Saturday, May 26, 2012

Music Medicine: The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound

Christine Stevens

I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint.  As a Mom, Musician, and Piano Teacher I have lots of experience and natural curiosity about how people respond, including myself, to music.  Christine Stevens has a very easy to read discussion backed by sound research.

From the first chapter I was drawn to her goal of the book.
I'll show you how to tune out any doubts that you are musical, and I'll share scientific evidence that confirms how innate music is within us all.
Music to my ears!

Steven comments often on the "pervasive belief" that music lessons are a waste of time if not studied as a child.  She goes on to describe the things that hold adults back from studying music.  She coins her own phrases such as "instrumentaphoia" or fear of playing an instrument and "creative constipation."  According to Stevens, our Western culture is "lagging behind the rest of the world."  It seems other places use music readily to learn in their schools and for family and community.  It is not something isolated to a talented few or enough funding.

Music has been scientifically shown to reduce stress! Stevens describes several experiments to the validity of this statement.  This section alone is enough to have you playing your favorite tunes.  Stevens is also empowering and has faith in our innate musical needs.  Although her book provides many, many playlists for our emotional needs; she is quick to say from the beginning where the heart is.
When it comes to music, we all have distinct preferences, and it turns out that the music we love is a key to its healing benefits...Trust the music you love.  Seek it out when you need it most.  Listen for what music moves you...

Stevens is a big fan of drumming (she compares it to the steady rhythm of our heartbeat) and singing.  Most of her suggested tracks use a combination of drumming and singing. She created a Healing Drum Kit that sounds lots of fun for beginners!  Stevens says, "Rhythm turns off the mind and calls to the body's primary intuition."

The book goes into wonderful descriptive language in regards to melody, rhythm, silence, spiritual growth.  The book concludes with a powerful chapter on music to orchestrate change.  Each chapter has a wonderful playlist.  I had fun looking up the songs on!  One of the more moving sections of the book is her summary of the paradigm shift that takes place when becoming a reformer with music, not just a performer.  Stevens says,  "A performer entertains an audience; a reformer transforms a community and even the world."

This book is a beautiful, easy to read, understand, and a testament to the power of music that often goes untapped.  I am a musician and music teacher but a non-musician can easily understand her points and studies.    Her passion for music and her experience shine through in this enlightening reason to fall in love with music.

I was sent this book by for my honest opinion.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another Book Review!!!  WOO HOO!

The Fatigue Solution by Eva Cwynar, MD with Sharon Kolberg
 Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps

I was interested in this book because I personally have suffered with Adrenal Fatigue and it is no laughing matter.  Thanks to a wonderful naturopath, I was PROPERLY tested, and given a correct diagnosis regarding my hormone levels.  Regular MD's did not address this but instead threw at me xanax, anti-depressants, and blood pressure medication.  All of these left me feeling out of my body, tired, and very dizzy.

Nearly three months later I am pharmaceutical free, I take bio-identical hormones, and I don't have energy crashes.  I will be honest.  This book would not have helped me except for one chapter, "Get Tested" and "Check Your Thyroid."  Many of her tips are things I have heard all the time.  Now, if you are completely unfamiliar with the obvious ways of health then you will find this book worth the purchase.  These are things like sleeping enough, getting exercise, and making the food on your plate "beautiful" so you want to eat it.  All of these things I knew and actually DID when I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.  So, try those things, yes!  That is probably why the testing and thyroid - more medical information - is included towards the end of the book.

Most things in this book can be found by simply getting facebook feeds to people like JJ Virgin or Dr. Mark Hyman.  I would not pay $25.95 for that information.

The testing information is good, but not worth paying the entire book.  Also, many people give free webinar calls on these things for free online.

In the end, I would find myself a naturopathic Dr. or a holistic MD and take my symptoms directly there.

Hay House kindly sent me this book for my honest review.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Reviewi: Intuitive Self-Healing

So here is a pretty cool book, Intuitive Self-Healing by Marie Manucherhri, RN

Whether you are familiar with the chakra system or not, Maria presents things in a simple, easy to grasp kind of way.  She holds a private practice where she does energy healing work on patients.  Each chapter gives a powerful example of how she does her healing work and most of the time, if not all, it stems from a "broken" place in the persons Spirit that is manifesting in the body.

She gives a chart in the back listing each chakra, the ailments related, and mantas to say to readjust it.  She also gives concrete, practical exercises one can easily do at home.

As I read through the book, I did many of the exercises.  I never had to wonder which ones I needed because as I would do them my emotions were pretty good at letting me know when I was hitting a tender spot, waiting to be healed.  For me it was repeating the mantra of the second chakra, "Thank you for the joy that fills my being every day."  As I read over the book again to type this review I am drawn strongly to the exercise on Releasing Guilt, "Close your eyes and repeat, either out loud or silently in your mind, the following mantra:  I have always done the very best I could, in every situation of my life, with what I knew at the  time."

