Do you use music in your therapy room? If so, what is your preference – classical, new age, traditional, contemporary? Something else? Have you ever wondered how and why certain tracks or sounds are better at relaxation than others? Have you ever struggled to find the ‘right’ music for your style of treatment?
I have been working with therapeutic sound and music since 1994 and have developed different techniques based on how our brains have evolved to respond to sound and music due to the way our brains have evolved over millions of years. Different sounds (whether they be music or nature sounds) can elicit different responses, so high pitched sudden and short sounds will stimulate the mind and body and low pitches will relax”.
These days more research is being done to find out how we react to different instruments. For example, people will use words such as ‘warm, rich and cuddly’ to describe the sound of the Himalayan singing bowls whereas the crystal singing bowls were found to be ‘cleansing, clear and cool’. A BAST Sound Therapist will use this ‘sound psychology’ as well as other techniques based on research to help improve health and wellbeing.
Therapeutic sound and music can be applied in your therapy room and I’d love to share my latest project ‘LifeSonics RelaxÒ’ with you. LifeSonics RelaxÒ is a ‘music medicine’ programme that will mainly be delivered in group relaxation sessions. Participants will be taken on a musical journey designed to improve health and wellbeing. As well as group sessions, you can download separate tracks to use in your therapy room or at home and/or work. This ‘Consciously Designed Music’ (CDM) draws on research in the fields of sound and music psychology, sound therapy, sound cognition and neuroscience together with creativity to create music for a therapeutic effect. Great composers such as Mozart used sounds to elicit different emotions and many great artists use music to tell a story – especially in film. Most composers use intuition and experience to create their music and there is nothing wrong with that – a lot of great music is created in exactly this way.
I also feel that reducing music just to a specific formula could take away its soul, which is something that I definitely don’t want to do! I see my compositions rather baking a cake. The cake could end up being chocolate, carrot or lemon. The basic ingredients you need will always be roughly the same (eggs, flour, butter) but you can add extra ingredients until you get the exact flavour, size and shape you want. When I set out to create a piece for relaxation or creativity – just like baking two different cakes, once I have the basic ingredients in place I will then add different ingredients (instruments, musical intervals and ‘motives’, tempo, shape and time). I also try to use as many natural sounds as possible. A study by Ratcliffe et.al, (2013) found that ‘bird songs and calls were….the type of natural sound most commonly associated with perceived stress recovery and attention restoration.’
I will sit with a piece for weeks and weeks sometimes. Listening to it and feeling the effect, tweaking one or two sounds, re-listening, re-tweaking – it can be a real ‘fine tuning’ process. In my last piece, ‘Glow’, I knew the last track needed something and yet I just couldn’t find the sound I needed. It took months! One day I thought popped into my head – I need Gibbons! I found a lovely sample of some Gibbons in the rainforest and it has brought the piece to life.
Take a look at my compositions on my Soundcloud account – you can also go on to www.lifesonics.com and in exchange for signing up you can get a sample of ‘Cosmic’ one of the LifeSonics RelaxÒ sessions. When you are next considering what music to accompany your therapy session, think about how the tracks make you feel. Stop for a moment, take in what you are hearing and feeling – let your mind go and see what happens. If the music supports you, relaxes you and helps you feel refreshed it is perfect. If it distracts you, the tempo is too fast or there are too many high pitches, you may want to try something else.
By Lyz Cooper of The British Academy of Sound Therapy –
BCMA Independent School
Anna-Louise Haigh explains her pioneering approach to an ancient skill
Every therapist wants to deliver their very best for their clients. Building trust and rapport quickly during the initial consultation is essential. Knowing and understanding your clients more deeply means that you can really meet their needs before they even know they have them! Every day, since 1988, with every client, I use Soulistic Face Reading to help me achieve the success my clients recommend me for!
Not only is this ancient skill fascinating because of its accuracy to unveil important messages about character, health and underlying personality, it is essential for anyone who wants to really ‘know’ themselves at a deep soul level.
I attribute the consistent results that clients enjoy to the fact that this skill has helped me understand their unspoken and underlying causes of their dis-ease and dis-harmony. By trusting the insights of this highly accurate skill, I know that I am always meeting my client’s needs which softens those times of self-doubt every practitioner experiences.
What is Face Reading?
So, what is Face Reading and why am I still so fascinated about it after all this time? Let me start by telling you what it is NOT! Despite it being called a ‘reading’, this is not a psychic endeavour to reveal the future or confirm what is already known. It is also NOT about interpreting facial expressions.
Face Reading is the systematic interpretation of the structure, features and lines of the face which reveals insights about personality, character and well-being status. Every aspect of the face holds messages that create the story of the person, chapter by chapter, hence the name Face Reading.
