“The music will help slow your heart rate, deepen your breathing, and move your brainwaves in the direction of calmness. Think of this CD as an acoustical balm for your nervous system to be played whenever you feel the need for peace, stillness, and tranquility.” – From the liner notes
The hurried pace of overcommitted lives and manic striving is a breeding ground for stress and disease. Stress hormones bathe our delicate nervous system resulting in the fight-or-flight response once reserved for survival, resulting in fatigue, fuzzy thinking and irritability.
In a sonic progression spanning 60 minutes, Leeds has selected and re-arranged instrumental compositions by renowned composers expressly for inducing the relaxation response. By arranging the musical selections so that each piece is progressively slower in tempo and simplified in melodic complexity, gentle healing sounds can relieve an overtaxed nervous system.
With lovely performances by the Apollo Chamber Ensemble, the Relax and De-Stress CD features the piano, cello, and oboe arranged by Leeds with four psychoacoustic techniques in mind:
1. Resonance – The impact of one vibration upon another
2. Entrainment – A natural process whereby heartbeat, breath and brainwaves speed up or slow down to match an external rhythm
3. Auditory Pattern Identification – Passive hearing techniques designed to relieve the mind of the tendency to “work” to figure out musical patterns
4. Beauty – Resolution between dissonance and consonance found in harmonies, melodies, and performances
• Aria Lento by Bach
• Reverie by Debussy
• Concerto for Oboe and Strings Sarabande (with nature sounds) by Corelli-Barbirolli
• Arioso from Cantata No. 156 – Bach
• Intermezzo Op. 116 No. 4 in E Major – Brahms
• Concerto for Oboe K. 314, Adagio non troppo by Mozart
• Cello and Piano Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65 Largo by Chopin
• Sonata Andante transcribed from Cello Suite No. 3 by Marcello
• Sonata in A Major D959 Andantino by Schubert
• Winter, Largo from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
• Meditation by Moussorgsky
• Theme from Largo of “The New World Symphony” by Dvorak
I’ve listened to Dr. Andrew Weil’s Music for Self-Healing: Relax and De-Stress several times and find it to be very relaxing. Aesthetically speaking, these aren’t musical selections I’d put in my stereo to listen to for pleasure (even though they're pleasant), yet I can tell a measurable difference in both my mood and bodily state after I begin listening to this CD. In fact, I’m listening to Relax and De-Stress right now and I’m noticing that my breathing has deepened and slowed—and that tension in my shoulders and neck seems to have melted away. If you’re looking for a soothing CD to put in the stereo after work or perhaps to listen to while you make dinner or get ready for bed, I can recommend with confidence the Relax and De-Stress compilation arranged by Joshua Leeds.
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