Music as Therapy for a Healthy Mind Body and Spirit

Music as Therapy for a Healthy Mind Body and Spirit

Have you ever noticed that after listening to soothing music, you feel more calm and relaxed? Music is an excellent tool to use to bring tranquility to the mind, but it can also be restorative the body. Health practitioners have discovered that music with a pleasant beat and melody connects the mind to the body and encourages the body’s innate healing ability. One choice of music that does this very effectively is classical music. There is also the healing sounds of nature such as the songs of birds, the rustling of leaves, the falling of rain, the crashing of ocean waves, and the sound of a waterfall. These sounds of nature are music to your ears and to your spirit.

Music can certainly lift your mood even the sad music renders a positive effect on mood and mind. Music can boost happiness and reduce depression and anxiety. Whether it is a full beat drumming or a slow streaming light music, it has become an integral part of our lifestyle. Apart from entertaining, music renders therapeutic and mood stimulating benefits for the listeners.

Some people are of the view that sad music renders a negative effect on mood and brings more depression yet researchers have shown the opposite effect. Sad music can render pleasure and comfort. Music regulates the mood of people in various ways. Music rehabilitation and music therapy can bring comfort, revitalization, relief, exhilaration, and enjoyment. During depressive periods due to depression, personal loss, and breaking up a relationship, people are more tend to listen to sad music. In this case, sad music acts as a substitute for an empathic friend or mate and provides a sense of elation and understanding that someone understands what you are going through.

On the other hand, upbeat or fast music can improve the moods and boost glee and happiness. Happier mood leads to better mental health, successful outcomes, and satisfactory relationships and reduces depression and anxiety.

Music Therapy

music therapy

music therapy

Music restores the mind, body, and spirit, by promoting relaxation. Soothing music can lower heart rate and blood pressure to a healthy level that is optimal for systems within the body to work at their best. This is why massage therapists will often turn on music while massaging a client, or why people practicing yoga will use relaxing music while completing their yogic exercises. Even day spas will use music to relax guests and help them enjoy the effects of their spa experience. Soothing music also reduces stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. When stress hormones are not interfering with the body’s functioning, the body can work more efficiently in healing itself.

Music therapy programs can help in managing stress, alleviating symptoms of depression, ease out pain, and enhance memory. It can help people suffering from physical pain even. Even people, who take this therapy during or after surgery, feel less pain and anxiety. Music listeners do not require medication for the eradication of pain. Music is a safe, cheap, non-invasive, and harmless intervention which can play quite powerful roles in treating chronic conditions even. Music therapy also plays a significant part in treating mood disorders, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Music therapy can also improve self-esteem and quality of lifestyle. A unique orchestra if played for people suffering from dementia can boost and improve the mood of patients and raise their self-confidence.

Benefits and Effects on Mood and Brain:

music

music  effects on mood

Music can engage and change the brain of humans in many beneficial ways. It engages emotion, memory, neuroplasticity, attention, and learning.

Music stimulates the emotions of humans through specific circuits of the brain. Music engages brain and emotion in a way that it provides an uplifted mood of joy. It creates a bond with humans’ emotions and the best example is singing a lullaby to newborns and toddlers that can easily put them to a sound sleep. This is the connection that music builds with your mind and uplifts the mood. The hormones known as oxytocin also known as cuddle hormone creates the bonding. It is being released during singing and therefore music renders a profound emotional effect on the minds of both mother and child during lullaby.

Music produces a series other beneficial molecules in your biological pharmacy. As it peaks emotion, the production of dopamine ( a specific neurotransmitter that controls brain’s reward and pleasure centers) gets amplified. Music also plays a great role for autistic children and it succeeds where verbal language gets failed. It is able to form a bridge between heart and brain. It can evoke the deepest emotions in people and help people in processing fear, sadness, grief, and resentment.

