HEALING WITH FLUTES
“Good music can increase your pleasure and be your oasis when the desert seems to be there. And the simple flute is an elegant means of finding the oasis” – Lew Paxton Price
Have you wondered why listening to flute music makes you and others so calm and peaceful? Do you wonder why flute music and playing the flute is an amazing therapeutic practice and stress reliever? I’ve outlined a few ways in which healing with Native American Flutes can take you into new and spacious states of chillaxed being.
HOW IT HEALED ME
Flute music created a supportive and nurturing environment for me to soothe and heal in. As I drifted through a challenging life as a teacher in South Korea, what kept my spirit up and my soul calm was listening to the beautiful sounds of the Native American Style Flute. For years I kept the one album I owned (The Indian Road) with me, and any time I was on the road in need of a moment of introspection, I would turn to this music. No other style of music has touched my soul and my life so deeply, nor has any music directed my life as Native American music has. The flute has taken me from owning this one album, to several years later owning a few flutes, to meeting the musicians from that first album, to becoming a flute maker’s apprentice, and now to owning and operating my own instrument crafting business. Throughout this period from 2002 onwards, the flute has remained close at hand, and as I journey with it into quiet states of creative consciousness, and share it with others, the holistic healing qualities of these flute styles (NASF, Drone, and Mayan Temple Flute) remain for me unparalleled.
HOW IT CAN HEAL YOU
The flute can transport one to a more relaxed and calm state, especially after playing for 10 minutes or more. This feeling is known as the ‘alpha’ state, a state during which your brain is pulsing at a lower rate than your mental and emotional fluctuations. (Price, Creating and Using the Native American Love Flute, 1994). One of the most impactful ways to develop this alpha state, is by focusing on the breath. During our daily activities this can be a challenge, as due to our busy lives, our minds end up operating mostly in the ‘beta’ state. In this state, your conscious mind is dominant and your subconscious mind can’t break through to help you out, as it can when you are asleep. So, people who are able and trained to maintain a prolonged alpha state can deal with life much more effectively than people who are usually in beta (Price, Creating and Using the Native American Love Flute, 1994). In this way, flute playing can lead you to develop more coordination, intuition, and intelligence. One of the main reasons for this is because playing the flute encourages one to sit and ‘be with the breath’.
Practice (let’s try it).
Sit in a peaceful place, rest with your breath while leaving your flute on the floor. After a few minutes, pick up your flute and begin with long soft low notes. Do this for a while, until your mind is absorbed in the sound. Explore more notes on your flute, but do it consciously so that you can hear each note being played fully. It can be helpful to play melodies that you are familiar with at this point. After some time, let the consciousness go and allow your playing to take you on a journey, play what comes up and let your fingers dance where they want to dance. Playing like this for at least 15 minutes will allow your state to slip into alpha, and you’ll notice it, because the corners of your eyes will soften, and any frown on your face will disappear, and you’ll feel calm and relaxed. Keep playing, if you like, or make this simple 15-20 minute practice part of your daily routine.
HEALING WITH NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTES – PRACTICES
Some other flute healing practices we recommend:
- Use only a few notes on your flute and witness your exposure to the duration and prolonged resonance.
- Play along to steady drone background music, such a Gaga Moondoon (Clint Goss – Jam Tracks in A minor), or download the mp3 in your desired key from Kanartik.
- Comfort a friend by playing a soft and slow melody.
- When you feel comfortable and accomplished enough, contact your local elderly care home and request a visit to play for an audience.
- For chakra, or energy center, awareness practices, see the following section.
FLUTES AND CHAKRAS
Flutes are being used in chakra balancing therapy and chakra awareness practices. If you are wanting to explore this awareness, try the following:
- Get seated comfortably with your flute. Relax and breathe easy for a few minutes.
- This practice progresses from you playing with all the finger holes covered, and working note by note, up the extended minor pentatonic scale, and thus up the seven chakra points from base to crown.
- At each note you play, for the duration of one or two full breaths, focus your awareness on each chakra.
- Once you’ve played up to the top note, and crown chakra, reverse by playing down to the base note, also the base chakra.
This practice will provide you with a chakra awareness practice as well as a sound and music awareness practice.