Therapeutic music is used to promote health and wellness on all levels, attending to the individual’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Harp Therapy, now documented, is an art based on the science of sound. The resonance and tone quality of the harp provides comfort and gently creates a “cradle of sound” as support, to address anxiety, breathing, fear, pain and depression.
Live music allows the therapist to individualise the patients’ needs with no agenda, allowing us to attune musically, by playing melodies specific to the client. The practitioner doesn’t diagnose, nor have a treatment plan, and very seldom has much knowledge of the patient’s illness. A certified harp practitioner strives to effect positive changes, and while being flexible, play in response to the present moment.
Can relieve depression, fear and anxiety
Pain distraction or management
Creates memories and facilitates social interaction
Emotional expression and release
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
Communication-reaches all people
Relaxation and sleep
Can aid digestion
While observing the patient’s facial expressions or body language, the therapist is guided to individualise the session. The practitioner typically plays in one of the three strains: sleep, sorrow and joy. A sound oasis is created while matching tempo with breathing patterns, selection of music- improvised or familiar, key and mode, and melodies played in the patient/clients own resonant tone. The musical session can elicit emotional responses, trigger memories, raise hope, distract the patient/client from pain and create inner peace, while taking anxiety away and relaxing the breathing.
Harp Therapy, as a complementary care modality, can bring a special intimacy to the sacred experience of dying and through transition.
With our aging population, and our medical discipline accepting new methods for coping with and treating illness, Harp Therapy is a much needed and appreciated service. It is supported in hospice, hospital, long-term care facilities, and any health care setting for the young and aged.
Martha Lawrance, CTHP
composed by Christina Tourin,
Harp Improvisation with nature pictures