Music is also extremely helpful in improving the brain health and life quality of Alzheimer patients by regaining parts of memory. By incorporating specific music that patients used to listen before the suffering can actually help them in reconnecting with the world around him. It brightens the mood of patients and they are able to communicate. A part of the brain associates memories with music and when emotional cords are tied, there are episodic silent memories that arise and triggered by the familiar songs related to your earlier life and personal experiences. This is how familiar music can create a reconnection with deep, meaningful memories from life experiences.

Music and Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to recognize itself by forming new neural cords or connections throughout life. This process is greatly affected by the harmony of music and brain. This process leads to compensation of neurons (nerve cells) for diseases, injuries, and adjustment of their activities in giving responses to new situations and changes in the environment. When the brain is damaged it can create new pathways to get into a proper functioning position. Music provides stimuli in creating these pathways and help the brain in redeveloping in case of injury. Music can recall personal memories in the patients with severe memories. Music can also help in infusing directions to different locations. If you are stuck in traffic music can inculcate the map of an alternate route in your brain. Music therapy, melodic intonation, and singing provide new information to mind and helps in reorganizing the connections.

Music takes hold of your mind’s full attention profoundly. It engages your brain and attention in ways that it is able to sustain improve and activate your attention. Listening to music can help the brain in anticipating events and holding greater attention. The anticipated spaces or gaps between composition leads to the interpretation and integration of music in your minds. The spaces captivate your full attention. These gaps allow the mind to communicate and integrate with heart and your focus gets fuller. During this process balance and healing occurs and brain and heart move into coherence.

Music in your Day Spa at Home

music therapy

music therapy

Music is especially useful to enjoy in conjunction with a Day Spa at Home, because the soothing and healing powers of music will have a rejuvenating effect on your mind and your senses, and as a result, your body. The aim of a Day Spa at Home is to relax, restore and rejuvenate while pampering your face and body from the comfort of your own bathtub or favorite chair. While your spa products will work on your body from the outside, music is therapy for your mind, body, and spirit from the outside in.

DIY Natural Beauty Treatment Recipes for Hands and Feet

DIY Natural Beauty Treatment Recipes for Hands and Feet

Regular visits to beauty salons for manicures and other skin care treatment methods can get costly. The cost of buying the best quality natural skin care products for your hands, feet and as well as for your face and body really starts to add up over time. Many people tend to focus on their facial skin and ignore their hands, but the hands also need caring for as well. Rough, chapped hands can portray a less than desirable impression. It is surprising how many people take a mental note of the state of your hands and nails when they first meet you.  Every beauty conscious person should pay equal attention to their face and hands. We have 4 great DIY beauty treatments for you to care for your hands and feet, naturally

The following is a simple and natural homemade recipe for a hand scrub, for the ultimate in DIY  hand care.

  • 1 tablespoon of white oats
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ½ a cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Mix the oats and water in a vessel and bring to boil until the water evaporates, making sure not to burn the oats. Place the oats in bowl and mix with milk and honey to form a paste.

• Wash your hands with a gentle soap

• Dry with your hands with a soft towel

• Apply the scrub on your hands and rub until a smooth leather forms

• Allow the scrub to remain on your hands for 15 minutes

• Wash the scrub off using warm water

• Dry your hands with a soft towel

• Apply some moisturizer on your palms and massage throughout your hands

• Use the scrub twice weekly to get the best results

DIY Foot Soak Recipe

Your feet will absolutely love this Minty Foot Reviver!

• Half a cup of sea salt

• 3 lime slices

• 7-9 mint leaves

• A couple of drops of lime essential oil. Add about 6-8 drops and combine with all these ingredients. Add them into a bowl filled with lukewarm water. Deep and soak your feet in mixture for about 15 minutes.

DIY Foot Scrub Recipe

This is a wonderfully moisturizing foot exfoliating treatment which will reveal softer, smoother feet in no time!

• 3 limes

• 2 tablespoons white sugar

• 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil

• 14 fresh mint leaves, chopped

• 6-8 drops of lime essential oil

Finely cut the limes into smaller pieces, an compact these small pieces into a thick pulp before placing in a food processor. Mix the thick pulp of lime with the other ingredients in the bowl.

