Thursday, April 3, 2014

Singing Bowl Therapy for Stressed Elephants

I love animals, and I am passionate about helping people live an inspired and resilient life.  When my friend Sharon Carne shared this blog with me, I knew I needed to post it here for you to see.  What a great perspective on managing stress.

A good friend of mine found a video called “Bowls for Elephants” and shared it with me a few days ago. It touched my heart so deeply I felt you would love to see this.

The video, Bowls for Elephants, is about the Patara Elephant Farm in Thailand. This farm specializes in rescuing domestic elephants from difficult circumstances and bringing them to health.

Many of these elephants have been mistreated, traumatized and deeply stressed.

In this film they are documenting the response of several of their most stressed elephants to the sound of singing Tibetan and Crystal bowls.

How incredible to watch one nervous and frightened elephant physically relax and bond with the player of the bowls.

And all of this happened in only a couple of minutes! Wow!

What I also find so fascinating is that the response of the elephant is the same response I see in humans who experience the sound of the singing Tibetan and Crystal bowls.

What does this look like?

Tight muscles relax.
Breathing slows down.
The mind quiets.
Circulation improves.
Hormones are released that triggers the body’s natural healing response.
The body instinctively returns to its healthy natural patterns.
Symptoms of stress dissolve.
We create deeper bonds with others.
We feel more connected with the natural world.

I could go on and on with this list.

Singing Tibetan bowls have been around for thousands of years. There is good reason for this.

A carved singing crystal bowl has been found in Egypt dating back to 1700 BCE. The ancient Egyptians used sound as one of their main healing modalities.

This is not new.
Throughout our history on this planet, our ancestors (all over the planet) KNEW that the human body is a resonator for sound. It responds to certain sounds with a natural healing response, bringing the body, mind, emotions and spirit back into harmony.

I encourage you to search out a bowl or other sound healing tool. Hold it in your hand and make a sound with it.

MOST IMPORTANTLY – FEEL the vibrations of this sound travel through your body.

For travel through your body it does. ALL sound travels through your body.

The right sound feels EXQUISITE traveling through your body. And your body responds with a natural healing response.

Sharon Carne, BMus, M.F.A. is an author, speaker, musician, recording artist, sound healer, Reiki master and consultant. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, whose programs are at the forefront of education in how sound and music can be easily applied to your everyday life - to reduce stress, help you concentrate, energize you, inspire you, support your health and so much more.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wired for Sound

 Big appreciation to my guest blogger today, Sharon Carne!  Enjoy

There are so many common sense ways to use music and sound to reduce stress, create more focus, enhance creativity and make your days easier.

The human body is a natural resonator for sound. We are deeply and intimately wired for sound – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Let’s take a closer look at a few examples of our wiring for sound:

1. Sound moves through the more fluid parts of your body four and a half times faster than it moves through the air. And twelve times faster through your bones.

2. Rhythm changes your heartbeat, breathing and brainwaves. This is called entrainment. The music playing in the grocery store changes your heartbeat. And you can’t turn off this response.

3. Hearing is the first sense that develops in the fetus. Sound stimulates the growth of the nervous system.

4. Hormones are released whenever we play music or sing together – feel good hormones, hormones that bond us together into communities and hormones that help keep us healthy.

Let’s take a closer look at stress and what it is.

The quote below is from an article called “Stress Symptoms, Signs and Causes.” If you want to learn more about the symptoms of stress, I recommend you check out the whole article:

“When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.  Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.”

Now, this physical response can be handy in the short term if you are giving a presentation at work, need to focus when you are driving, in a sports competition, etc.

The key here is short term. In the long term, a constant stream of stress hormones in your body is extremely damaging, not only to your health, but to every part of your life.

To put this in perspective – up to 90% of visits to the doctor in Canada are because of stress related conditions. That’s a big number.

There are many ways to reduce stress.

Because of our intimate wiring for sound – at all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – most of us intuitively reach for sound or music to reduce stress. 

It’s our common sense response – because it works.
Have you ever put on your favorite piece of music after a tough day?
Do you listen to music while driving to or from work?
A good friend of my husband’s listens to hard rock on the way home from work. He intuitively found that the low bass and heavy beat helped him discharge after work.
But it really bugged him when he started his car in the morning and this hard rock blasted from the radio. He really likes light classical music in the morning to help him focus for the day.

Check out #2 above. Music changes your heartbeat. Stress causes an elevated heartbeat – and blood pressure.

Music with low sounds and slow rhythms creates relaxation. Because it slows down your heartbeat, brain and breathing.

We all know that. And we all use it. It’s common sense and intuitive.

However - KNOWING exactly what music to choose - that works for you (we are all different in our response to music) - takes common sense and intuition to a whole new level of EFFECTIVENESS in managing stress.

Here’s another example.

We all sigh when we are upset. It’s an automatic response every one of us has.

What a really good sigh ACTUALLY does is stimulate the brain to release endorphins that help your body reduce stress, heal or manage pain.

You can MAXIMIZE the EFFECTIVENESS of a sigh by using your voice consciously.

Your own voice is the most powerful healing tool you have. Your voice carries every frequency of your body. Your voice resonates every cell of your body with every sound that you make.You have it with you all the time and it costs you nothing to use.And the best part - it creates an instant response in the body, mind and emotions and spiritual connection.

Try this.....

Put your hands on your upper chest. Feel the bones of your sternum and ribs under your palms. Take a deep breath. Feel the air in the bottom of your lungs. Now release the air with a long ahhhh. Like a waterfall. The way you would say ahhhh when you say, “Ahhhh, what a cute puppy!” 

