Like her famous counterparts, she has been inspiring New Yorker’s to reach their fullest potential, teaching us about the dynamics of wellness: The power we all possess to achieve health and happiness—and a balanced life.
Look around and you’ll find references to wellness everywhere (check out your local Rite Aid). It’s a concept that has been gradually ingrained into our culture through fitness programs, equipment, vitamin supplements and diet plans.
A great wellness regimen can go hand-in-hand with alternative forms of therapy—like music therapy. A bit unorthodox, but for some, this combo works like magic for soothing aches, pains and allaying symptoms associated with a variety of ills. It’s really all about that powerful mind/body connection.
“Working with this connection is only one facet of using music therapy approaches and techniques,” says Crawford, Founder/Owner of Creative Wellness, LLC, a private practice focusing on music, movement and art/craft to achieve wellness.
According to Crawford, pain management also focuses on that special connection: “The idea is to lessen pain perception. One way music therapists can do this is by using musical elements like pitch, tambour, rhythm…to entrain to a client’s breath; and once there, gradually and systematically change those very same elements to bring a person to a resting heart rate or a more even breathing pattern,” she said.
Different interventions can be adapted for group or individual work, and most sessions last approximately 45 minutes.
Creative Wellness, LLC provides three tiers of services: General wellness, smaller focused groups, and specific individual music therapy services, “to combine a love for helping people with a passion for creativity, in a way that incorporates many aspects of the creative self,” Crawford said.
Music therapy may be the freshest 21st century approach to wellness. According to Crawford, MT can be an adjunctive therapy to verbal psychotherapy or an alternative, depending on the area/level the music therapist is working at. “In five years I would like to expand our services to include music psychotherapy, and give other creative arts therapists a ‘home base’ to practice out of. I see us being a key resource for all those who may seek out creative arts therapy services,” she said.
Crawford, who is finishing her graduate studies in music therapy at Molloy College this year, has been a music therapist at Visiting Nurse Service of New York. “My mission is to enhance creativity, to create a safe environment to foster the imagination, to provide comfort, to explore the possibilities. It is to laugh, to heal, to educate; all these things and plenty more--with/through music. One of the key skills of a Music Therapist is knowing what, when, and how to use the music,” she said.
Noting that music has the power to help you actualize and create change, Crawford said that there is no one specific type that is a magic remedy, or a ‘cure all.’ The music type and choice can vary depending on what goals a therapist is working on, client preferences, client needs during the session, etc. “I may use classical music, or Gregorian chant; jazz, rap, R&B, folk, or improvise a soundscape (a mix of sounds).”
Crawford’s expertise lies in her amazing ability to improve quality of life (based on years of hands-on work with the elderly, and patients in long term care facilities and hospices). These days, her goal is to involve the community and inspire positive change and she believes in shifting the focus away from illness. “I have experience with AIDS/HIV; HIV Dementia; geriatric; Alzheimer’s Dementia; Cerebral Palsy; ventilator dependent; stroke/CVA and Mental Retardation populations. I count myself blessed to have been able to touch the lives of these adults and children, and to have them touch my life as well,” she said.
The studio offers music classes and wellness programs: Songwriting workshops to help combat anger; music-assisted relaxation exercises to allay anxiety; arts and crafts to get in touch with your imagination. Even moms-to-be can try pre-natal classes: Low-impact belly dancing, calming guided imagery techniques.
It’s all about, “…Facilitating a better quality of life,” says Crawford. Everyone is invited to join a drum circle--based on an ancient tradition that mystically boosts immunity, collective percussion actually enhances positive energy.
Creative Wellness, LLC: 718-323-9181 or visit creativewellness.com.
The next prenatal movement class will begin on February 2nd, 7-8 PM (Pre-registration required); Drum Circle-- February 19th at 7:30 PM. (Affordable wellness packages are also available).