Music makes massage mean more

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Derek Marks tells his own story to explain why music plays such an integral part in his massage practice. It all started when I was eight years old and in standard 2. I had just passed a music exam with 98/100. My elation at the result continued into my early teens  when with a friend, I built five electric guitars out of wood using genuine hardware (strings, bridges, tuning knobs) etc. all purchased from a general dealer in Station Road, Bellville. By then I was already earning from performing music at fetes, church do’s, bops (as they were called in those days) with the Marksmen. At 17 I left school to join my first professional band and by the time I turned 19, I was riding the airwaves with number-one hits in , , and North Africa. The band’s name was ‘The Square Set and our hits included Silence is Golden and  That’s What I want. These songs went on to become listed as influencing the history of rock n roll in . Carol Carina got to number 3 in 1967.  From the late 1960’s I went on to become a semi-professional musician and to this day I still perform at weddings, corporate dinner dances, parties etc. I consider my music talent a gift. I mention my own story to explain why music plays such an integral part in my massage practice. Music is vital not only to the patient but also to me as the therapist. I don’t mean that  in a selfish way but certainly with the patient in mind, always with the patient in mind. In the early years of building my practice I acquired a tape player, which meant of course turning the darn tape over about 50 times a day while keeping one hand on the patient. I never did progress to CD’s but jumped right into the arms of the love of my life – an 80gig iPod. Joy at last – and hands-free at that! Naturally I will recommend that any therapist who would like to play music during treatments invest in an iPod, that is if funds allow. It makes your massage-music-life a pleasure. One advantage is that you  can create a playlist of the songs that you would like your patients to listen to and leave it to play for the day. The iPod stores thousands of songs and best of all it obeys your commands instantly. What sort of music should you choose? Now hear in lies the rub, if you will excuse the pun. Be brave. I know we should not have a heavy beat playing as it affects the heart rhythm etc. but I’ve had a Rabbi...

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2013 – Music and Health

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Aquasound light therapy makes the link by E Mudge Our sound environment is vital to our survival and growth in this plane of existence – Joel Andrews. For centuries people have believed there is a profound link between music and health, but is there any evidence to suggest that music can be therapeutic beyond the intangible? Can music and specific tones really alleviate illness and distress? The answer is, absolutely yes! Music helps to ease a wide range of physical and mental illnesses. General ailments such as anxiety and depression are greatly helped with regular exposure to music. Researchers around the globe have shown that music can influence blood pressure, circulation, metabolism, respiration and muscular energy in both humans and animals. Milk production in cows goes up whilst being exposed to the music of Mozart. Robert Assagioli M.D comments, “By means of sound it is possible to cause geometric shapes to form on sand and water, and also to cause objects to be shattered. How more powerful then, must be the impact of their force on the vibrating, living substance of our bodies.” Famous researcher Hans Jenny studied these formations produced by sound and music. He took many photographs of beautiful, symmetrical shapes, which were formed by powder and water on a surface that was vibrating with sound, especially music. He demonstrated and researched visually the fact that sound produces order out of randomness. Medical scientist Dr Bemard Brodie, revealed that music stimulates the release of the brains natural chemicals, Serotonin and Norepinephine, which alleviate depression and replace discomfort with a sense of well being. Further research by John Hughes and Hans Kosteriitz, leading neuroscientists in this field, proves that music causes the release of endorphins which blocks pain, producing a morphine-like effect. This chemical reaction relaxes the body and protects it against pain. It is often mental or emotional imbalances that can seriously affect our health, and now music has become an established influence upon our physical condition. The connection between music, mental and physical well being is becoming widely known. As a result, official medical health services , such as the N.H.S in Britain, are increasingly interested m this subject. These developments are backed up by extensive research , which shows how physiological and psychological changes produced by music therapy involves complex brain chemistry. The main structures of the brain involved are the cerebral cortex (“thinking brain”); the limbic system, where emotions are controlled and the brain stem, which controls respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and relaxation. A skilled music therapist is able to use music to arouse and engage clients helping them to realise their full potential, revealing problems and physical imbalances of an...

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2013 – Music

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Get into the rhythm by E Kruger. It has become very difficult to find peace and quiet in the world that we live in. We are constantly surrounded by music – at home, at work, in the car, while shopping, even while enjoying a massage. We respond physically and emotionally to the orderly patterns, frequency and rhythm of music. It has the power to influence the physiology of a person by altering the brains chemistry. Massage therapists employ this technique to enhance the client’s overall experience by playing music or nature sounds during the treatment. According to Dr Annette Lotter, an educationalist in private practice in Gauteng, the choice of music is very important. Dr Lotter, who studied at the Rand Afrikaans University and the University of California, has researched the influence of music and particularly Baroque music, on children with learning difficulties. But she says, to achieve your goal you have to choose the appropriate music. It is no use playing relaxing music when you want children to concentrate on studying. It will put them to sleep. The opposite applies to massage therapy. Choosing the wrong piece of music to play during a treatment, can be counter-productive. If the client requires a calming massage but the therapist’s choice of music is inappropriate, the mind and body will not relax. “We distinguish between passive and active music”, she explains. “Passive music induces delta and theta brain waves. Delta waves occur when you are sleeping deeply or are anaesthetised. Active music induces the waves recorded when you are in a state of relaxed awareness (alpha) and when you are fully alert (beta),” she says. However, it is not the kind of music that makes the difference but the rhythm. When choosing music, the therapist has to listen very carefully. “Don’t think because a piece is called a lullaby, it is necessarily passive music,” she says. “You have to count the beat. Music with sixty beats per minute or more is considered active music. Less than sixty is passive music and a 100 beats per minute is too fast to be used therapeutically. The brain will produce beta waves and the person will be fully alert.” It takes about two minutes for the brain waves to change. “If the therapist plays CD’s containing a range of rhythms, that is some passive and some active, the brain will eventually stop trying to adapt to the changes and settle on a low alpha wave. The client will not be able to relax. Dr Lotter considers nature sounds appropriate to use, as it is very soothing as well as music from the 17th and 18th century. “Baroque music was composed to manipulate society’s state...

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