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Sound Advice - by Jerry Ryan, Ph.D.

You are swimming in a sea of sound every day. An ocean of noises surrounds you - crashing waves of sirens and horns, steady ripples of ticking clocks and running engines, and undercurrents of electronic hum. Music plays everywhere; it drives you in a dance club, it soothes you in medical offices, and it saddens you at memorial services. Constant media chatter from movies, videos, television, and radio subconsciously impacts your daily life. It's truly amazing that anyone can accomplish anything with the incessant bombardment of sound.

Sound affects you in four basic ways. It can change your physiological responses. It can alter your emotions. It can transform your thinking. It can modify your behavior.

Alarms trigger physical responses, raising your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing your respiratory rate and other biological markers. Cortisol, a fight-or-flight chemical, is instantly dumped into the bloodstream for the body to make the appropriate response. On the other hand, there are sounds that soothe the body's systems. The sound of ocean waves has a frequency of twelve cycles per minute and people find that sound very peaceful. It is interesting to note that twelve cycles per minute is the breathing rate for a sleeping human.

Listening to certain music, whether classical, jazz, or rock, can elicit feelings ranging from joy to sadness. While music is the most powerful sound that influences emotions, there are natural sounds that have the same results. For example, a birdsong has a very calming effect. The reason might be that over thousands of years, folks have come to realize that everything is fine while the birds are singing. It's when they stop that you need to start worrying.

Hearing a sound or series of sounds can subtly or suddenly change our thinking. It can bring back memories of pleasant times or it can spark a reaction of fear. Trying to split attention and tune out background noise is difficult and communication suffers. The amount of background noise can reduce your productivity as well. Studies have shown that working in an open office plan setting drops productivity by 66%! You're only one-third as productive as you would be in a quiet room.

Movement is often initiated with sound. People move away from unpleasant sound and move toward pleasant sound. The most obvious example of sound creating movement is dance. Music combines recognition and association which gives it a powerful motivating quality.
Bad sound environments can not only drain your health, they can decrease your finances. At a business level, an inappropriate sound environment can decrease sales by up to 28%! If people don't like the sound or feel that it doesn't fit the store theme, they will not stay long, if they enter at all.

There are four rules for setting up a healthy sound environment. They are:
• Make it congruent with your intention. Sound that is congruent with the setting increases impact by over 1100%! Incongruent sound reduces impact by 82%!
• Make it appropriate to the situation.
• Make it valuable. Give people something more than just bombarding them with noise.
• Test your sound environment again and again.

Music changes, times change, feelings change, and situations change. Make sure that the sounds in your life change too.

Jerry Ryan, Ph.D. is a Natural Health Coach who teaches individuals and group classes on the scientifically documented benefits of natural health techniques.  He is also an internationally published author and has been a guest speaker at such places as NIKE World Headquarters.  For more information, his website is http://www.JerryRyanPhD.com

       Article Source: http://www.ElectricArticles.com