May I please welcome the first of our guided meditations to the T-Minus tinnitus sound therapy library. The first delivery of the T-Minus Guided Meditations incorporates a female voice that is easily understood and digestible. During this guided meditation I wanted to pay special attention to the areas of the neck, jaw and most importantly, the ‘breath’.
TThe natural sounds used in this meditation have been recorded in high definition from a trip to a rain forest in Cuba. It was bewildering and exciting to find myself in the middle of dense forestation, surrounded by the sound of waterfalls, wildlife and warm droplets of precipitation. As I’m lucky enough to be the musical creator of this special tinnitus app, I am therefore free to specifically design targeted frequencies and look for the correct narrative that I know will help the person with tinnitus. The voice in this meditation belongs to Mia Rose Finnigan. I am delighted to have Mia perform on two of the five narrations and aim to have Mia join T-Minus again when I embark on the second series of tinnitus specific guided meditations. Mia’s voice is ‘crystal’ clear with very good pronunciation and diction. I would also like to add that Mia gave her time and energy voluntarily and was fully committed to delivering a perfect performance for the benefit of the wider tinnitus community.
I think the most important aspect to any (and every) holistic treatment working is this statement: DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER INSIDE?
I would conclude that anything that makes you feel happier and more in ‘control’, really can bring the attention of tinnitus down to an acceptable level. Subsequent stress and anxiety issues (that can exacerbate the condition) can be managed more comfortably, therefore life can begin to ‘normalise’ once again.
Guided meditation and other such holistic treatments offer a more powerful cumulative long term effect, thus putting the individual on a direct course to “wellness”.
Lastly, I want to remind the listener that there is a world of sound and music around to explore – my listeners are encouraged to remember that sound and hearing greatly benefits all of our lives. In order to preserve, strengthen, practice and grow this special sense, we must gently remind ourselves that sound experiences through enrichment are not to be feared but explored and enjoyed.
For Naturalitè I have enlisted the help two very special and gifted artists. The first artist is David C. Heath. This artist is one of the greatest flute players in the world and one of the three most inspiring musicians that I have ever worked with. Dave has worked on a new meditation track that was inspired by a long telephone conversation about ancient history and in particular the plight of ‘the Cathars’. Dave is a film maker, artist and producer that has been inspired to travel the world in order to make sense of his greater ‘self’. Through this process of discovery, I feel instinctively that my friend is unifying people through music. Right now, he calls this journey a “musical tour of peace and kindness”.
Dave is constantly looking and seeking hidden truths that whisper to him from around the globe and universal consciousness. On this particular new series of T-Minus music, Dave is playing his favoured Alto Flute.
The last time I worked with Dave Heath was over 23 years ago. We played at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival and we never lost the connection we had with one another.. it’s extremely rare.
The second artist I was fortunate to have performing and creating with us was Séverine Mouletin. Séverine has been collaborating with T-Minus since the beginning and it’s wonderful to be able to present this artist's unique and detailed script, plus having it especially performed in the first person! We also had the privilege of her guesting on percussion. It was an intensely personal meditation that took many days to craft and mould into a script. The delivery of these words also took some time to get right, as we all wanted to get the correct meaning, speed and tone of the words to gel and dance with the ‘natural sounds of the outdoors’. I’d like to think we ALL achieved it.
Thank you very much David Granshaw (Engineer/Producer at Chale Abbey Studios) for your incredible work of capturing the sound of this instrument so thoughtfully and respectfully. It’s a joy to work with you.
The guided meditations are designed to help the wider tinnitus community, but can be utilised for everybody’s relaxation (and breathing) needs. This piece of music has been carefully embedded with a myriad of harmonious frequencies. These range from real-time sounds of nature (from around the world) through to a Moroccan ‘call to prayer’. I wanted to blend the smoky exotic tones from the East and let them melt and blow into environmental sounds that were recorded in the South. Lastly my ambition for this piece of music was to have these worlds fused with an effortlessly spoken American accent. I placed the voice above and beyond the music and created a place for it to exist in another dimension, not too dissimilar to that of the film... ‘Jason and the Argonauts’! The Greek Gods are hovering above the heavens dictating and guiding the brave (ocean-faring) sailors away from the unpredictable currents and into serine and calmer waters.
Guided imagery through meditation produces many possible outcomes. You can use this type of music therapy to assist in helping the individual to learn the process of reaching a state of deep relaxation... This is particularly useful when dealing with blood pressure issues and can greatly reduce other problems that can be exacerbated by stress. You can also use it to help reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain and promote healing. One of the key areas when dealing with troublesome tinnitus is letting go of any associated emotional stress. Once the body and mind begin to relax and become more peaceful, then the positive possibilities become endless.
In order to heal, sometimes we have to tear! I was reminded by this fact not long ago whilst talking with a superb mindfulness coach. It really hit a chord with me, and I have subsequently thought about this whilst working on these meditations. Through my tinnitus life I’ve had to go through many setbacks and dreadfully dark ‘broken’ times that have often scarred and shaped my expressive ‘land’ and ‘soundscapes’. Every time the tinnitus sufferer has a minor or major setback, we are reminded that we have to restart the ‘habituation’ process again. I thought initially that I would only have to go through this once in my life (as the process can take from a couple of months to a couple of years, sometimes longer). Three times I’ve had to “TEAR” before I could heal. At the time, the journey back to wellness seemed completely insurmountable, but with distance and armed with a further appreciation of the time spent learning about tinnitus I am able to positively reflect on those times.
By going out late at night walking around town, the woods and the beach, I was slowly able to make sense and reconnect with my auditory world again. Walking close to the ocean, forests and natural environments, was both vital and extremely therapeutic. Allowing my mind to bathe in natural auditory environments was the key to enhancing the healing process.
