Healthy Sound Practices Podcast

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Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Michael Seng on the Oneness Approach podcast. During our conversation, I explained the harmful effects of noise pollution and how we can use sound to heal, reduce stress, anxiety, the effects of ASD and other health problems.

Listen in by following this link  http://www.onenessapproach.com/podcasts/alex-doman/ to learn what healthy sound practices you should incorporate into your daily routine to reduce stress, increase focus and improve your listening skills.

 

Never work a day in your life

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“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Confucius

How right Confucius was. What got me thinking about this quote was this picture of my son Brendan. My wife often sends me photos and videos of our family when I am at the office or traveling on business. A highly effective ploy to get me home.

Today’s image of Brendan listening and coloring autumn leaves as we begin the rhythm of the fall season gave me a feeling of immediate gratitude. Appreciation that each day when I wake I GET to do what I LOVE.

Why do I love my job? I am surrounded by amazing, brilliant, caring people. And what we do as a collective team touches lives through listening in meaningful and often profound ways, including my own family.

Case in point. My son is among dozens of participants in a preliminary clinical trial investigating the benefits of a rhythmic music listening program we’ve been developing over the past several years. He is listening to intercultural rhythms and music that in just a few short weeks appear to have made a dramatic shift in his brain sparking his imagination, musicality, communication, planning, play, rhythm and timing. And, I’m hearing similar reports from others. Many of which are transformational, giving me great excitement to see what range of benefits may come for the kids and adults who are involved in our research.

It’s the results that drive me to do the job I love, and the reason why I will never have to work a day in my life. 

Which brain areas are involved in music listening?

One of the more common questions we field about The Listening Program® (TLP) is “which brain areas are involved in music listening? I thought I’d take the opportunity to explore this a bit with you here at The Brain Understanding Itself.

The brain is musical; neuroscience has proven through functional brain imaging that when we listen to music, virtually the whole brain is involved.

Music listening not only involves the auditory areas of the brain, but also engages large-scale neural networks including; prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, sensory cortex, auditory cortex, visual cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, corpus callosum, autonomic nervous system, vestibular system, and the enteric nervous system.

TLP helps conduct the neural symphony, connecting the most ancient parts of the brain to the most advanced.

If you are not already familiar with TLP it is an easy, pleasurable and effective method to improve your brain health and performance.  Here’s a great video with clients and professionals who have made  listening a daily practice to help with brain injury recovery, autism, reading, learning, attention, peak performance, wellness and more.

Areas of brain focus The Listening Program is designed to challenge and advance: 

Executive Function
Executive function is an umbrella term for a set of high-level mental processes that control and regulate other abilities and behaviors. They include the ability to initiate and stop actions, to monitor and change behavior as needed, and to plan future behavior when faced with novel asks and situations. Executive functions allow us to anticipate outcomes and adapt to changing situations.

Examples: attention, memory, behavior, organization, time management, self control

Communication
Communication is your ability to exchange information, thoughts, and opinions through verbal and written expression including speech, language, voice and writing; as well as non verbal expression such as gesture, facial expressions, and body language.

Examples: verbal comprehension, oral & written communication, voice quality, reading comprehension, understood by others, understanding body language

Auditory Processing
Auditory processing is your ability to understand and make sense of what you hear. Difficulty processing auditory information can have a negative impact on learning, thinking, communication and relationships.

Examples: listening, following verbal directions, focusing with background noise, comfort with sound, understanding tone of voice, sound discrimination

Social & Emotional
Your ability to relate to others, manage emotions, resolve conflicts, understand and respond to social situations is impacted by your social skills and emotional intelligence.

Examples: self-confidence, compassion, social interactions, interpersonal relationships, mood regulation, conflict resolution

Stress Response
Your body and brain is hard-wired to react to stress to protect you against threats, whether real or imagined. But, if your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That’s because your body’s “fight-or-flight reaction” — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.

Examples: stress reduction, relaxation, less overwhelmed, lower tension, better sleep, reduce nervous habits

Motor Coordination
Motor coordination is the harmonious functioning of body parts that involve movement including: gross motor skills such as walking, skipping, running and throwing; fine motor movement such as handwriting, buttoning a shirt, and keyboarding; and motor planning, the ability of the brain to conceive, organize and carry out purposeful movements.