Where it all began
Dating back to the ancient days of Chinese Emperors, as with acupuncture and reflexology, a volume of knowledge was amassed based which became validated over time. Face Reading, or Siang Mein as it is called in China, is based on observing people’s behaviour and health in conjunction with common facial characteristics. Initial correlations were catalogued and conclusions were drawn after thousands of observations.
One of the most common applications of traditional Face Reading is found within the Chinese medical system. Although Western Medicine or Complementary Practitioners would not claim to ‘diagnose’ through Face Reading, the accuracy of this approach is commonly used within Traditional Chinese Medicine to assist in diagnosing a patient’s condition.
This picture is taken from a 400-year book which identifies the significance of parts of the face with personality traits.
Face Reading Speaks Volumes
At the time, with no books available, I built upon my initial introduction by basically following the Chinese approach to learn and trust my observations. Having conducted many thousands of Face Readings myself, I know how accurate this approach is.
When engaging with a client, I listen to their story, and at the same time I am reading the features and lines on their face. This allows me to ask, ‘just the right’ questions which open up their ‘real’ well-being needs. Then, I can create the most appropriate treatment session which ignites their return to balance and well-being on all levels.
Over time, witnessing how this approach went deeper than just assisting with general holistic needs, it became obvious that a new level was being reached. I coined the term Soulistic Face Reading to reflect the depth of this whole-being approach. This means that clients receive support for their mind, body, emotions and soul.
Stories the Face Can Tell – A Case Study
Here I am going to highlight 5 attributes and their meanings for this person. Each feature tells part of the story of the person so when they are all put together a clear understanding is unveiled.
- Wispy hairs along the hairline – Indicate natural creativity and that there is a strong soul need to be regularly engaged in something that brings the imagination to life in order for the person to feel fulfilled, whole and happy.
- Eyebrows – In general, straight eyebrows indicate a very pragmatic approach to life. Curved ones indicate a natural interest in spiritual matters. In this case, they are slightly curved which shows that she is cautious about exploring ideas that are not concrete, however, once she has enough information to make up her mind, she is likely to be very engaged.
- Ears – The upper rim of her ear angles outwards indicating that she has a naturally playful, even mischievous, side. She gets bored easily, so it is important to direct her energy towards something productive and meaningful.
- Lower lip – The lips represent what is happening in the digestive tract. In this case, because the lower lip is larger than the upper one, my observation would be that she struggles with bloating and needs to be better hydrated. From a soul perspective, it is likely that she experiences deep lack of self-appreciation and holds onto emotional issues unnecessarily so there is a need to ‘let go and move on.’
- Face Shape – In Soulistic Face Reading as I teach it, we focus on five main face shapes. Each one reflects a selection of core personality traits. The slim, long face shape pictured here denotes that this person likes a challenge and who gets restless easily. She is motivated by achieving goals and has a need to be recognised for doing so. She will give her best to meet the needs of others who she wants to please.
Overall, this young woman is happiest when focused on achieving her goals through creative expression which she approaches with great enthusiasm and dedication. She inwardly challenges herself to overcome what she perceives to be past failures, and can be unnecessarily hard on herself.
As a client, although it would be typical if she presented wanting help with headaches or migraines or insomnia, employing Soulistic Face Reading would reveal her deep sense of feeling out of balance, frustration at not moving forward fast enough due to lacking direction. I would approach her well-being needs by helping her feel more grounded, and comfortable at times of rest. In doing so, she would have the time and space to gather her energy and focus her mind which would give her the clarity she seeks.
Meeting the needs of today’s clients
We are in times or great uncertainty, it is said. I believe that we are in a time of great opportunity. While so many things are seemingly outside our control, it is only your clients are seeking some sort of stability. The foundation of true well-being is found in feeling content, fulfilled and valued.
For this reason, self-knowing is the key to unlocking the inner wealth of well-being and wholeness that underpins all our decisions, experiences and relationships. Soulistic Face Reading is the art and skill of self-knowing that every therapist can use, and every client can benefit from. This fresh and exciting approach to a time-honoured skill gives well-being practitioners the opportunity to expand their reach and make a difference in greater ways. Many students of Soulistic Face Reading develop a mentoring role which enhances their value to clients.
Learn Soulistic Face Reading Online
The time is right to share Soulistic Face Reading beyond the classroom. Delivered with the same richness of information, numerous reference illustrations supported by clear guidance, it is now possible for every well-being professional to gain the benefit of this fascinating approach. Learning online gives you the freedom to study when it is most convenient, yet have the connection with other students and myself through our dedicated Facebook community. Completing this accredited course means you will have received a thorough education and the opportunity to know and grow yourself, improve your relationships and strengthen your career….and benefit all your clients too!
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Anna-Louise Haigh was the first BCMA Member to do a webinar for the BCMA in November, thanks to Anna-Louise it was so successful we plan to do many more!
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