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Dr Daniel and Tana Amen sit down with Grammy Award Winning Producer Barry Goldstein to talk about entrainment and how music can affect one’s mental state.
Daniel Amen, MD:
Welcome to the Brain warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
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Welcome everyone. Tana and I are very excited about this week. We have our friend, Barry Goldstein on with us, and we’re going to talk about happiness, music, and the brain. Barry has been our collaborators for four music albums. We’re pretty excited about that. He’s co-produced Grammy Award winning tracks. He’s worked with bestselling authors and physicians, and has composed and produced for television, film, major record labels, top 10 recording artists. But mostly, Barry’s passionate about using music to heal. And, Barry and I have been working on using music to heal your brain and your mind. And our new album is called Your Brain Is Always Listening, which I love that title.
And you never let me forget all of the times you guys have … what made the top 10 on Billboard.
Yeah, so it’s very cool.
So welcome, Barry.
Well, thank you guys, for having me. It’s great seeing both of you again. I’m really excited about the launch of this new album in collaboration with you, and our continued joint vision of helping people move to those beneficial brain states.
So, let’s start in this first podcast by telling people your story. How did you get involved with music and healing?
Well, that’s really interesting because I always say if you would have told me that I would be doing this type of music 25 years ago, I probably would have laughed at myself, because I was a rock musician. I was doing a lot of hip hop and house music, type A New York City music producer. And I really just kind of got burnt out on taking 50 to a hundred hours to produce a formula pop song. And, so I started to create this ambient music with looking at how I can get back to my heart. And so I typed in the internet, music and the heart, and I remember reading that our heart was at a relaxed state between 60 and 70 beats per minute. So I said, “What would happen if I started composing with my metronome set to 60 beats per minute?”
And I just started taking these hour long journeys of really more decomposing than composing. It was for my own stress, and anxiety, and sleeping challenges. And I realized that during these compositions, I was moving to a very meditative state or what we call the zone. And I didn’t know until later on, that this is what we call entrainment, where we’re actually synchronizing an internal rhythm to an external rhythm. And I didn’t think I’d be putting these pieces out, but I was urged by a girlfriend of mine who’s a massage therapist. And I started putting these out, only all of a sudden we started getting testimonials of how people were using them from everything from sleeping challenges, to anxiety, to birthing children into the world. Helping loved ones with dementia and agitated behaviors, and sleeping at night. And that really created a curiosity that made me further research the healing aspects of how music can be used as medicine. So that’s kind of it, in a quick story in a nutshell.
Those are awesome. I use them for meditation. I think they’re amazing. They actually really do help you get into a meditative state. I agree with that completely.
So let’s dive deeper into entrainment. And, while you were talking about that, I began to think about Tana. I always think about Tana. And when she listens to the news, she gets anxious and upset and angry, and it’s entraining her to notice what’s wrong rather than what’s right. And entrainments, basically your brain picks up the rhythm in the environment, but if your environment’s negative, you’re going to feel bad, but you can purposefully put your brain in a healing environment.
Yeah. And I mean, that’s I think something people don’t realize is that in our day, we are constantly emotionally entraining to people as we encounter specific things that go on in our day. Our challenges, our phone calls. I mean, have you ever gotten off the phone and you feel like, “Wow, something didn’t feel right in that conversation.” And I think this is where, what we’re doing can be really powerful because we can utilize music literally as a tool for energetic management. And I think this is really the next steps and the levels of that when we are emotionally entraining for something that doesn’t feel great. Can we get a little red flag that comes up and say, “Wow, I need to kind of shift this feeling now before my day snowballs into something that I don’t want it to.”
And so if we begin by asking ourselves the question, “Where am I now emotionally, where do I want to go? And what piece of music will take me there?” We can actually navigate our whole day energetically to where we want to take it. So in that instance where you’re listening to the news and you become more anxious, what would happen if you put on a piece, like we just created, called New Day, which is actually geared towards music for reducing anxiety. And just took five to 10 minutes to slow down, slow your heart rhythms down to more coherent states, and slow your brain waves down as well, so you can move out of that busy mindset and move into a state where you’re less anxious. And then we can begin to utilize our energy for what we want to use it for, which to creativity and our vision, and inspiring people.
I love that. And so, New Day is on Your Brain Is Always Listening, our new album. Where can people get our album?
Yeah, well now we can get it pretty much everywhere, where music is being sold. It will be on iTunes, Amazon. Will also be available on Spotify and Apple Music as well. So people can really … will be able to plug it into their day a lot more easily now.
I’m a huge fan of playlists. It’s like playlists for energy, playlists … You’re a big fan of playlists for working out.
Oh, yeah, because it completely changes how you move, how you function, how you feel. If I listen to meditation music when I’m working out, it’s a little bit different, because I’m trying to calm my brain when I’m meditating. But I’ve listened to extremely uplifting music, maybe with more bass or something when I’m working out, and then that gives me more, yeah. It gives me more energy. I totally move differently.
Yeah. And that’s again, where it comes in to listening to your body and what your body needs to get you there. So, where am I now, where do want to go? And if you want to get that heart in an elevated state, you’re going to plug in something that is going to accomplish that. And, you want to get out of your mind patterns when you’re working out and get into that zone.
What I think is really exciting, Daniel, that I was thinking about as well, is that we now have four CDs or I’ll say albums, because people are using a lot of things digitally as well now. But we really have created a great body of work to create playlists. If you wanted to create your own playlist now for sleep, using our four albums that we’ve put out, you can put together a longer playlist of all those and have a great hour and a half worth of music before you go to sleep at night, and the same for other states as well. So, that’s one thing I would encourage people to do is not just think of it as one album, but the body of work that we’ve created is really beneficial for people at this point.
I love how we started with Brain Warrior’s Way. It’s just the call to action. The podcast is called the Brain Warrior’s Way, because we believe we’re in a war and all warriors have music to go into battle, right? And not only are we coming out of the battle of the pandemic, we have this battle for our brains.
Barry, I have a question, as that was a good point. So when warriors go into, if you think historically, people go into war and they’ve got these people sometimes pounding drums, they do war cries. Obviously, that must do something to their psyche.
It gets them into a state.
Right, it gets them into a state, correct? I mean, that’s evidence right there.
There is, and you know what, Tana?
In church … I’m sorry. But in church, they play different music because they’re trying to put you in a different state.
Absolutely. And, there’s a lot more research now behind drumming, and how drumming can actually induce more alpha brainwaves because people are moving and entraining with the drums. So while drums started out as a form of communication, villages used to play drums to enter … villages between each other, to let them know something was going on. It was a message that we’re going to war, or that we’re going to peace, whatever it might be.
Now drumming is even being used for Parkinson’s disease as well. And showing that over a 10-week period of group drumming, that Parkinson patients were actually able to improve their walking, their gait. And, when you have Parkinson’s, your basal ganglia is compromised because of it’s our motor center. So drumming can actually help and improve that. And also moving PTSD veterans to a point where they’re doubling their alpha brainwaves, from the beginning of a session to the end of a session, when they’re doing group drumming. So drumming can be really therapeutic.
The Chargers do that.
When we come back, let’s talk about some of the therapeutic uses of music, especially those that you have been involved with.
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