Monday, July 25, 2016

Good Vibrations

In Sunshine and Structure, I spoke about how rays from the sun (and the foods that grow from them) can be beneficial to our health. However, while information in the article was simple enough, the research done beforehand took me down a veritable rabbit-hole of both pseudo and real Science. As I increasingly write on the blog, the sources used to gain information have become more important to me. While there are "healing powers of crystals" touted on various websites, I've found it pertinent to search sources that are generally well established and academic. But what is a source anyways? In my research done towards the last article's creation, I learned that, according to Einstein, "everything [from brain waves to buildings] is a vibration." And if light waves or vibrations can add positivity to our health, I began to think that sound waves could do the same thing.

Music of the Spheres in ya ears.

Within the next few weeks, I plan to come out with a post that talks about some quotes which have resonated with me and a specific one which has not. But, like a source, what does it mean if something "resonates" with you? In general, I've taken it to mean that it sits well with you or affects you instantaneously without having to think about it. But the field of physics has its own definition of the term, claiming it occurs when, "a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a preferential frequency." To some extent, people are said to hold different and individual "vibes". There are people who give off good vibes and others who give off bad ones. And to an extent, I've always found someone's vibe to generally "resonate" with or match the music they prefer (which is why I don't associate much with people who like Dave Matthews). Within my family, we tend to suffer from high-blood pressure and, to some extent, I've sometimes thought it explains why I like hip-hop so much with the thump-thump-thump of the overworked heart matching the thud-thud-thud of a Bone Thugs song. But, beyond the music we enjoy, if my trip to China has taught me anything, it's that humans have more in common than not and that, to some extent, there is music we can all jive with.

Returning to resonance, there are certain universal sounds we find pleasing and ones we do not -  which might have more to do with our physical makeup than our rational one. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who doesn't enjoy the sound of waves crashing on a beach or enjoys the sound of nails against a chalkboard (which is probably why schools put whiteboards in classrooms today). And, in terms of universality, there are certain sounds said to be made by cosmic objects like the Sun and/or Earth. When studying the effects of the sun's rays for my last article, I came across a video which was a supposed recording of the sounds made by the star (to view, click here). Just as light travels in waves, the article states that solar flares from the sun cause vibrations in its nearby magnetic field which then produces sounds (which scientists then dubbed "music"). I used to think that sounds given off by the planets and other cosmic entities were what were referred to by the term "music of the spheres" but really, Pythagoras's study of "musica universalis" had more to do with how different pitches jive in a way that is pleasing to most humans, thereby setting order to what seemed to be a subjective matter. While we as humans hold our individual preferences towards certain music (even though almost everyone likes the Beatles) our bodies can sometimes hold similar responses towards the sounds and noises it interacts with. If Einstien is right and everything is a vibration, it can be determined that sound waves could affect the waves and frequencies of our bodies... for better or worse.

With the exception of myself and a few others, women who blog seem to be this generation's "ladies who lunch". Admittedly, it's how I get a lot of my information but many of the health blogs I read feature authors writing about spas in Germany which they had the pleasure of visiting. But someone has to do it because quite literally, new advances in holistic/alternative medicine can have truly healing effects... and at better price points to boot. One such "treatment" that has popped up on the radar is a sound bath. Using quartz singing bowls, gongs and didgeridoos to create sounds within a space, a sound bath is meant to relax and clear the mind of its participants. While most articles featured journalists who claimed to experience intense relaxation through the process, one article cited Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor who spoke of the benefits of a steady heart rate and deep slow breathing (thought to be brought about through the vibration of instruments used in a sound bath). In general, it's thought that vibrations can affect or resonate with the frequencies of our own bodies, going so far as to "lower heart rate[s],... relax brain wave patterns and reduce respiratory rates," according to the article above. And while I haven't made it over to my own sound bath (although they're relatively cheap at around $35 a pop), I began to think that some songs we hear on the radio could carry either positive (read: beneficial) or not so positive vibes. Below lay a few finding categorized by genre. Enjoy!



Elvis: They don't call him "the king" for nothing. When listening to music through the lens of vibrations, the songs of Elvis seemed to produce good ones. As I'm relatively clueless about musical mechanics like pitch and tone, I'm not sure why his music seemed good... I'm just glad he has his own station on Sirius XM. Also, before voices were able to be electronically modified, they had to be good to please most people. In this regard, talented singers from the 50's and 60's such as Patsy Cline and Ella Fitzgerald also seem to send good vibes from their music.

Mariah Carey: Girl can hit "crazy" high notes. Also, whatever she does, from her early work to her reinvention as less-innocent singer (more horrible actress) seems good. Also in the same vein, some of Nora Jones and Shakira's songs are on point.

This video always sends out good vibes. 


Papa Roach: Papa Roach is likely not on anyone's radar anymore but, thanks to 90's on 9, they make an appearance every now and then on my radio. And while they're fun to rock out to, their choppy music seems not to jive well with anything.



Biggie: Biggie seems to be in balance. Weighing up to 380 pounds while alive, one expected him to move and maybe rap at a slower pace (perhaps needing a greater intake of air between lines). But Biggie could spit like no other, keeping pace with fast rappers like the Bone Thugs and putting his voice over beats that always get me energized.

DMX: Not only did I want to be one of DMX's Ruff Riders in high school, so to speak (which I heard through the grapevine suited him just fine age-wise) I also really liked his music. While he's a little cray-cray, his music carries the thud-thud-thud I so scientifically referenced above.

Biggie obviously puts out good vibes.


Nelly: Nelly sucks.

So there you have it. A few artists which might resonate well from a physical standpoint or that might get you up and dancing! Either way, your body will thank you! ;)

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