(PRWEB) January 19, 2005
On a freezing Sunday in Jaslo, Poland, three pet budgies, named Cziko, Czako and Dako, fell asleep in broad daylight to the strains of John LevineÂs alphamusic. Consider that parrots only sleep in the dark and this funny little story instantly becomes intriguing.
For Levine, who has spent years developing alphamusic, the sleeping budgies endorse his belief in its influence, ÂWithout human interference, suggestion or expectation, the budgies show the connection between alphamusic, the brainÂs response and behaviour,Â he says.
While it takes years of meditation practice to find alpha Âon demandÂ, Levine has proved that alphamusic takes you there in less than five minutes. In alpha the brain operates at low frequencies, needed to produce the Âfeel good hormones," seratonin and dopamine. At this level, the mind relaxes, yet is completely conscious and alert.
In a test conducted at a Krakow Medical Institute, a chain smoking patient with extreme hyperactivity agreed to be tested via EEG. Wired up, the patientÂs brainwaves at first registered high beta levels (18-25 Hz), associated with extreme feelings of Âfight or flightÂ. After listening to LevineÂs composition Silence of Peace for four minutes, the patientÂs brainwaves subsided to alpha, below 12 Hz. The patient reported feeling calm and in control of their stress and anxiety.
Each alphamusic composition explores and re-explores a single musical plain. While it seems to Âgo nowhereÂ and has no dramatic crescendo, alphamusic keeps the mind interested and moving forward, and discourages emotional ÂspikingÂ.
Levine is a graduate composer from the University of Sydney, Australia. He has studied and taught meditation for over two decades, as well as exploring the metaphysics of illness, psychology, brain physiology and the mechanics of hearing.
He is constantly inspired by feedback from his listeners. Stewart Holmes, a 49-year old environmental scientist, lives in Cambridge, UK, is an ardent fan of alphamusic. After a freak boating accident left him with a fractured skull, Holmes contracted often deadly cerebral meningitis.
He spent the next 15 years managing his own recovery, then embarked on a degree course at an English university. Dyslexia added to his difficulties with achieving his post-graduate degree.
When he chanced upon alphamusic, it significantly improved his ability to focus on and absorb written material. Holmes says, ÂRehab programs use music to calm you down, because you get so stressed and angry trying to recuperate, but it didnÂt work for me. Alphamusic is completely different. I put it on and itÂs like a curtain coming down over all the bother. Somehow it helps me focus and direct my energy.Â
Children respond well to alphamusic. Those diagnosed with hyperactivity (add/adhd) disorders find it especially effective. Judith Schultz, President of the Australian Wannabee Foundation, which supports add/adhd children and their parents, says,ÂWithin five minutes of listening to JohnÂs music on headphones, add/adhd/hyperactive children were saying they felt sleepy.Â
In England, Levine conducts alphamusic workshops for hyperactive children. Using alphamusic, they focus on tasks for far longer than usually expected. Meanwhile in Australia two dozen pre-schools use alphamusic to help children focus on collaborative and creative tasks.
At St MatthewÂs Primary School, Cambridge, U.K., Principal David Somerville has introduced alphamusic to remedial mathÂs classes and even plays alphamusic during mathÂs exams.
Conventional medicine is currently very interested in the use of music for pain and anxiety management. The University of Melbourne School of Music has received a government subsidy to play live music in the waiting rooms and wards of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The BBC documentary series, The Power of Music, reports a 50% drop in the use of analgesics since music was introduced in Swiss hospital wards. At the Jagelonian Medical Research Institute in Cracow, Poland, doctors have used alphamusic for research into pain management strategies in cancer patients. In another study, a dental research program successfully used alphamusic to reduce patient anxiety.
Complementary health practitioners can afford to smile at this enthusiasm from the mainstream. They have always recognised music as a powerful assistant. The late Jack Temple, author of ÂThe HealerÂ and ÂThe Medicine ManÂ said,ÂI am so taken by John`s alphamusic that I not only play it in my clinic, but also at home. I find the music completely relaxing.Â
At the moment, Levine is negotiating with a well-known Oxford foundation to conduct further research into the effects of alphamusic on the brain. From the budgies that fell asleep to alphamusic in 2003, to the end of 2004, Levine has released 7 CDs of alphamusic, all of which are free to listen to at http://www.silenceofmusic.com Levine has an 8-week Alpha Memory and Learning Course about to begin at Cambridge University, England. An Australian tour is scheduled for April 2005.
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