As members of our beloved tinnitus community that are recovering (or have recovered) we all have the ability to help other less fortunate sufferers that are struggling with tinnitus. By communicating and listening, whilst at the same time offering a wide array of coping mechanisms and suggesting good professional information (from the many excellent ear health practitioners) we can do so much to help people to HEAL. For me, the sound therapy is the most important background or backdrop to the information gathering and learning. I was utterly inspired to write the music to this meditation after knowing that the person I always wanted to start this journey with, was happy to narrate and write this original script. Her name is Angela Warwick and is a Crystal healer. Her partner was also very much involved in the creative process. His name is Peter Stoughton (Master Reiki healer). We would often meet, walk, talk and drink hot chocolate by the sea. During one of our conversations Peter spoke to me about CHIRON the Greek Wounded Healer.
A brief description of CHIRON (the wounded healer) The ‘Wounded healer’ is a term created by psychologist Carl Jung. The idea states that an analyst is compelled to treat patients because the analyst himself is “wounded”. The idea may have Greek mythology origins. Chiron was wounded by an arrow from Heracles' bow. He did not die (because gods are immortal); instead, he suffered excruciating pain for the rest of his eternal days. It was because of his grievous wound that Chiron understood the pain that was being experienced by Prometheus, who was being tormented and punished by the gods. Chiron sacrificed himself to free Prometheus from his torture and it was this act of kindness that encouraged Zeus to free both Prometheus from his shackles and also Chiron from his pain. Chiron thus became known as a legendary healer in ancient Greece.
Angela and Peter brought many types of Crystals into the recording studio and laid them into carefully placed positions that would aid the creative process and add a higher frequency to the room. Angela would record the meditation whilst channelling the information via ‘Angels’. After two sessions of recording we had the final performance and take. This is still one of my favourite recordings. The imagery and narration are spell-binding.
Having the ‘confidence’ to know that sound will not harm you and learning to once again adapt, and enjoy a wonderful world of sound and noise, is the world that all of us in the tinnitus community desire.
Without confronting and going back into the awareness of owning and confronting the tinnitus we will not be ready for the “SOUND THERAPY” to fully work. I know from my own situation, that when I was not ready to truly accept and was always afraid, that I was just waiting for my tinnitus to get worse again. Tinnitus patients rarely want to discuss personal tinnitus when they feel it is roughly under control. We all have feared the notion of ‘rattling the Tinnitus Monster’s cage’. But through professional intervention we don’t just merely stroke the monster, we learn to let it out of the cage to wander freely and bathe in the sunshine. Finally, we turn the monster into a docile pet and then eventually say goodbye.
The correct tinnitus sound therapy relies on the quality of the content and provision. The sound therapy follows a distinct and proper path for the participant to finally realise that leaving the “tinnitus maze” is a real option. A profoundly deep confidence that the therapy is going somewhere is essential. I would look at the T-Minus app as being similar to CIRCUIT TRAINING. It will require discipline and determination, but the incredible outcome will be immensely worth the effort. The user will eventually end up being curious enough and confident enough to go out and explore the sounds that envelop their hearing world again, to let the associated noises and frequencies back in and to have happiness in the knowledge that their control of the tinnitus becomes finite.
By confronting tinnitus, no longer are you hiding from the problem, worried about exacerbating the condition, self-imposing isolation and fixating on the negative.
These simple steps allow the patient to continue moving further into a brave new world of ‘self-empowerment’ and ‘self-management’ and therefore taking back control of their auditory environment and of their whole life again. I would encourage you to remember that sound and hearing greatly benefits all of our lives. In order to preserve, strengthen, practice and grow this special sense, we must gently remind ourselves that sound experiences through enrichment are not to be feared but explored. I wanted this meditation to focus on simplicity and kindness (to ones self and others who are at the start of their journey) words needed to reflect upon the past and present but ultimately, being ‘in the now’ with the importance given to being fully present.
During the late summer of 2020 I visited an ancient stone circle in the United Kingdom called Avebury, very near to the famous Stonehenge. I wanted to come to this mystical centre in order to gain the final inspiration needed to complete the first series of guided meditations. I spent two days walking and sitting by the stones and allowed myself the time to think and theorise. My belief was that the stone circle may have been an ancient centre for holistic healing and that thousands of years ago we (mankind) had developed new and exciting techniques of working with the mind, body and spirit. It was important to go back to my studio and look at Avebury as the catalyst for the meditation script. The overall feeling of serenity that washes over the listener, comes from its mystical, dark and ancient roots.
The sounds that act as the natural tinnitus masking tones, frequencies and noises come from the Isle of Wight and the rain forests of Cuba. The musical challenge I set myself was to believe that I could create a heightened state of ‘peace’ and ‘stillness’ through elements that could contradict that utopian dream. The contradiction being my own tinnitus noises.
I have carefully, accurately recorded Hz sounds, tones or other types of noises in real time (meaning that they are not looped). This gives the listener a chance to fully explore the natural length of the journey that they are about to embark on.
As I have sadly experienced a wide range of tinnitus symptoms, I therefore understand how to create them and work with them. By targeting the specific tones that the listener might have, I’m able to-immediately give the listener the chance to park their own sounds somewhere else. After those sounds are embedded into the music, I’m able to then offer other tones and Hz sounds into the equation thus giving the brain the chance to refocus and look elsewhere for a new sound source. It’s important that the music isn’t classical or new age. This is because I want the listener to be taken somewhere completely different and in order to present this, I have to create a brand-new sound reality. My relationship towards ‘sound’ will always be intensely personal and private. My reason for living a musical life is purely ‘devotional’.