In the latest in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we speak to John Bram Levine about the therapeutic power of music.
Tell us a bit of background about yourself…
I have been creating original music and playing piano since I was six. I originally trained as an electronic engineer and then as a classical composer. I have studied psychology and the physiology of hearing. In the 1980s I first read about the discoveries of Dr Hans Berger: how the brain emits electrical waves, which rise and fall in intensity depending on our mood. These waves, whether in the brain or emitted into the air, are measured as frequency or cycles per second. Based on his work and my own expertise and after considerable experimentation, I established a pattern of sound that invites the brain to settle into an alpha state. This is a calmer state than the excitable peaks and troughs known as beta, which contribute to feelings of anxiety.
What interests you outside of work?
I am never bored as there is always so much to think about. I love cooking and inventing new types of soup using my Vitamix. Although I am travelling constantly, I also enjoy staying at home enjoying family life.
What is your Training Congress seminar about?
It is about how music can become another form of medicine. Therapists can enhance their treatments (for both themselves and their clients) by influencing and harmonising brainwaves. The capacity of our brain is vast, and this subject is endlessly fascinating. In this seminar I will help people to join the dots between brainwaves, hormones, the immune system and how clients can gain more benefits from therapy or healing by using the right type of background music.
I will provide practical tips on how to quickly calm stressed, anxious or chatty clients by inducing a meditative-style state without instructions or narrative.
The correlation between the brain and the influence of music has long been studied. Recent researches prove that this link is strong, and its healing properties have now been recorded in a large number of health cases.
What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?
As the topic suggests, I will explain how to boost therapy by altering brainwaves using particular music compositions. In alpha we naturally have a better command of life, our health and our mood. We are able to think more clearly, consider responses and even make more creative decisions, with better long-term results.
Music offers the simplest path to the alpha state, without demanding that you sleep, or even leave your desk! From Gregorian chant to timeless lullabies, the effect is the same: as we listen, we feel better, more relaxed.
What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?
They will learn about the five types of brainwaves, which brainwave states are important for healthy living and which brainwave states to avoid. I will provide case studies and illustrate innovative methods of creating more profound treatments and healing for both clients and therapists.
Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?
19 May: Dr Carol Samuel (Pain in cancer survivors), Julie Crossman (The role of the complementary therapist within the NHS) and Dr Toh Wong (Five main reasons why therapists don’t get referrals from the medical profession)
20 May: Lorraine Senior (reflexology and the Functional Reflex Therapy framework)
What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?
In order to help patients, it is essential to make sure you take care of your own health as well. Being tired and overworked will create more harm than good. All music and sounds affect yourself and your clients.
Please feel free to ask me questions on my blog.
It’s exciting as this will be the first conference we are talking and exhibiting at for some years!
Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.
For more details about the talks and to book, visit fht.org.uk/congress