I discovered something awesome today. I was in the gym upstairs and usually while exercising I have dance music on, to be able to jog intermittently and at the end of the 45 minutes I am dead. Since I am not really regular I always end up a pushing myself too hard and the result afterwards is body in trauma and head spinning. Of course the feeling of accomplishment is there and the endorphins are making their rounds but you come back to your apartment feeling anything but relaxed.
Today I was listening to WGBH's podcast of classical music on my iPod instead. They were playing Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, commonly known as the Kreutzer Sonata. One of his best-known sonatas written for piano and violin. After which more Beethoven followed. I can’t tell you how amazing the synchronicity between the mind and body that followed was. I was so taken by surprise. Jogging was easier it wasn't the frenetic pushing yourself to do 30 more seconds – it was as if the mind was orchestrating the body in perfect movements and there was a feeling of calm. I was so surprised because although my electronic selection for my exercise routine does give me the energy. It is a very different energy from the one that I felt today. That energy is like the artificial Red Bull effect, today it was organic flowing like good chi throughout my body. I exercised far longer than ever and far more intensely but felt no strain.
The entire day my state of mind had been like a disturbed ECG report with spikes of irritation and crankiness. But at the end of an hour of the treadmill today I felt what a very creased pair of trousers would feel, if it could have feelings, after a bout of thorough professional ironing. I was fascinated, of course it’s not the first time I had heard classical music, but it was the first time I had paired exercising with it. So I researched into sound waves, frequencies and our bodily reactions to it.
Low frequency sound waves make us uncomfortable. The lowest are called infrasound, sounds that emanate from machinery and stuff in the house like ventilation and cooling/heating systems. Low frequency waves can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, vibration of internal organs and a feeling of oppression.
This is what I found on the net in an ezine article by Tania Gabrielle French …
On the other hand, certain high frequency sounds literally energize your mind. Scientists have found that sounds from 5,000 to 8,000 hertz recharge your brain’s batteries.
If your CD collection includes music by Mozart, Baroque Music or even Tibetan Chants, keep listening. In numerous studies, these sounds have been found to charge the cortex of the brain and stimulate health and wellness.
At 120-125 hertz you begin to hear the kick drums and bass guitar common to rock music. These lower frequencies produce the opposite effect - they drain us.
Why is this?
Because they have wave-lengths longer than we are tall, which is why lower frequencies are FELT as well as heard. You can feel this low frequency full-body sensation at dance clubs and rock concerts. Or from listening to most FM radio stations.
Since we are mostly exposed to low frequency sounds in the media, I strongly suggest you balance your brain and body by listening to high frequency classical music at least once a day. It’s easy and effortless – and great for you.
So next time you are exercising forget your usual disco/hip hop/dance/electro/techno collection and pick up Beethoven instead!