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During times of crisis, people turn to music to restore the negative effects stress has on the brain, leading to sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, decreased cognitive function, poor memory, and other brain dysfunction.
Music brings us pleasure and releases our suffering. It can calm us down and pump us up. It helps us manage pain, sleep better, and be more productive.– Alex Doman, author of Healing at the Speed of Sound
This article describes the role of The Listening Program, a scientifically designed music listening therapy effective in helping people cope with even the most challenging situations.
The following are stories and studies showing how it has explicitly helped during times of crisis to reduce stress, improve symptoms after TBI, support a person who has PTSD, feel more resilient in bullying situations, and many other adverse situations people have faced. No matter the form of crisis, TLP can be a natural, enjoyable form of support to navigate challenging times and come out better afterward.
TLP Spectrum focuses on gentle, low-frequency music to stimulate and soothe many cranial nerves, mainly the Vagus nerve. Vagus nerve stimulation is becoming a more common way to promote more calmness and relaxation for people across the globe.
In times of crisis, the vagus nerve system acts to counterbalance the fight or flight system and works to trigger a relaxation response in our body.
The sympathetic system is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” system. It is stimulated by physiologic or perceived stress or threat, and it basically provides us with more energy and oxygen needed to cope during times of crisis.
As studied by Dr. Stephen Porges, our physiological state and behavioral regulation provided through the autonomic nervous system is foundational to social engagement, and the ear is a part of it all!
The Listening Program encourages physiological balance or homeostasis and supports feelings of safety, eliminates stress, improves stress-related functions, and dysfunctions, and affects mood.
– Sheila Allen, MA, OT
Chronic stress is prevalent in our society and has profound detrimental effects. While most people can say that music reduces stress or helps them feel calm, a study was conducted to see whether objective evidence showed any benefits for multiple people.
The study, titled; Evaluation of Listening Training in Adults With Stress-Related Symptoms in Primary Health Care, calculated the effectiveness of TLP for adults with stress-induced complaints. Author Runa Leiden Karllson studied a group of people, half of whom used The Listening Program, the other half engaged in talk therapy.
To determine the effectiveness of TLP on stress, participants took a questionnaire before the test at ten weeks, 20 weeks, and eight months. The results of this test are listed below, with 90 being the worst stress and 0 being no stress.
After eight months, Runa found that the group who used TLP had lower stress levels and reactions to stressful events. After just ten weeks, significant changes began taking place for those who regularly participated in TLP.
This study showed the changes in a person’s stress level through the arrangement of TLP music. A stress reduction can’t change external situations. Still, it can change how we respond to situations out of our control, making it a powerful tool for anyone experiencing a crisis.
Not only can TLP help lower stress during stressful times, but it can extend beyond that. A promising pilot study was conducted, titled “Evaluation of Listening Training with Adults with stress-related Symptoms in Primary Health Care. It looked specifically at how TLP with combined air and bone conduction could help adults suffering from Burnout and Stress, compared to the standard course of care provided in the Swedish Primary Health Care system, psychotherapy. Not only did the listening patients improve, but they also maintained their improvements well after listening stopped, demonstrating the staying power of the changes.
TLP Stress Pilot Study – READ NOW
The benefits of stress reduction through TLP are long-lasting. A person can weather times of crisis with more mindfulness and become more resilient afterward due to the new neural connections made through TLP.
ABT’s Clinical Director, Allen T. Lewis, MD encourages patients to explore other active ways of reducing stress, such as regular physical activity, deep breathing or other relaxation techniques, listening to music, hobbies and spending time with friends and family.
Allen T. Lewis, MD notes that, “TLP Spectrum offers a gentle approach to healing the brain by providing a safe signal.” Read article by Allen T. Lewis, MD Optimize Healing by Reducing Stress
Damage to the brain through an accident or medical reasons can be very traumatic for many people involved in the situation.