Gently apply this homemade foot scrub after removing your feet from the feet soak. Use circular motion when applying the scrub. Use warm water to remove the scrub while massaging with a damp towel. Rub on a mint moisturizer to leave your feet looking and feeling fresh.

Paraffin Treatment

One simple and fairly inexpensive way to get a baby smooth feel is with a paraffin bath that can be purchased at a beauty supply store or online. Make sure you carefully follow the directions, and that the temperature of the wax isn’t too hot to prevent burning your skin.

Paraffin treatments may be used as a DIY beauty treatment, but also for treating stiffness, aches and arthritis as the paraffin can retain heat. Once a hand, foot, knee or elbow is dipped into the liquid and removed, the paraffin turns into a solid wax and the heat (fusion) is absorbed into the body.

The heat from the paraffin also opens pores and increases circulation, which helps to leave your skin soft and radiant.

  • Liquefy the paraffin according to the instructions.
  • Dip your hands or feet into the wax (suggestion to hands and feet separately, you’ll want your hands free when doing your feet).
  • Remove hands or feet and wait for a few moments to cool.
  • Repeat this process several times for multiple layers of wax.
  • Put on the gloves that typically come with the paraffin bath (or your own), or socks if you’re doing your feet, as it retains moisture.
  • Relax for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Carefully peel off wax to reveal beautifully soft skin.
  • Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • Remove any excess wax from cuticles and underneath nails.

Spending just a little time on DIY beauty treatments for your feet and hands will make sure that your hands, feet and nails are kept healthy, nourished and looking beautiful, and that your skin never gets exposure to harmful ingredients.

Yes, men can have a DIY Day Spa at Home as well

Yes, men can have a DIY Day Spa at Home as well

The same way women take care of their bodies and spirits by pampering themselves, a hard-working man also needs the chance to relax, recharge and revive. With hefty competition in the business world — and that the “rules” for what’s acceptable for men and women have changed considerably — it’s no longer unusual to see men relaxing in comfortable chairs, wearing face masks while getting a manicure in non-gender specific salons or spas.

Men are often unaware of just how important relaxation and rejuvenation is to their mind and body. Being masculine doesn’t necessarily mean having to avoid feeling relaxed and pampered.

In fact, an increasing amount of men are taking more care of themselves and indulging in self-care at spas on a regular basis around the world. It’s good to know they’re becoming more aware that relaxation and pampering is important for anyone interested in wellness and looking for ways to cope with the stress of their busy modern life.

From manicures, face masks and natural shave treatments, there are plenty of ways for a man to pamper and rejuvenate himself naturally and at home.

Following are ideas and recipes for a “manly” Day Spa at Home:

ALL-NATURAL MOISTURIZER

Shaving can remove up to two layers of skin cells, so moisturizing afterward with a quality natural moisturizer is a perfect balm for your man’s skin health.

A man’s skin is different to a women’s it’s thicker and often oilier. So (perhaps lucky for you so he won’t steal yours) he needs a different kind of post-shave moisturizer.

ALOE VERA GEL is a perfect natural option for men as it’s light, soothing and has natural healing properties.

A DIY YOGURT, HONEY AND PUMPKIN SEED OIL BUTTER TREATMENT is wonderful moisturizing mask:

  • Combine 1 tsp. plain organic yogurt, 1 tsp. honey, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin seed oil in a small bowl.
  • Slather the concoction on his face and throat area, or on any problem areas.
  • Leaving on for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove with a warm, wet washcloth; then finish off with a splash of cold water to close the pores.

This is a deeply hydrating, indulgent experience that softens the skin (which you can enjoy as well), and gets it ready for shaving.

DIY EXFOLIATION

A man’s skin attracts more oil and dirt than a woman’s. The larger pores, whiskers and a tendency to sweat more are a main reason why men should exfoliate their skin on a regular basis.

