Connections in life can happen in many ways. They happen between people by crossing cultural, and philosophical boundaries. They normalize tension between nations by nurturing an expanded world view, and usually happen by standing together with equal footing on common ground. People experiencing cognitive changes have layered connections that can be accessed deeply and directly through the healing medium of sound and touch.
Irma (not her real name), was 87 when Lori first met her. She was living alone in a modest apartment in Queens, NY. It was the same apartment that she had lived in for 77 years. She had experienced success in her life as a professional dancer on Broadway, had never married and was her mother's sole caregiver. She nurtured her mother through Alzheimer's disease, and stayed with her until she died. The only thing that Irma had ever known was her strong bond and devotion to her mother.
Irma came into see Lora for gentle chiropractic care, and what happened next, was astounding. Irma's spine was ridden with arthritis, but her ambulation was normal. Her face was very clear and for 87, she had hardly any wrinkles. Irma's secret was daily exercise, and yoga. Irma would rise at 5 A.M. every morning, would meditate and pray, then would exercise. She was seeing Lori, not because she was in pain, but because she wanted to release stress and embrace a higher level of "ease." Lori did a gentle form of chiropractic, NSA (Network Spinal Analysis), on Irma, and then did something that is rarely done. Lori, who is also a musician, connected on a musical level with Irma. Lori and Irma would sing together, would share poetry and when Irma was getting body work done, Lori would play her favorite music with pleasant smelling aromatherapy diffusing in the room in the background. Lori, creating a "spa- like," environment connected to as many of Irma's senses as possible. The outcome for Irma, was that she had more energy than she could ever remember, and made some very important decisions in life. For years and years she had wanted to go to a spiritual retreat at Unity Village in Missouri, but never seemed to have the energy to follow through with her dream. After seeing Lori for only a month, Irma was on a plane to Unity Village. After two weeks, Irma returned and continued getting healing work done which connected her to her own healer within. Irma lived out her final years having the ease and energy to check off things that she wanted to do in her remaining years on her bucket list, and made a very peaceful transition from this world to the next, in her 90's.
What can we as caregiver's give to people that we care for? Is our job merely to deliver pills, potions and medical doctor's directives? Or is our job, to connect? And how do we connect to someone who has limited cognition? Sometimes it by just listening, and being present with someone in the silence without judgement or expectation. Lori connects with her mother and other's through sound, through touch, and through validating communication techniques. This is something that everyone can learn to do. Sometimes even a gentle hug can be healing!!
Lori's mother was having a very silent, quiet day. She rose just in time to have breakfast at 6 A.M., then immediately went back to bed sleeping all day long. Lori was able to give her some meds and supplements around noon, and then more and more sleeping. Then, as was her normal request, Lori had Pandora playing Swing music. (Her mother just loved Glenn Miller, and Lori was raised listening to Glenn Miller.) It was 3PM, and singing and yelling was coming from her mother's room. "Pennsylvania Six Five Thousand! (Quiet at first.) "Pennsylvania Six Five Thousand," (A little louder.) "Pennsylvania Six Five Thousand," (Now screaming!!!) Lori's mom was fully awake and singing with The Glenn Miller Band! Studies show that people with dementia can remember songs and lyrics and they do!!!!! Is this healing?? (Anything that contributes to a better quality of life can be healing, so you choose the answer!!) Lori's mother rose from her slumber smiling and singing!! She then grabbed Lori for a few rounds of the jitter-bug and the two women danced throughout the house!!! See the links below and please watch these videos.
Sound healing and hands on healing practices (NSA), can contribute to a higher quality of life for people suffering from dementia and for everyone who wants to lessen stress and experience "ease." And what is the opposite of "ease"? "Dis-ease."
Side by Side Singers: https://sidebysidesinging.wordpress.com/video/
Naomi Feil, MSW Validation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrZXz10FcVM
Copyright 2015 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama Nicey
The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics. How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.