-esteem, improving social interactions with peers, increasing participation,
developing coping skills, reducing stress anxiety, creating a non-abusive
lifestyle, decreasing fear, decreasing pain, and behavior management, just to
name a few (Lindberg). "Almost all children respond to music. Music is an
open-sesame and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach
into that child's potential for development." --Dr. Clive Robbins (Quotes
About..) Preliminary findings of a nearly completed study at Beth Israel to be
published in 1998, show that music performs as well as or sometimes better than
sedation in calming children before tests such as EEG's and CAT scans. Music has
a lot of universality. You bypass so many barriers to communication, and it
seems to reach more of the child than anything else." --Clive Robbins
(McDonnel-C05) "In people who are depressed, the ratio of pleasant to
unpleasant events gets out of balance." (Munson;Walsh42) It's likely that
both the music and the human contact increased the number of pleasant events for
people involved. "With music, it's not just that these pleasant events are
happening to you. You are in some ways taking control to make the pleasant
events happen." --Larry Thompson,PhD (Munson;Walsh-42) If anxiety is
involved in depression, as it often is, the right kind of music may help someone
de-stress. This doesn't necessarily mean you can blast Pearl Jam and call it
therapy, or that you can write off your CD collection as a medical expense, but
it might reinforce your idea that Glenn Miller means more than ocean sounds to
your mental state (Munson;Walsh-42). Music can relieve stress whether the stress
comes from the work-place or something more serious like a major illness (Luque).
Ancient cultures used sound to affect the chemical balance of the brain. The
positive statements were added to remove the feelings of helplessness from
patients and return them to a sense of control. "(It might) not neccesarily
cure them, but it can change things. It might not be quantity for extending
life, but it is quality in enjoying life more. The brain is impacted by what it
perceives. What we are trying to do is change the negative to a positive, and it
all translates into physiology. It's more than just sounding mystical, a
fantasy. There's medical reality. There is real potential for healing in music,
imagery, and positive affirmations."--Dr. Lee S. Berk (Luque) It's hard for
many mental patients to put their frustrations into words, but music therapy
lets them communicate their feelings freely through the expression of enjoyment
of music (Lindberg, B.). The music helps underscore the message (Hendrick-16).
The order, harmony, and beauty of music seizes our imaginations and emotions and
contrasts with the chaos of everyday life. "While physical movement is
choked with the starts and stops and stumbles, music establishes a continuous
flow, and does it in perfect proportions." --Robert Jourdain (McDonnell).
"Patients can benefit from using music therapy as an active, creative,
expression of their personality." --Rachel McCaffrey (Lindberg).
"Music is an excellent therapy because is ... more

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Martial Arts




To most martial arts is about the hard-style, external arts such as Karate and Maui Thai. Tai Chi Chuan however, developed out of Taoist ideology and the concept of universal balance. Primarily it was committed to physical fitness and spiritual progress, but over time, the monks needed protection against growing warlords and thugs and so, the external aspect of Tai Chi Chuan evolved and an usual mixture of a healing art, exercise and meditation developed. A teacher taught his students, "The man who does not seek to struggle with others will find that others are not able to struggle with him. Think if still water. You push it, and, yielding, it finds its original place."  You cannot hit anything if there is nothing to hit.
Tai Chi Chuan originally developed out of Tai Chi, a similar concept that began around 2000 BC partly influenced by yoga. In China, yoga came to be developed into what is called Saolin chuan ("chuan," means boxing). Around 13th AD Chang Seng Feng developed what is known as Tai Chi. Different families studied Tai Chi and developed their own unique styles giving them different names. Tai Chi styles practiced today came from the Chen family. Yang studied the Chen style and modified it to form the Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan, which is the style commonly practiced today.
Tai Chi Chuan is part of a larger concept, Taoism. The Tao means the Way or a Path. According to Tao-te Ching, the core Taoist texts, the feeling of being one with the "Way" can only be experienced and not just known. One must coordinate all the body, the brain, the breathing to realize the feeling of being connected to everything. In Tai Chi Chuan, movement with meditation is done with the purpose of realizing connectivity by feeling in tune with the omnipotent force Chi, or in Japanese, Zen. Chi is everything everywhere; we are all a part of it and so, are connected to each other. Once in tune with Chi, one must apply those principles in daily life to be one with the Tao.
The Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang, soft and hard or "the opposites" arises from the Taoist belief that humans view the world in terms of opposites, right or wrong, dislike or like.  And those beliefs are changing all the time, if a person we dislike does something nice, then we start liking them. We fail to realize that something is just "is". FSU is good and bad. It might not be as good as Harvard, but when compared to a University from a third world country, it is quite good. However, for us, it is one or the other and this prevents us from realizing and incorporating the Tao. We have to be "empty" of such preconceived notions in order to be one with Chi, to comprehend the true nature of things.
Emptiness of the mind leads to understanding of the only constant, change. It allows for constantly changing thought processes and a constant sense of inquiry needed to understand that "life is a matter of change" and "If you try to make yourself secure at all costs in life then you cling either the Yin or the Yang."  "Any fixed idea, when it conflicts with what we call the flow of life, is bound to lead to a loss of balance. It is related to what the early psychologists called a complex."  The ability to manipulate thought strengthens one's concentration is referred in martial arts as centering one's mind and the idea is central to Tai Chi Chuan as it allows for change, correction and healing.



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