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Healing harp sounds in a professional
Music on prescription for individuals or groups
How harp healing works on health and wellbeing
From time immemorial the harp has been an aid for the ailing due to the healing characteristics of the sound.
The ancient Greeks and Egyptians knew the healthy influence of the harp. In the Bible the recovery of one of King Salomon’s depressive moods was attributed to the harp playing of David.
In present times there has been diverse research done relevant to the effects of music on mankind.
In The Netherlands Professor Dr. Erk Scherder, Dr. Dick Schwaab and Dr. Artur Jaschke are well-known for their research in the fields of neuropsychology, neurobiology and neuroscience with relation to music as medicine. The Foundation MuzIC demonstrates the effects of live music with regards to biological health, emotions and mental welfare of patients in Intensive Care wards of hospitals in The Netherlands (www.muz-IC.nl).
It is now known that live music, adapted to accommodate the individual patient, has a favorable influence on the heartbeat, blood pressure, oxygen absorption and feelings of interconnection for the patient. The consequences are that less medication is needed and therefore lessens the possibility of side-effects deeming the hospitalization less traumatic for both patient and next of kin.
Not only for the patient
In the ward of a hospital or in a nursing home, retirement residence, special needs living quarters, hospices and other care facilities, live music also has a harmonious effect on both staff and the family. Experience has proved that the workers have been so positively influenced that their duties were more pleasantly completed and patients ate more easily, slept better, were at ease and behavioral problems declined. Music is often a warm welcoming diversion too.
Through the possibility of creating a cradle of sound, the harp has a healing effect on the whole being and their surroundings. A person is not just a mechanical organism consisting of parts that may or may not fully function but a complete human being within a physical body that encompasses thoughts, emotions and a longing for meaning and connection.
The therapeutic harpist has these facets in mind whilst therapeutically playing. This way therapeutic harp playing fits seamlessly with the Positive Heath concept of General Practioner Dr. Machteld Huber (https://www.iph.nl).
Vulnerability of the youngest
Additionally, in the perinatal environs therapeutic harp playing has proved its’ service.
By adjusting to the breathing rate with soft melodic sounds, the newborn babies with complications become calmer. This reduces the ‘bleeps’ of the monitors which in turn creates a peaceful atmosphere for all those present. As a result, this small child can fully utilize its’ energy to build strength and its’ own vitality. At the same time live music is also a wonderful way to strengthen the bond between parent and child and relax together.
Met dank aan Pim Giel Miracles of Music
Growing costs a lot of energy, especially if one is born with complications. For the parents it is also a tense and stressful time.
Therapeutic harp playing supports this growth period with healing sounds. It instils relaxation whereby the stress is reduced and the body can redirect the energy for growth. Because the sound is specifically adapted for the body of that child it works as an energetic cradle in this difficult period. This in turn imparts calm for both the parents and the child. Simultaneously the hospital staff enjoy the calming atmosphere of the therapeutic harp playing. A collective reveling in this type of live music.
Children and the harp
The harp lends itself beautifully as a support to stories and fairy-tales. The shape and sound of the harp speaks to the fantasy of children. Having the children play the harp creates the interconnection with the story or fairy-tale. It also introduces the sense of touch, and along with sight and hearing not only reinforces a pedagogical approach but also encompassing the experience as a whole. In this way the harp can be utilized in children’s hospital wards, also for special needs children and in primary schools.
Pregnancy and Births
During pregnancy the mother establishes intimate contact with the child. The hearing of an unborn infant is developed in the early stages and the sounds and vibrations of music are transported via the amniotic fluid. Here is another example where the harp can be of use to relax the mother and child through a song attuned to the baby. This song could also be recorded and later used when desired.
During the birth process suitable harp sounds can be very soothing to the mother. Hence more examples where this type of harp playing can be applied.