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4 years ago

MSWA Bulletin Magazine Summer 17

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THE BENEFITS OF SOUND CHERRY CHAPMAN, MSWA COUNSELLOR As a counsellor working at MSWA, I am fortunate to work within a multi-disciplinary team. The team provides a holistic approach for individuals, families and carers while they navigate the journey of living with MS, or supporting a loved one, with a long-term health condition. I am delighted to introduce the modality of sound as an alternative element for the team. Our bodies and minds unconsciously react differently to the effects of sound throughout the day, from the echoes of chattering kookaburras laughing in the tree, to the piercing sound of an ambulance siren. “Whether or not we hear it, everything has a sound, a vibration all on its own” (J. Leeds). The vibrations are known as resonance and account for the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates; each part of our bodies has its own natural resonance. Oncologist Dr Mitchell Gaynor explains further: “If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only by our ears but through every cell in our body.” Sound healing is the use of physical sound vibrations for therapeutic benefit. It is unique among healing modalities because we can feel its effect through the vibrations it creates in our bodies. It works in a gentle way to return the body’s own vibrations to its natural state using a combination of instruments; Tibetan and crystal bowls, ocean drums, rain-stick, gongs, drums and Koshi chimes. The body is made up of 70% water which makes it an excellent conductor for sound and vibration. The use of sound introduces and promotes mindfulness sound meditation leading to: • The promotion of deeper relaxation/stress relief • Increased clarity of the mind by helping to quieten the internal dialogue • Bringing the ‘self’ into a state of inner peace and calm • Slowing production of the stress hormone cortisol • Balancing both hemispheres of the brain • An awareness into your own unique internal world • Increased sleep quality • Helping soothe and regulate the autonomic nervous system I am presently working with individuals and the use of sound. I’m hoping that next year I will expand my repertoire, co-ordinating sessions with Leonie Wellington from the great South West and her drumming. To read more: If you would like to know more, please contact me on 9365 4888. 16 | MSWA BULLETIN SUMMER 2017

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX – BOXING FOR PEOPLE WITH MS BEN MATTHEWS, MSWA PHYSIOTHERAPIST MSWA Members have enough on their (neurological) plate without being repeatedly punched in the head in the name of sport. Which is why we don’t suggest competitive boxing unless you want to sustain irreversible neurological trauma, or punch your life expectancy down to single digits. However, the benefits of what I loosely term ‘non-contact’ boxing are as impressive as competitive boxing is traumatic. When I say ‘non-contact’ boxing I am referring to punching boxing bags or punching targets. NOT people who disagree with your point of view! ‘Non-contact’ boxing is a very popular form of exercise for patients with neurological conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Stroke, because it simultaneously addresses balance, coordination, endurance, and cognition. The benefits of ‘noncontact’ boxing include: • Challenging balance and coordination • Cardiovascular endurance • Stress relief • Getting revenge on your physio • Looking like Rocky Balboa Want a cognitive boxing exercise? Count down from 100 in seven-unit intervals and throw three jabs (left, right, left) every time you reach a number. Our Members have really enjoyed boxing in their exercise classes/groups, some liked it a little too much. I had the misfortune of working with a Member who was an amateur boxer in his youth, and he hit my palm so hard he nearly dislocated my shoulder! If you have any feedback for your physio, as tempting as it may be to perform an interpretive dance with your fists, please don’t. Most problems/criticisms can be resolved without violence, and this is essential for maintaining the longevity of our allied health staff!! The beautiful thing about ‘non-contact’ boxing is that we can adapt it to accommodate people with all different levels of function. We can have Members working together, working with a physio, punching from a wheelchair (literally punching below the belt) and even throwing punches from the tilt table. Boxing is a great way to let off steam and there’s nothing like throwing jabs, hooks, and uppercuts to get the heart pumping. Even better if you get to pummel the physio who’s forever tormenting you with exercises. Don’t go too hard, or we’ll have to substitute a much more peaceful exercise for boxing; perhaps making origami cranes, or SUDOKU? The only precautions to be aware of are pre-existing neck, and upper limb problems. If you have any questions or queries, let your physio know. See you in the ring! MSWA BULLETIN SUMMER 2017 | 17