Examples: balance, body awareness, coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, activity level

Creative Expression
Your ability to express yourself creatively involves original & open thinking, imagination, problem solving, and movement to create something new and/or respond to opportunities.

Examples: musicality, opening thinking, visual arts, creative writing, innovation, problem solving

Based on sound science, The Listening Program® music trains the brain to improve how you perceive, process and respond to the flood of sensory information in our environment today. This leads to personal growth helping you to live a happier, productive, and more fulfilling life.

To learn more please free to visit http://advancedbrain.com or give us a call at +1.801.622.5676

Be Selfish

selfiSH: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.  Sounds bad right? Who in the world wants to be perceived as self seeking, without regard for others? It goes against everything we are taught growing up; which is to put others first.  However, the airline rule to put the oxygen mask on yourself first is with good reason. What good are you to others if you’re not breathing?

Parents naturally put their children and loved ones first. We worry if we take time for ourselves that somehow we are doing less for our family.  The truth is if you are not taking care of yourself, there is nothing left to give your children, spouse, or anyone else.

You know what it feels like when you’re not practicing good self care; tired, frustrated, and grumpy with a generally pessimistic perspective on life. No longer mindful, you disengage, physically present but mentally absent, the sky darkens, and you check out with burn out. You’re still breathing but barely.

Yet, when doing the things that make you feel great; energy is high, optimism abounds, you’re present, engaged, and checked in. Not just breathing, but happily giving oxygen to loved ones, accomplishing more with less stress.

This is an argument for being selfish. Take some time each day to practice good self care. Feed yourself with what makes you feel good. Exercise, meditation, reading, and rest nourish your mind, body and soul.

One way to feed yourself is through a listening practice. Take 15-30 minutes in the morning or evening to listen using The Listening Program®, acoustically-modified music which relaxes the body and focuses the mind. Those of you who already know what it means to “listen” in this context understand the value of the daily listening practice.

Whatever works for you just do it, be selfish; take the time to breathe life into yourself. The results will be evident.

Conscious Listening with Julian Treasure

For the past few months I’ve really been enjoying my new Sound Brain Fitness Series. These free monthly, 60 minute teleseminars are open to the public and cover wide ranging topics intended to help people transform their lives through a better understanding of sound, music, and the brain.

The next program is October 3rd at 8:00 pm eastern. My guest is Julian Treasure; author, four-time TED.com speaker, and leading sound consultant. The topic is Conscious Listening.  Julian and I will explore listening, our active relationship with sound. Listening is something almost everyone does, and it profoundly impacts on our health, effectiveness and relationships, and even changes our reality – and yet almost no-one thinks about it consciously or trains to become better at it.

Along the way they we’ll cover:

  • What listening is
  • How it differs from hearing and how we do it
  • Why our listening is in danger
  • The pros and cons of headphones
  • Five practices for becoming a conscious listener

Please join us for this exciting hour and register here. You can listen on the phone or online. When you register be sure to submit a question you would like to have answered on the call. There will also be an opportunity to call in and have your question answered live!

Turn it Down! Talking Noise and Tweens

TURN IT DOWN! Sound familiar? This is a phase nearly every parent of a tween or teen will undoubtedly find themselves shouting over the din of whatever music is blasting out of their kid’s headphones.

As our sons and daughters head back to school its a great time to talk to them about safe listening habits. In Healing at the Speed of Sound® Don Campbell and I write extensively about the dangers of noise exposure, especially for our children, who often spend countless hours listening to music through ear-buds. Take a look at the Noisy Planet website to learn why you need to worry about noise and how to start a conversation about Noise Induced Hearing Loss with your children sooner than later.

From Noisy Planet— We are surrounded by noises, many of which have the potential to cause hearing loss. This also is true of kids, who take part in a variety of activities that put their hearing at risk. Any loss of hearing by children can have lifelong implications for learning, social relationships, and job opportunities.

In response, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has launched It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing. The Noisy Planet campaign is NIDCD’s new public education effort aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among children ages 8 to 12, or “tweens.” This age range presents a window of opportunity to teach children about the causes and prevention of NIHL while they are developing their own attitudes and habits related to their health, including their hearing health.

Adapted from the It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing campaign (http://www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov), a program of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health.”