Also, exfoliating dead cells skin makes skin smoother. Hair follicles are exposed more which results in a cleaner, smoother shave — the ultimate goal of every shaving man!

Many men experience dry skin and irritation after shaving with regular over-the-counter shaving cream. Therefore, it’s vitally important that the beard is completely wet, softened and lubricated before shaving.

A great way to get a close shave without irritating the skin is with a combination of natural oils and other ingredients that restores skin and achieves a cleaner shave. Followed with a natural aftershave and moisturizer, they may work so well he’ll never go back to store-bought products with harsh chemicals!

ALMOND AND ORANGE DIY FACIAL SCRUB:

This antioxidant-rich DIY scrub helps defends against wrinkle-causing, collagen-damaging free radicals. The fine granules exfoliate dead skin cells and leave your skin soft, silky smooth and supple:

  • In a blender or food processor (if you don’t have either, a mortar and pestle will suffice) pulverize/grind a handful of shelled almonds (preferably without the skins), the peel of one (1) orange, and one (1) cup of almond oil.
  • When ground into a well-blended paste, apply to wet skin in small, gentle circular motions. Then wash with warm water, and dab your skin dry with a clean towel.

HOMEMADE SHAVING CREAM

  • 2/3 cup of Shea nut oil or Shea butter
  • 2 Tblsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 vitamin E capsules

Ten (10) drops of his (or yours) favorite essential oil that has a masculine fragrance such as bergamot, cedarwood, patchouli or vetiver

  • First melt the coconut and Shea nut oil or butter together in a small pan on the stove. (If you choose to microwave them, do so in small increments such as 15 seconds at a time to prevent boiling and spattering.)
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the olive oil.
  • Once everything is nicely melted and blended together, add the rest of the ingredients.
  • After one final stir, place liquid in a refrigerator safe container.
  • Allow liquid to cool and thicken overnight. Then add the baking soda and liquid from the vitamin E capsules.
  • Mix until light and fluffy.

The result is a soothing, natural shaving cream that allows the razor to glide across his skin.

NATURAL WITCHHAZEL AFTERSHAVE

Witch hazel is the perfect natural aftershave as it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin after a shave, and deal with irritation, razor burn or bumps. It also has cleansing, toning and moisturizing properties that are perfect for men who don’t want to use moisturizer.

Encourage the man in your life to have his own special DIY spa day, or perhaps join you during your Day Spa at Home.

Relaxing at Home in your DIY Day Spa

Relaxing at Home in your DIY Day Spa

Need a day at the spa to really unwind? Why not turn your home into your own DIY Day Spa to unwind and feel better without having to worry about spending money? There are things that you can do at home that will free up your mind and help you feel more balanced as you move through your day.

There are plenty of free tools that can help you to really achieve peace that will help you to move forward in a positive direction and feel really good about your life.

Take Off Your Shoes

Studies have shown that walking barefoot through wet sand or dewy grass is a great way to relax so take your shoes off and head outside for a stroll around the back yard BEFORE you get ready to set the stage for your few hours of spa time at home.

Aromatherapy

Set the stage of DIY Day Spa at Home with some deliciously fragrant aromatherapy infusions around the house. Aromatherapy can instantly have some amazing effects on your awareness. Certain scents like lavender are relaxing, citrus scents will get you moving. Rosemary can stimulate concentration while peppermint will provide invigoration.

Using essential oils, candles and aromatherapy oil diffusers can help you to create a wonderfully relaxing spa effect at home. Essential oils are also great for adding to your bath for some wonderfully relaxing me time. Just add 6-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to warm water, add a cup or two of Epsom Salts, sit back and relax.

Yoga & Pilates

Practicing Yoga or Pilates is one of the best things you can do for your body and the perfect way to complement your beauty therapies during your DIY Day Spa at Home.

