Laurence Marie, Therapeutic Musician
Some years later, as Laurence was dealing with personal health issues, she studied natural therapy and homeopathy. She then began looking for a way to combine her knowledge and skills as a nurse, a musician and a natural therapist, or as she says, "put all of the components of my life together. I found a program in
Therapeutic music is an art based on the science of sound in which acoustic music is played and tailored to the immediate needs of the client, using the intrinsic elements of music: that is, vibrations, resonance and entrainment. Since the harp is the musical instrument that vibrates the most, it affects the entire body, allowing for relaxation, or focused concentration, depending upon the mode used by the harpist.
Notes and scales tend to resonate with different parts of the body, relieving pain or discomfort. Entrainment involves the use of music that will encourage brain waves of 7 to 12 cycles per second for alert relaxation or 12 to 18 cycles per second for optimum working efficiency. People who are stressed or anxious may have brain waves as high as 30 cycles per second, indicating a mind that is literally "racing." Music played with a regular tempo also encourages a regular heartbeat.Therapeutic Music is for everyone from birth to end of life. It can be used before, during and after birth and also for premature infants. Hospitalized children and those with special needs (autism, CP, ADHD, Down syndrome etc.) also benefit from Therapeutic Music.
It can be used for adults with special needs (CP, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s etc.) or those in rehabilitation following a cerebrovascular accident.
Therapeutic Music can be used for people in Intensive care, Post-Operative care, Oncology, Palliative care as well as for end of life vigils.
Benefits of Therapeutic Music / Harp Therapy
It helps with:
- muscular tension
- lowering blood pressure
- pulse and respiratory rate
- gentler transitioning
Vibro-Acoustic Harp Therapy
In addition to the harps, Laurence has a vibro-acoustic mattress which rests on a standard massage table and is connected to her harp through an amplifier. She uses this with adults with neurological issues, such as Parkinson's or MS. While it's not a cure for those chronic conditions, Laurence says the symptoms can be alleviated, as areas of stress and pain are relieved.
While confidentiality precludes naming clients, the mother of one young man, who had suffered brain injury as a result of diabetic coma said, "It was a great relief to know that music therapy, specifically harp therapy, was available here. I had done some research and learned it could be beneficial in many circumstances, including cases of brain injury. My son was Laurence's client for five years. He enjoyed the sessions, responded well to her music and conversation and, quite frankly, the sessions provided peace and comfort to all of us. Our family is thankful to have had the opportunity to work with her and experience first hand how beneficial harp therapy sessions are."