“Juana has Alzheimer’s. As did Liliam, oh and both Mar’s parents are currently in homes. Margarita was just diagnosed…” I would love to say the list stopped there, but it continued on for far longer than I would have liked. As Mom and I compared stories of who was at what level of the disease, my heart broke as I realized that the numbers of people we know with Alzheimer’s was in the double digits!
I’m not a doctor—nor do I play one on TV—but I have a feeling that my mother’s generation and my own are the first two experiencing the effects of the “processed” life. Today we can choose between organic and GMO, but before that we just ate what we found at the supermarket. Education on these matters came slowly, and even today, not everyone is in agreement. But one thing I feel in my gut: the level of disease in people aged 40+ is a result of the unknown experimentation we subjected ourselves to with our food. I don’t say this to lay blame; I really believe people thought all the chemicals and processing was safe at the time. But now are bodies are struggling to deal with toxic amounts of foreign agents whose long-term safety was impossible to test before being added to our food.
Whatever the cause, I am more interested in finding solutions. Being at the center of the Music of the Plants project has gifted me with numerous accounts of the effects of plant music in helping restore health and wellness. My work right now focuses on cataloging and publishing what I have learned in order to encourage more formal study. One of the most exciting developments seems to be that listening to plant music can help with certain diseases. This is why I now offer regular Plant Music Healing Sessions to research whether 1:1 time with a plant musician can heal, and in some cases even cure, disease.
While in Florida last April, I had the privilege of sharing plant music with the staff and selected “guests” with Alzheimer’s of The Palace senior living center. When I arrived and began the setup, the four invited guests were quite lively. One kept getting up and saying she had to leave because a friend was waiting for her. Every two minutes or so, she had to be reassured that her friend would wait or that her friend was on her way or something to that effect.
As Anthurium—also known as Laceleaf or Flamingo Flower—started to play, I explained to the staff the history and research around the Music of the Plants. It generated a lively discussion that went on for quite some time, until we realized that the guests were quietly listening to the music. I can’t really say that they were mesmerized or doing anything specific, but if you know anyone with Alzheimer’s, you know that just sitting quietly in soft attention is something in and of itself. I don’t remember how long their tranquility lasted, but it was long enough for the staff take notice, which added enthusiasm and hope to the questions being asked. Two of them even went to get their own plants—an orchid and an African violet. One played, but the other didn’t—we suspect she wasn’t doing well in her current pot and needed to be re-potted.
With only two sessions under my belt—Anthurium and I worked together the week before with the mother of a friend—I can’t yet stay with certainty how plant music works on Alzheimer’s, but I can say that from what we experienced and what I have been told by others in similar situations, I have high hopes that more regular plant music sessions can lead to new levels of awareness and healing for a variety of diseases.
More study into the effects of plant music on health/wellness is needed. If you are using the Music of the Plants in any kind of health environment or would like to organize a formal study, contact me to see how I can help!
Share your experiences directly with me or add your comments to the conversation.
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Also published on Medium.