The Relaxation Music of Enhanced Healing and Dr. Harry Henshaw

I would like to share my current work and the benefit that I believe it has for not only counselors but anyone wishing to experience a sense of true relaxation and as a result reduce the stress in their life.  What I am currently engaged in creating for myself and the world is a definite outgrowth of education, training and employment as a therapist.  What I am doing now is developing what I refer to as therapeutic relaxation music and exploring its many possibilities as a change modality.

I received my doctoral degree over 25 years ago in Human Development from Boston University.  After school I have had a variety of counseling and administrative positions in mental health and substance abuse programs in the states of Illinois, Massachusetts and Florida.  I am currently employed as one of the senior therapist at a drug rehab program here in the Miami area where I conduct individual and group counseling session with addicts.  The music that I have created is a very important component in my present work as a therapist.

After working for several years in the counseling field I eventually became trained in both Neuro Linguistic Programming and hypnosis.  From the beginning I was fascintated with the practice of NLP and hypnosis and found them to be very powerful for helping individuals to bring about true and lasting change in their life.  As part of the trance work that I was initially doing I also employed a variety of different relaxation music recordings.  The music definitely helped with the hypnosis that I was conducting.

Eventually I become dissatisfied with the relaxation music that I was using and started to compose my own recordings.  Having received 11 years of piano training in my childhood, I started to experiment with different type of compositions.  Eventually I created the type of relaxation music that I am still using today.  I soon found that the kind of relaxation music that I was creating helped people to experience a deep state of relaxation, go into trance much quicker and also achieve much more benefical results from the  hypnotic work .

While the relaxation music was initially developed for my hypnotic practice I also started to use it in individual and group counseling sessions.  During both types of sessions I would play the music at an ambient level so that it would create a relaxed background but not be of a distracting nature for the client.  Most counselors and therapists do not understand the power of relaxation music for benefiting a client.

After years of working with this type of music, I believe that it is the structure of the music that creates the beneficial effect for the client.  First, there is the actual structure of the musical composition.  I have found that long, sustained chords or voices, approximately 12 to 15 seconds in duration, with slow transitions between them creates an audio environment condusive to experiencing a sense of deep relaxation.  Listening to this type of relaxatiton music is truly a physical experience.

The second component of the recordings is the binaural audio tones that have been interwoven into the music. The binaural tones, through a process referred to as entrainment or frequency following, gently directs the mind/body to generate more of the targeted frequency of brain wave activity whether it be for either profound relaxation or sleep. The recordings for deep relaxaton contain binaural audio tones within the theta range while the recordings for sleep contains binaural audio tones within the delta range.

What I have also found is that in addtion to the listener experiencing a state of deep relaxation he is more open to suggestions, that is, where suggestions can be given that will more likely be accepted and acted upon.  When an individual is truly relaxed he is much less defensive and as a result much more open to considering the possibility of new and different ideas  for behaving and being different.  The end result for the client is improved ability to let go of the barriers and constraints that have limited him in his life and through acceptance create the possibility of change at a much more rapid pace.