Tim Ringgold - Increasing Your Performance and Focus with Music

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Board certified Music Therapist Tim Ringgold, has made it his purpose in life to heal the planet with music. He transforms lives using music over medication, and also empowers and inspires people through keynotes and workshops. Today we talk to him about the incredible effects music has on the body and how we can use it as a tool to maximize our performance and focus.

Music requires every subregion of the brain to move in concert with itself. When we process music, it is like turbocharging the brain.

The Physiological Effects of Music on the Body

Music is a powerful mechanism for therapy and healing. On both a conscious and subconscious level, it stimulates the brain in a positive way and triggers the secretion of dopamine.

Selecting the Right Music
Music is completely subjective. The music you already own will help with stress release and pain management. Choose music that you have a strong connection with. This is often the music you were drawn to between the ages of 14 and 24, which is your peak imprinting period.

The Two Types of Listening

Background Listening
Music is playing, but it is not the subject matter of your attention. Background listening can be used to influence behavior. For example, restaurants often play fast music during lunch to encourage customers to eat and pay their bill faster. In contrast, slower music is played at dinner to encourage diners to relax, slow down, and enjoy the experience.

Foreground Listening
The therapeutic effects of music kick in when it becomes the subject of your attention. Listening to music for 20 to 30 minutes reduces cortisol production, encourages the release of dopamine and stimulates the immune system.

When the brain is occupied by the music you love, your perception of pain and anxiety drops.

Relieving Stress in Pregnant Women

When a pregnant woman is stressed, she passes that stress on to her unborn child. Music is an excellent tool to combat stress, and from about 32 weeks, babies in the womb are also able to benefit from music.

Put together a playlist of stress relieving music and listen to it each night to induce a state of relaxation. Fetuses are wired to listen for the sounds of their parents, so singing to them - regardless of whether you have a “good” voice or not - is comforting to them.

Maximizing and Activating High Performance with Music

  • Increase your endurance during workouts by listening to music with a tempo that matches your target heart rate (e.g. 140 bpm). Your body will naturally entrain itself to the beat of the music, which will decrease your perception of work.
  • Use a high tempo playlist to get your blood flowing and work faster when you’re feeling sluggish.
  • Instrumental music is generally more effective that lyrical music when your work involves reading, writing, or other forms of word processing.
  • Achieve relaxation by bringing your heart rate down gradually. Start listening to music that matches your current heart rate, then steadily progress on to slower songs.
  • When you’ve reached a state of pure relaxation, listen to instrumental music that is 60 to 70 bpm.

Maximizing the Benefits of Music with Technology

  • Your smartphone is your DJ - check out streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify.
  • Making music amplifies its therapeutic effects. Go into your app store, search for “virtual + [instrument name],” download an app you like, and start playing your own music.
  • Check out Launchpad by Novation and bone conducting headphones by Advanced Brain Technologies

Make sure to check out…

Tim’s Website
My Baby’s First Song
When Meds Fail:
A Case for Music Therapy (Tim’s TED Talk)

Launchpad by Novation
Bone Conducting Headphones
Book - Healing at the Speed of Sound

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