When you add a SINGING tone to the ahhhh, the sound vibrations in your body and the resulting health benefits are focused and amplified.
Common sense stress reduction.
And it only takes a few seconds.

Sharon Carne, BMus, M.F.A. is an author, speaker, musician, recording artist, sound healer, Reiki master and consultant. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, whose programs are at the forefront of education in how sound and music can be easily applied to your everyday life - to reduce stress, help you concentrate, energize you, inspire you, support your health and so much more.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gratitude is the Loudest Frequency

Today's guest post is by my friend Sharon Carne, enjoy!

Photo Credit Charmaine Hammond

Being in a gorgeous winter mountain landscape is like being inside silence itself.

The birds are quiet, the mountains are sleeping and the tress stand as sentinels of silence.

And the silence, for me, leads to contemplation.

Have you ever noticed that when nature gives you a gift of silence, your mind always has a hidden agenda?

The busy mind just can’t handle silence!

So I gave my mind a couple of questions to ponder – a quest, you might say -  “What is under the silence?” and “What is waiting to be heard?”

What my mind delivered to me were two categories of experience.

One was a deep appreciation and gratitude for the outstanding natural beauty that surrounded us on a recent journey through Roger’s Pass in the Canadian Rockies. And the quiet, contemplative space this created in me.

The other category consisted of all kinds of emotional ‘stuff’ that came to my awareness.

Emotions have frequencies. Every emotion has a SOUND!

This have been researched and documented by Manfred Clynes. He calls these sounds of emotions, Sentic Forms.

Most of have a SYMPHONY of emotions BLARING at us constantly! This symphony is RARELY harmonious!

It’s called BEING HUMAN!

I also noticed that as I continued to admire the incredible landscape around me, that my feelings of awe and appreciation were DROWNING OUT the frequencies of the noisy symphony!

And I was left in a calm, harmonious state.

Here’s some really good news!

You don’t have to drive through a snowy Roger’s Pass to create a harmonious state.

Gratitude is the LOUDEST emotional frequency!

It DROWNS OUT the ongoing noisy symphony!

Every time!

You can shift your state to harmony in seconds!!

Just think of something you are grateful for – a loved one – a flower – a Christmas cookie – a beautiful sunset – a tree... The list is endless!

Then focus on your heart and really FEEL that gratitude.

And the cool thing?

You can create harmony - any time – anywhere.

Sharon Carne, BMus, M.F.A. is an author, speaker, musician, recording artist, sound healer, Reiki master and consultant. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, whose programs are at the forefront of education in how sound and music can be easily applied to your everyday life - to reduce stress, help you concentrate, energize you, inspire you, support your health and so much more.

Please make sure that you follow Charmaine on her social media sites too:

PAWsitive Radio (all things Pets)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Turning the IMpossible to the IAMPossible!

Mindset is such an important aspect of success.

How we think about situations, people, our interests, other people's motivators impacts how we deal with situations and people.

What we believe about people, situations, our interests and the interests of others impacts the results we see.

Making the SHIFT in perspective is not always easy, but, it can bring about a completely different result!

Many years ago when I was a corporate mediator, I had the opportunity to see how a change in mindset brought about a change in outcomes (for the better or worse, depending on the mindset).

Take Jo and Sally. Two colleagues who worked together for many years or "toooooo long" as Sally often whispered under her breath (just loud enough for colleagues to hear).  Sally was the more seasoned employee of the two and had worked at the company for many years, in many different roles. Jo was in her fifth year of this career, and only her second year with this company.  She was excited about her career and the impact she could make in the world. To Jo's excitement, Sally often responded with comments like "been there done that!" or "give it another year, you'll see the light of day" or "must be nice to have rose colored glasses on all the time" and... "if you have been around as long as me you'll learn to put in your time ad keep quiet."  Jo found her energy drained in the presence of Sally.  Instead of seeing Sally as a downer, negative or passion squasher, she chose to see Sally as a skilled professional she could learn from.  When Jo announced this in the meeting, Sally's body language changed as did her tone and language. She began to act like the role model Jo chose to see her as.  Sally in her own mind had decided people see her as negative, and difficult, so she acted this way.  When someone changed the perspective and looked at her through a different lense, it was harder for her to be negative.

Does this work every time?

Will changing how you see people result in them changing how they act?

Then why make the shift?

There are many reasons.... your energy remains more positive, you may bring about a change in time, it is easier to work with people you believe are good in their intentions... then negative and out to get you. Coming from a place of respect and hope is a much easier approach to life then coming from a place of despair, distrust and dislike.  What you think about others is often a reflection of yourself.

How can you change your mindset to bring about a better outcome?

1)  Frame your day- everyday I choose the type of day I intend to have, how I will interact with others, the difference I will make, and, my attitude. 
2) Check in with yourself- when you get annoyed or emotional about something outside your control or influence, ask yourself where the emotion is coming from?
3) Decide in advance how you choose to communicate with others- if you are doing into a meeting choose either a "difficult conversation" or a "respectful resolution based conversation".  Your choice impacts your words, how you show up and the results you achieve.
4) Remember- proving others wrong doesn't make you right.
5) Communicate with courage, clarity and compassion.  I call this clean, drama free dialogue. 

You can find out more of my tips, just like the ones above, in my book Bounce Forward (available through

Bring the power of change to your organization or event by having Charmaine appear at your conference, convention or seminar.  She speaks on the topics of Courageous Dialogue, Turning Confrontations to Conversations, Bounce Forward-building inspired and resilient teams.