She also talks about working with children and gives a beautiful affirmation to repeat to them as they go to sleep, "Every day and in every way your body works miraculously well, creating healthy cells, vitality and a wonderful life."

The final chapter in the book is a scan of your entire body using the chakra system.  I admit, I had trouble sensing how the chakra's were doing.  I am guessing it takes a little practice or maybe I would do better if I heard it on an audio?  Either way, I appreciate the many ways Marie gives to use our own energy to become deeply aware of emotional selves.

If you are a person who believes that a spiritual, emotional, or mental (however you say it) issue is at the root of a sickness, then this book is for you!  It is simple in it's lay out and one of those books you could use for  a quick reference. sent me this review for my honest opinion.

Psychotropic Drugs Aren't Always the Answer!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

There was this bible study that kinda woke me up

It started one summer when I had to set some limits.  Some people weren't happy about it and talked really nasty about me.  It was one of the hardest tests of my professional and personal life.  I suddenly felt thrown into a raging fire with no water in sight.

One of my friends told me about this woman, Lysa TerKeurst, who wrote some cool things so I grabbed the audio to Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.

And then.  Slowly.  Quietly.  I began to see some water. The water sounded like this.

There was a stark difference between religion as I understood it and what she called her relationship with God.

I want my beliefs to work no matter what life throws at me...My perspectives get skewed by my emotions.

No person, possession, profession, or position ever fills the cup of a wounded, empty heart.

Yeah, that was like the first chapter.  I was hooked.  I was in.  Tell me all about those people who need filling up!  Who needs some GOD and not religion!  AMEN SISTER.

And then, that morning, listening to the audio and taking steps on the dark road early in the morning I realized the Truth and began to cry.

I was the one who needed filling up.  I was the one who needed to release religion and run to God.  This book was about me.  Not them.  

Shortly after I bought the book so I could underline all of these poignant words.   A few weeks later, I purchased the DVD and every morning had some quiet time with me, God, the book, and the DVD.  Oh how I grew.  I just kept going deeper and deeper into myself and it suddenly became easier (not a cakewalk, just easier) to let others have their walk, too.  

Eventually, I led a study on it at my local church.  It was faithfully attended and the women all grew closer.  I believed in the message of this book and it was truly the turning point I needed in my own faith walk.

Fast forward seven months later and my Father passed away but not without another initiation of cruelty from those surrounding his death.  I can honestly tell you that the seeds planted in me from this book were the foundation for a spirituality I am proud to say WORKS!  It is a connection with God that cannot be broken.  It is strong, true, and it runs deep.

"We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."  It was the overflow of their lives, and it became the routine of their lives.

All quotes from the book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl  by Lysa Terkeurst

This post must have been meant to be because my son is still napping and I finished it!  Praises!

Heart Thoughts by Louise L. Hay - Book Review

Heart Thoughts

This book is BEAUTIFUL!  It is not a tiny pocket book, but a well-organized book of "spiritual treatments" as stated on the back cover.  This is what sets this book apart from being only affirmations.   This is a beautiful way to start each day or before your prayer/meditation time.  Each beautifully illustrated, glossy page is listed in a table of contents.  Here is just a few of the many spiritual treatment pages:

I started reading this book at the coffee shop on a day I felt pretty stressed.  As I read the inspiring, positive, life-affirming words, I breathed deeply.  After a few pages I felt so much better.  If you liked the artsy version book of You Can Heal Your Life this book is right up your alley!  Also, because Heart Thoughts is so beautifully produced it makes a great gift!

I was sent this book from Hay House for my honest review.

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Ways to Know Your Inner Pilot Light is Guiding You

10 Ways To Know Your Inner Pilot Light Is Guiding You by
1.     Hunches arise during meditation - and you pay attention to them.
2.     Physical sensations appear that may signal something deeper (whether they’re unpleasant symptoms like back pain or excited sensations like butterflies in your stomach).
3.     You’ve distanced yourself from caring what everyone else thinks.
4.     Dreams offer you messages, suggestions, or guidance - and you take notice.
5.     Books (or blog posts!) speak directly to where you are in your life, and you listen.
6.     When roadblocks appear on your current path, you don’t see it as failure, but as a sign from your Inner Pilot Light that you’re supposed to take a fork in the road.
7.     You notice that plunk of rightness you feel when you finally make a choice - and you just know it’s the best one for you, even if it makes no sense to anyone else.
8.     You feel the confidence that you will always land butter-side up, no matter how crazy, impossible, or implausible something might seem.
9.     You start to feel like you’re in the flow because everything gets easier.
10.  You’ve ditched the masks, let your freak flag fly, and tapped into that authentic part of you that always knows the way.