"It's the Ciiiiiirrrrrrcllleeee of ... HEALTH"... If you now have a hankering for the Lion King, I went ahead and posted it HERE. SO. GOOD.
Okay, back to this post... stay focused, Miquel.. So, along with being a music therapist, I am also a vocal instructor. As a vocal instructor, I understand the need for having a healthy, relaxed body and vocal chords to produce the best, healthiest sounds possible. One of the biggest battles in producing vocalizations is first letting go of tensions found throughout the body. It is important to have a relaxed body and relaxed vocal chords so that all the singing mechanisms work as efficiently as possible (i.e. not hindering good breath support and being able to move notes quickly and smoothly through the chords and through the mouth). I do not know a single person who is "tension-free". Some tension is good... it helps us to not be big blobs of jelly, for instance... However, tension is usually a sign of stress or some kind of emotional cloggage (just made that word up.. you can do that when you're the author of your own blog ;) ) So... HERE is where the "circle of health" comes in to play. Our emotional self and physical self are so connected that when something is in disarray emotionally, our bodies will feel it and vice versa, when there is tension in our bodies, we know that there might be some things we need to stop and examine emotionally to see what we might be holding in. It's a big circle.. a big circle of health, if you will :)-- our emotions affect our bodies and our bodies tell us to check on our emotions..... AND THEN, there are times when the tension in our bodies drives us to being stressed out! .... STOP THE MADNESS.... Awareness is the first key in stopping the madness. Be aware of your body... what is it trying to tell you? Take a break from the craziness of life and check your emotions and ask if they are trying to signal your attention through your body... I would suggest not asking your body and emotions these questions out loud, in front of others... Although... no judgment here! ;)
Here are some quotes from one of my favorite books about body-mind connection, "Peace, Love, and Healing: Bodymind Communication & the Path to Self-Healing: An Exploration" by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
- "The body and mind are a unit, bound together via nerves and messenger molecules. Love, hope, joy and peace of mind have physiological consequences, just as depression and despair do. That's what the science of mind-body communication is all about."
- "Pay attention to the messages from your body and heal whatever may be hurting you and be aware of the information you are giving your body."
- "Most important of all is the ability to say no to things you don't want to do."
- "Find things you love to do and fit them into your schedule."
- "Don't get depressed by depression but use it to learn and help change your life."
- "If you share your difficulties, you will find that you become a healer for others and they for you."
- "Humor and joy enhance immune function and lower hormone levels related to stress."
- "'Holy Shit.' I think those words are a great description of life."
- "I believe that a healed life need not exclude the so-called negative emotions. Anger, for example, may be a more positive response to a grim diagnosis than passive resignation. Feelings are not to be judged. Anger has its place, so long as it is freely and safely expressed rather than held inside where it can have a destructive effect and lead to resentment and hatred."
- "The body can be very ingenious in getting what it needs."
I could go on and on with the pearls of wisdom from Dr. Bernie but if you want to know more, check out his book!
I wish you all much peace, love, and joy as you go through the day today... and don't forget to listen to your body!!
Miquel Garland, MT-BC
P.S. The picture up top is a Mandala, which is used in art therapy a lot... Print it out and color to relax and breathe. :)