The gentle stretching of Yoga can easily loosen up your muscles and tone them.  It is also a great stress reliever. Grab your mat, get on some comfy clothing and take a look at this video to get yourself going:

This is the first in a series called 30 days of yoga to get you started.

a great way to start your 30 minutes of Pilates!

Meditation, Creative Visualization, Mindfulness

A key to a more fulfilling existence is to actively seek the peace that you can tap into within. Meditation can help to clear your mind so that you can get rid of all the things that are blocking your path to inner peace and tranquility. Using creative visualization can help to set up your thoughts so that your perception changes of your life. You DIY Day Spa at Home is the perfect time to practice these techniques.

Mindfulness will ground you and help you to really live in the moment and attract those good things to your life that we all desire and deserve. Training your brain to think differently takes work but the rewards are tremendous. A quick trip over to YouTube can help you to gather material that will help you succeed. You do not need your own personal guru to lead you when you have the internet!

Try these links to help you get started:

These are great relaxation tools to help complement the beauty treatments that you treat yourself during your DIY Day Spa at Home. See our previous articles on DIY beauty treatments or head to our Face Body and Hair pages from some great DIY Day Spa at Home recipes and ideas.

DIY Body Butter Recipes: How to make your own body butter

DIY Body Butter Recipes: How to make your own body butter

If you want beautiful baby-soft skin all over,  moisturizers like body butters are an indulgent way to hydrate your skin. By adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil, they become the perfect vehicle to scent your body with delectable fragrances while making your skin oh-so-touchable. So we have included instructions on how to make your own DIY body butter with two wonderful recipes.

How to Make Home-made Body Butter

  • Place carrier oils, vegetable oils, beeswax, and Shea or cocoa butter in a heatproof glass mixing bowl inside a saucepan.
  • Keeping stirring the ingredients over medium heat until they’ve melted and blended well. (It takes a little while for the beeswax to completely dissolve, so be patient.)
  • Remove mixture from heat and stir in vitamin E oil, essential oils, or vanilla extract.
  • Whip with an electric handheld mixer for a few minutes until a butter-like consistency is attained, or the mixture forms peaks.
  • Fill a clean glass jar (not plastic as body butter can pick up smells) with the butter, and allow to come to room temperature.

Geranium and Ylang Ylang Body Butter

1/2 Tblsp. cocoa butter
1/2 Tblsp. beeswax, either grated or in pellets
4 drops vitamin E oil
2 Tblsp. coconut oil
2 Tblsp. almond oil
1/4 tsp. glycerin
25 drops geranium essential oil
12 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Vanilla Body Butter

1/4 cup sweet almond oil
2 Tblsp. coconut oil
1 oz. beeswax, either grated or in pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Home-made body butters will keep for about three months at room temperature. However, those that contain coconut oil may soften in the summer, so if this happens just put the butter in the refrigerator. You’ll have plenty left over to continue using. And the fragrance will remind you of the relaxing benefits you’ve treated yourself to throughout the day. For more info on how to make you own body butter, watch the video below:

Or for more tips on how to treat your body head to our Body page.

TIP: Apply your body butter to your skin while it is still wet after stepping out of the bath or shower. You will only need a very small amount as body butter will glide over your skin. What’s more your skin absorbs moisturizing products better when its wet.

5 Great DIY Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

5 Great DIY Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Coming up with the perfect gift idea for Mother’s Day is never easy and it is especially challenging if you have a tight budget that you need to stick to. If having been looking for the perfect way to show your Mom how much she means to you, but also come up with a thoughtful gift that will not drain your bank account, it might be time to consider the DIY approach to Mother’s Day.

There are some great gifts that you can make on your own that your Mom will adore just because it was made by you. You can also ensure that your Mom feels extra special by making all natural beauty treatments that allow her to pamper her skin. They are super easy to make so you still have time to spoil your Mom with a wonderful gift that’s extra special as its made with love.

Here are the 5 top DIY Mother’s Day gifts that you can try out to pamper Mom this year:

All Natural Body Scrub

If you are looking for a Mother’s Day gift that will treat your Mom, it’s a great idea to make a body scrub. Body scrubs can be really easy to make on your own and only require a few ingredients.