This was particularly true for Valerie Carpenter, a fully functioning 25-year-old singer/dancer/actress who was training for a Broadway show when she suffered a brain injury from a metal pole striking her in the back of the head. Before the accident, she considered herself productive, active, and bright. Immediately after the accident, doctors told her she was fine, but she began immediately noticing symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Valerie developed such bad acute language deficits that the only sentences she could form were the ones she had been memorizing for months for the upcoming show she was supposed to participate in. She reported not being able to say what she was thinking, stammering, inability to do math, loss of fine motor skills, loss of hand-eye coordination, loss of balance, and a black fog on the outline of her vision.
I no longer recognized my 25-year-old-self. – Valerie Carpenter
She soon saw a neurologist, who didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in the scans, but Valerie knew things weren’t right.
Seeking alternative solutions, she went to a conference for music listening therapy. She heard about an Australian teenager named Charmaine who, just weeks after getting her driver’s license, lost 70% of the left hemisphere of her brain after a near-fatal car crash. After surgery, her doctors determined that if she survived, she would remain in a vegetative state and certainly never be able to speak, walk, or feed herself. Fortunately, her steadfast parents found their way to Tracey Butler, an experienced TLP provider. Tracey helped this young woman regain her life with time, patience, and music. She closed her presentation with a video of Charmaine joking, laughing, eating, and providing encouragement—as a registered motivational speaker—to other patients at the hospital where she had spent 51 weeks of her young life.
A few months later, Valerie was in a car accident herself, and within minutes started experiencing loss of speech and all the other symptoms again. She knew this time around. She needed to trust herself and utilize the power of music to help her recover.
“After giving my brain adequate time to rest—notably missing from my first go-round—I began using TLP Online. Fifteen minutes of listening per day brought clarity to my mind and relaxation to my body. Within six weeks (not months), I was able to form complete sentences again.” – Valerie.
To this day, Valerie now uses TLP for herself and also for her clients who have seen the profound impact music can have on their brain health. She says, “I have recommended TLP to clients suffering from traumatic brain injury, attention or learning difficulties, lack of focus, brain fog, and fatigue. One client, a native German speaker who complained of difficulty following the complex conference calls that were a vital part of his work, said his experience listening to the music felt like ‘taking a shower for his brain.’ Within weeks, he noticed that he no longer had any difficulty keeping up with the demanding conference calls and that he was approaching work with more enthusiasm, motivation, and self-assurance.”
Read her full story here.
Crises such as the accidents Valerie and Charmaine happen for many people. TLP acted as a way for both to regain independence, improve motor skills, language skills, and overall brain function.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common for people who have experienced trauma in times of crisis. Veterans, victims of domestic violence, survivors of natural disasters, or, more recently, kids who are bullied all can experience symptoms of PTSD.
A 10-year-old girl in first grade showed these signs after being bullied at her school. Her parents saw the signs and were alarmed by her symptoms of OCD, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. She had been bullied in first grade to the point that her parents transferred her to a different school.
The girl wrote about explicit thoughts of death in her journal, breaking her mom’s heart and influencing her to use The Listening Program. After three months of TLP, she told her mom, “Mom, I feel like I’m healed.” While her situation may not have changed entirely, her symptoms have since gone away, and she lives the everyday life every child deserves.
Pictures were drawn on the same day in early August 2020 by Amiralin to illustrate how she changed after just three months of starting The Listening Program.Read Amiralin’s full story here
Many of us are facing stressful situations more often with various challenges around the world and in our own homes. Since music engages more brain regions than any other known stimulus, its impact is astonishingly far-reaching.
With The Listening Program, we’re letting sound do its work to support us in navigating times of crisis with less stress, more mindfulness, and more resilience.
Discover the benefits of TLP in your home through TLP Online today.
Tags Advanced Brain, anxiety, Brain, Brain Wellness, Bullying, Crisis, Emotional Regulation, Healing, Healing Music, Intervention, Listening Program, listening therapy, mental health, music, music listening therapy, Recovery, stress, tbi, The Listening Program, Therapeutic Music, Therapy, Trauma, Vagus Nerve
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