3 Ways Music Heals the Soul

Modern society is teeming with stress. Given the extensive demands on both our personal and professional lives, this probably comes as no surprise. What might be surprising, however, is the discovery that ongoing stress over expanded periods of time can lead to certain irregularities in the stress response system. This, in turn, can give rise to a range of conditions including high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and depression. Thus, it is essential for people to be able to cope with stress on a daily basis.

Enter music therapy, which has been gaining increasing popularity as an effective way to combat stress. Using music to improve health has been well-documented. But how does listening to music actually relax us? This question was the focus of a recent study led by Kenichi Itao of Juntendo University in Japan. In order to pursue this inquiry, Itao and his collaborators built on previous research and devised an experimental procedure in which participants arrived at the laboratory, took a seat, completed a short test. From there, they listened to five minutes of silence, followed by three minutes of music, followed by five more minutes of silence.

Continue @ Psychology Today (blog)

As she battled and beat cancer, Kathryn Dyer found peace and passion through photography

In the latest episode of the sixth season of Adorama’s Through the Lens, the focus is on photographer Kathryn Dyer. Sacramento-based Dyer first forayed into the world of Instagram and became more serious about photography when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband bought a camera for them to share and take Kathryn’s mind off her battle with cancer through nature photography sessions.

Continue @ imaging resource

Travel Secrets: Have More Fun, Less Hassle On Your Next Vacation

I love active travel and am a big fan of ski trips, bike trips, and lots of other adventures, but the one thing these and many other sport-centric vacations, from golf to snowboarding, have in common is the hassle factor of traveling with gear. And even if you are just taking a relaxing vacation, luggage has increasingly become one of the most annoying parts of the travel experience, as airlines continue to raise prices and charge fees, in some cases even for carry-ons. This practice was at first limited to smaller deep discount carriers who make up for low prices with all sorts of extra surcharges, but now even the major carriers are selling no-frills tickets – think of it as “economy minus” – that doesn’t allow a carry-on.

Read @ Forbes

Timonium woman teaches art class aimed at easing stress of veterans, first responders – Baltimore Sun

There should be more programs, maybe even some organized charity events that help PTSD and other traumatic event victims to deal with their stress through the arts.  Whether its painting, writing, music, dance – whatever, these should all be offered to veterans and other stress related victims.  How much evidence do we need regarding the healing powers of the arts?  Treating the “soul” is what art does … and these folks definitely deserve to have that opportunity.

Drafted out of high school, Ziegler went to Vietnam, coming home after he was wounded before serving overseas in Germany. While in Europe, he made time to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, never losing his passion for art.

This year, Ziegler engaged that passion again, as he regularly traveled from his home in Linthicum to Epiphany Episcopal Church, in Timonium, to try his hand at making masterpieces of his own. His destination was a class taught by Mary Rever, an artist and teacher from Timonium who offers free painting lessons to military veterans and first responders.

Full Story: Timonium woman teaches art class aimed at easing stress of veterans, first responders – Baltimore Sun