A very popular all natural body scrub that you can make yourself consists of ingredients that you probably have in your home such as coffee grounds, baking soda, sea salt, or sugar. Each one of these ingredients provides the right amount of exfoliation while also not being too abrasive for the skin. You would then mix one of these ingredients with your favorite moisturizing oil such as jojoba, argan, or almond.

Here’s a very simple recipe with ingredients you may already have in the kitchen:

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar,
  • 1 tablespoon orange oil or the juice of half an orange
  • The content of one vitamin E capsule

Mix all the ingredients together in oil a bowl until well combined. Transfer the scrub to a mason jar and decorate with ribbons, string or stickers.

Fragrant Whipped Body Butter

You can also make your Mom a home-made body butter that she will love to make her skin feel smooth. Instead of buying an expensive body butter, you can make one from home using minimal ingredients. The vanilla body butter is a favorite for many.

All you need is cocoa butter, coconut oil, an essential oil such as lavender, rose geranium or ylang ylang and vanilla bean. You will need to start whipping the coconut oil, and then add a essential oils to make the body butter extra moisturizing and fragrant. Then add a few drops of as vitamin E oil for extra antioxidant action which also acts as a natural preservative.

The secret to making this body butter rich and smooth is by whipping the mixture thoroughly by using an electric mixer. This recipe creates the most luxurious body butter that is also completely natural and inexpensive!

Decorate the home-made body butter in a glass jar with string, ribbons, flowers or stickers.

Watch this great video for more for detailed instructions and more ideas.

Anti-Aging Facial Serum

It is also possible for you to make a high quality facial serum for your Mom on mother’s day that will help to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Serums for your face can be ideal and a bit better than creams or lotions if your Mom happens to have dry skin. An anti-aging facial serum is perfect for the Mom that deeply nourish her skin and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you can’t find all the oils mention below, just add lavender. The best part about a lavender facial serum is that lavender oil is easy to get your hands on (make sure you choose a quality lavender oil).

You will need:

  • 1 oz apricot kernel, avocado or almond oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 5 drops geranium oil
  • 2 drops sandalwood oil

Mix all the ingredients in a glass amber bottle and decorate. Affix a label  with instructions to shake well before use. he oil blends will keep for a number of weeks. In summer it is best to keep them in the refrigerator.

You can find more great facial serum recipes at our Face page.

Scented Bath Soak 

Bath time is the perfect time to relax and unwind. Allow your Mom to escape to her own personal Day Spa at Home where she can let all her tensions and cares melt away. This gift idea is perfect accompanied by a deliciously scented candle. Mom can play some relaxing music, light a candle and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

  • Take 1 cup sea salt, or Epsom salts or a combination of the two.
  • 10 drops essential oil such as lavender, rose geranium, ylang ylang or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil.

Mix all ingredients well and store in mason jar or a decorative glass bottle. You can add some natural food coloring to brighten the color. Just add a drop, mix thoroughly and add a drop more at a time to get the color intensity you want.

For those who have a bit more time to spend, bath bombs are a wonderful treat. Watch this great video for a wonderful recipe and instructions on how to make:

Scented Reed Diffuser

You can transport your Mom’s senses to a Day Spa at Home with beautifully aromatic Reed Diffuser which will be all the more special because you made it yourself. Choose her favorite essential oil to uplift and delight setting the mood many special moments in the months to come.

You can buy reeds at most craft shops and cut them to fit in a small decorative jar that you have filled with your favorite essential oil and some alcohol. Use 12 drops of essential oil and 2 tablespoons of alcohol place the reeds in the container let them soak for about 1 hour then flip the reeds over.

For more great ideas for DIY home fragrance head to our Fragrance page.

Thankfully, there’s still enough time to make some all natural DIY Mother’s Day gifts without any chemicals, additives, or other harmful ingredients, which your Mom will just love!

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