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 Explore Healing Music and Sounds 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Simply Well by . View all columns in series

* Sing. Open your mouth, your eyes, your throat. Sing at the top of your lungs, or quietly hum under your breath. Use singing to lift your spirits and to breathe more fully. Chant or hum to get your energy vibrating. Repeat the same sound or phrase to relax you, raise your consciousness, or reprogram your body with a health-inspiring message.

* Play an instrument. Maybe it’s time to dig out that old guitar, recorder, or drum, or to start taking lessons. For many people, playing music is both a form of releasing energy and relaxing, and a means of creative expression. Drums are particularly good for this and can be used without any instruction.

* Listen to natural sounds. Hear the air move through your nostrils as you meditate. Use wind sounds in combination with visualization to help you clear certain conditions, like headaches or a sense of confusion. Use water sounds for encouraging relaxation. The sounds of birds chirping are excellent for inspiring hope and joy. Be creative. Make up your own uses for natural sounds.

Build Your Repertoire
Perhaps you have plenty of musical favorites to choose from already, different selections to help you relax or to release built-up frustration. But if you don’t, it may be time to start accumulating a music library of pieces that you can use for winding up or winding down. Many large music stores have a section of New Age instrumental music (also called Ambient or Space music) with a variety of interesting selections. Classical music also offers unending possibilities. See the following resources for some suggestions.

Contemporary Audio *

Anugama—Shamanic Dream II
One of the finest examples of healing music to date. Ideal for bodywork or movement.

Bruce BecVar—Forever Blue Sky
Bruce is a guitarist with a naturally commercial sound. His heartfelt guitar playing is augmented by orchestration and other effects that expand the sound of his music. Relaxed yet lively, this recording never gets old.

Patrick Bernhardt—Solaris Universalis
Patrick is a well-traveled Canadian artist with a heavenly voice and a gift for universally appealing music. This is his most popular release, with long tracks, multitracked Sanskrit mantras, and a spiritual feeling that is reminiscent of Enya’s music.

Robert Haig Coxon—The Silent Path
Recommended to massage practitioners. The combining of gentle keyboards, Tibetan gongs, and orchestral instruments such as oboe and flute make for a deeply moving recording of peaceful music.

Jonathan Goldman—The Lost Chord
Deep chant and overtone. Wonderful music for meditation or deep listening, with a Tibetan influence. Based on the extensive training that Goldman has had with lamas from that part of the world.

This CD has probably accompanied numberless human passages: births, deaths, healings, and celebrations. Keyboards, Middle Eastern doumbek rhythms, a jazz bassist/flute player, a percussionist, and two angelic singers join in this musical communion.

Deva Premal—The Essence
Beautiful chant recording, mostly sanskrit mantras, such as the "Gayatri Mantra." Deva Premal’s magnificent voice and emotional expression set this apart from the field.

Raphael—Music to Disappear In
Neoclassical composing meets shamanic heart rhythms. Can be used for movement, deep listening, massage, and in other inspired settings.

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 About The Author
John W. Travis, MD, MPH, is the creator of the Wellness Inventory and its parent, the Wellness Index. He is the founder and co-director of ...moreJohn Travis MD, MPH
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