Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FYI: Memorium for Marjorie de Muynck

I received the sad news today that Energy Healer/Musician/Animal Advocate/Sound Healer/Author Marjorie de Muynck died from her battle with cancer in January.  I don't have an exact date or any information except for what Marjorie shared with me in the last e-mail she sent me.  At that point she was paralyzed from the waist down and battling cancer for the third time, this time she had a tumor on her lower spine and kidneys.

If you were a student in one of my healing music workshops, you will know about Marjorie and what a dear soul and healer she was and still is because I think she's sticking around for all of us, and she's definitely sticking around for the non-humans who she dearly loved and supported in their plight on Mother Earth. I received so many passionate e-mails from Marjorie, who also hooked me up with a few animal advocacy groups, kept me informed on petitions, etc...Meanwhile, she was obtaining her Masters in Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine.  And prior to that, she had already worked so tirelessly with her sound healing efforts.

I encountered Marjorie when her CD arrived in my mail box when Sounds True sent it to me, I believe in 2007.  I interviewed her for WME and then we started corresponding through e-mails and subsequent interviews.  She had promised that after she passed on, she would still advocate for the animals and for healing with music.  I believe her.

I still feel grief though knowing that Marjorie left this world, and I see her as a pagan saint.  I wonder if she would chuckle at the idea.  I send love to Marjorie's partner Linda, who must be feeling insufferable grief and pain at the moment, and all the animal companions attached to Marjorie, who I know grieve their loss too.  Please send love out to all of them.  Buy Marjorie's books, CDs, and tuning forks to help out those she left behind. And these therapeutic tools are good for you and your patients/clients if you are a sound healer.

And in the meantime, I'm pasting links to interviews with Marjorie.  My Dear, I miss you already and I'm holding you to your promise...but I hope at least you get to meet and hang out with Gandhi, the saints, the Native Elders, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Dvorak, Mozart, Bach...Oh, yes, and let's not forget, Bob Marley, a kindred soul for you.

I love you and I'll miss you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Essay: Play 2 CDs and Call Your Doctor in the Morning

The Power of Music and the Flu

I woke up on a Saturday night (Feb 5) with a dry cough, thinking it was nothing but allergies to dust coming from the heater, I fell back asleep. But the next day I experienced overwhelming exhaustion and a persistent cough that grew in intensity as the day wore on, I ended up back in bed, barely able to lift my head from the pillow. However, I made a decision to pursue music sessions (listening to specific CDs) as adjunct therapy along with herbal teas, and plenty of liquids (mostly warm) and Dr. Sha's Soul Mind Body medicine (but try chanting when you're coughing).

What I found on the first weekend with the flu is that I needed comfort. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are associated with grief, which I felt my share of while recovering from the flu. I also wanted to open my heart and throat chakras which were blocked, though my head chakras were open. So I drew from my small stash of CDs which I had placed near a CD player at my bedside. I found that Arabic oud music, Rahim Alhaj’s “Little Earth” allowed me to grieve. The melancholic music also felt comforting to my lungs. I was able to relax my lungs (spasms) and stop coughing for the brief duration of my listening session. In fact, out of all the CDs I pulled from my stacks, this oud CD (coupled with other instruments) went a long way in relieving symptoms, at least for me.  I needed to feel and release a lot of grief from my distant past.

I also listened to NPR radio shows (tried to stay away from the news) so that I could hear the rhythms of human voices. I found this comforting as well. Other powerful medicine includes Jovino Santos Neto’s “See the Sound” which uplifted my spirits and boosted my energy, and I hope my immune system and two Chopin recordings, because I figured a composer who suffered from a lung ailment for most of his life would know about comforting music for lungs. It turned out he did. I also found Javier Perianes’ “Blasco de Nebra Piano Sonatas” relaxing.

I listened to West African music and found Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal’s “Chamber Music” relaxing and so beautiful that it allowed my mind to escape my illness and I listened to Kenyan music too, “My Roots” by Suzanna Owiyo which I drew strength from, and Irish music, Annalivia’s “Barrier Falls” and jazz, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s “The Tide has Changed” which offered nice escapes for me. I listened to the jazz and Kenyan CD during moments when I had more energy.  I listened to Mike Marshall's retrospective CD too and found the bluegrass music friendly and inviting.

There wasn’t much hope for relieving a migraine that accompanied the cough and the main goal I had for the music was to relax my muscles and especially the muscles in my lungs. I also needed music to lull me to sleep at night so that I didn’t stay up all night coughing (the worse symptom of this flu). I noticed the healing effect of the music during an electrical outage in which I felt like a nervous wreck without any music besides a Sibelius tape I played on an old portable tape player. I wasn’t in the mood for symphonic music, but it was that or radio static. The music on this tape though left me in a melancholic mood with lower energy. It wasn't the right music for flu recovery and staring at the cold darkened room that surrounded me while I waited for the light to return, unnerved me.

I’m glad to be on the other side of this flu, and to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to pull through at times. Music helped me emotionally by providing comfort, escape, and a universal feeling. Physically the music relaxed me, worked as a sleep aid, boosted my immune system by lifting my vibration, and calmed the spasms in my lungs. I hope I never have to endure the flu again and I’m surprised I caught this one, but I learned that music (the right music, make conscious choices), goes a long way in a quicker recovery time. Granted I combined the music with Dr. Zhi Gang Sha’s Soul Mind Body Medicine, plenty of bed rest and herbal medicine, but the music was the sweetest medicine of all. I highly recommend it. And I found no side effects except that I craved more and more music.

All the CDs I employed were recently reviewed on this blog.  I pulled the CDs from recent releases.