Music Therapy With Songwriter Phil Maffetone
For those unfamiliar with the multi-talented Dr. Phil Maffetone, it’s hard for me to sum up his achievements in such limited space. As a longtime health physician practicing applied kinesiology, he has treated many great athletes and musicians over the years, and continues to do so today. Over the past many years, he has focused his attention from doctor and author to music and songwriting. As only Phil can do, he has studied the effects of music on brain waves and how that applies to an individual’s health, and developed his songs to not only be enjoyable, but also therapeutic. Check out his website and listen to some Rosemary and other therapeutic songs.
The following information is from Phil himself.
Brain waves are a way to generally measure our state of consciousness. The four commonly measured waves reflect various states: beta – high cortical activity; alpha – creative, relaxing; theta – eureka state, pre-sleep; delta – sleep. Dysfunction occurs when the wrong brain waves appear during certain states. For example, delta waves that appear during reading are abnormal. The inability to produce alpha waves is also abnormal. Blood sugar dysfunction, sleep deprivation, nutritional inadequacies and other problems can significantly influence brain function and its waves.
The ability to produce alpha waves is associated with an overall healthy brain, body and mind. It is one reason people have, for thousands of years, attempted to use meditation, prayer, drugs and other approaches to obtain this healthy condition.
The ability to generate alpha waves is associated with self-regulation of stress. Specifically, alpha waves can reduce high levels of cortisol and help balance autonomic function. Secondary affects include improved blood sugar regulation, better gut function, balanced hormones, etc.
Small amounts of caffeine may increase alpha waves in some people, and other suppress alpha. Deep breathing and closing the eyes can also increase alpha waves. Music is a universal way to produce alpha waves. Certain forms of music do this better than others (and the music should be enjoyable). Mozart and the Beatles are two examples of large volumes of well known music that have powerful alpha effects.
The more powerful alpha songs of mine include Rosemary, The City’s Always Open, Karolina, Secret Lover, Circles, Younger Than Ever, Oh Bethasia and Better Days, although some people respond even better to other songs as there’s a component of individuality. I recommend people use Rosemary as a short meditation during the day, with eyes closed and deep breathing. — Phil Maffetone