Pre-Game Brain: Athletes and Performers

 
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Greetings Friends,

We hope you’ve had an easy, restorative July! We have been rolling with the waves, letting the water energy of this season flow through us, and surrendering to the flow as we go:)

For this newsletter, Josh is going to break down the mechanics of how sound meditation and neurofeedback can benefit athletes and performers. We have found in our clinical work that this is a population of folks who greatly benefit from deep relaxation, cardiovascular, and nervous system support.

This week we have been lucky to spend time with a top notch athlete (my father!) who is in town to run the San Francisco Marathon! We recorded a neurofeedback session he had with Josh, and for this month’s musical offering, we are sharing the track from his session! If you ever wanted to hear how a marathoner relaxes or get a glimpse into the brain of an athlete, now is your chance:) This is also an example of the kind of ambient, meditative, personalized track you would receive of your own brain waves making music if you had a session of your own!

We are so excited about the health benefits of neurofeedback and look forward to turning many people on to these practices.



Pre-Game Brain: Athletes and Performers

by Joshua W Bruner


Things can get overly intense before a big game or an important performance. Everything is on the line. The pressure is overflowing. If you feel like this stress has been impacting your sleep and your mental focus you could be sabotaging yourself simply because you didn’t take the time to relax and reset. Sound meditations embedded with Alpha entrainment can play a crucial role in helping you stay sharp and in the moment when you need to perform at your best. 

Were you aware that high level athletes have a unique advantage over most of us when it comes to their brainwaves?

Athletes naturally produce more Alpha activity which allows them to occupy “the moment,” make incredibly quick adjustments, and accurate physical decisions at speeds that are incredible.

“An athlete’s actions are much more than a set of automatic responses; they are part of a dynamic strategy to deal with an ever-changing mix of intricate challenges. Athletes may perform better than the rest of us because their brains can find better solutions than ours do” (http://discovermagazine.com/2010/apr/16-the-brain-athletes-are-geniuse).

Meditation states are also associated with our Alpha brainwaves.

So if an athlete/performer already produces more Alpha brainwaves why would they need to meditate? Great question! The accumulation of pre-game/pre-show stress, repetitious training routines, high self-expectations, and more, can lock a person’s brain into unhealthy Beta loops, causing them to make avoidable missteps and unnecessary errors. If there are too many Beta brainwaves being produced we get stuck overthinking every move, become overwhelmed with anxiety, freeze, or even become overly aggressive. By simply adding 12-20 minutes of sound meditation to your daily routine, you can begin to chip away at those stressful edges and sharpen your mental focus and physical performance.

Elite athletes have recently been using neurofeedback and meditation to further improve their attention, improve emotional control, to slow cognitive decline, improve sleep, and to restore brain function after traumatic brain injury. Neurofeedback is a passive technology which encourages the brain to improve its capabilities without drugs or invasive techniques.

In our neurofeedback music sessions at Flower & Frequency, we monitor your Alpha and Theta brainwaves and translate your brain data into ambient music in real time. The more you relax into Alpha, the more musical notes are played. The more Theta brainwaves you create, the higher the musical note will be. The act of generating music with your meditative brainwaves creates positive neural connections which quickly elevate any level of meditation to new heights.

You can experiment with neurofeedback at home with the Muse EEG headband or book a private brain music session with us at Anchor Meditation. Save 15% on Muse by clicking here.


If you don’t have access to neurofeedback you can also try using entrainment techniques like binaural, monaural, or isochronic beats to stimulate your Alpha brainwaves before a game or performance. It takes about 10 minutes for the mind to sync into the desired brainwave state. We highly suggest the MindPlace Kasina if you want to add visual stimulus to upgrade your entrainment game.

The next time you have a big game moment coming up in your life, take full advantage of meditation, neurofeedback, or brainwave entrainment to help you easily center your mind and relax enough to perform at your highest capabilities. 


Gathering On The Grass: Ambient Sunsets on Saturday 8/3/19

Oh, and while we have you here, we’d also like to thank those who have ventured out for one of our sunset sound meditations! It’s been a pleasure watching the skies change colors and the birds swooping casually by all of us as we drift. The combination of meditating outdoors with ambient music generated with nearby plants has a special calming quality to it that can’t be put into words. We’re looking forward to hosting several more of these outdoor events before we leave the Bay Area for Big Bear Lake this fall! We hope you can join us for one or all of these ambient sunsets. Our next Gathering On The Grass will be on Saturday, August 3rd. You can book your headphones here.

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh






 

A Summer Love Song from Lemon Balm

 
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Greetings Friends!

Happy Summer, and happy Summer Solstice! We hope you’ve been soaking up the sun (or fog if you’re in SF) and finding ways to honor the playful, bright eyed energy of this summer season!

For this month’s offering, we decided to focus our attention on one of our favorite medicinal plants, Melissa officinalis, commonly known as Lemon Balm.

We love Lemon Balm for so many reasons, and had a strong feeling it was time to give them a microphone!

To begin our journey, we will first share a beautiful sound meditation that is 100% generated by one of our potted Lemon Balm plants.

Once you hit play, we encourage you to brew a cup of Lemon Balm tea if you can, and really take a moment to relax and get acquainted with this very special plant.

After our sound meditation, we will share some of our favorite medicinal uses of Lemon Balm, and explore a few of the special ways you can bring this sweet, playful medicine into your home.


 
 

Lemon Balm Meditation

If you have access to a Lemon Balm plant, try sitting beside it as you enjoy this meditation. Introduce yourself to the Lemon Balm. Touch and smell the beautiful leaves. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths, and focus on exhaling anything that is no longer serving you. Know that the sweet medicine of Lemon Balm is here, helping you to slow down.

Can you sense the ways that Lemon Balm would like to show up for you?

What else doe Lemon Balm have to say?

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Working with Lemon Balm


We so hoped you enjoyed your meditation.

One of the sweetest messages I receive from Lemon Balm, is that it’s ok to be soft and slow. It’s ok to be playful. It’s ok to stretch out beneath a shady tree on a hot summer day, turn off your phone, and just lay there.

This seems like a no brainer to some, but the energy of Summer can sometimes trick us into being overly social and hyper productive. It keeps us out a little longer, up a little later, and into the habit of saying an emphatic YES, when our bodies are begging for a re-charge.

Many people associate Lemon Balm with the light of the sun. I feel that energetic lift and brightness so strongly, but after one of my teachers, Rylan Sîan, shared his belief that Lemon Balm carries the light of the moon, I cannot shake this association.

To me, Lemon Balm is laying in a hammock on a warm summer night. You are weightless, swaying back and forth between two California Redwoods. The moon is illuminating and expanding your connection to the earth and your ability to hold all the moving pieces.

There is a childlike energy to Lemon Balm.

Picture catching fireflies or running through a front yard sprinkler. When you work with Lemon Balm you are connecting to your inner child. You may notice a softness in your heart, or extra bit of playfulness and creativity show up.

It is not surprising then, that Lemon Balm is a wonderful and safe remedy for children. It’s fantastic for children who are stressed, having trouble sleeping, or experiencing anxiety that manifests as tummy aches or any kind of issue with digestion. It can also be helpful for colds and flu.

Making a folk method preparation of a Lemon Balm Glycerite is a wonderful thing to do if you have little ones running around, or if you’d like something on hand that is not alcohol extracted.

To do this, simply fill a mason jar 1/2 full of dried lemon balm or 2/3 full of fresh lemon balm. Cover with 3 parts vegetable glycerine to 1 part water. Shake like crazy, then let sit for 4-6 weeks before you strain and enjoy! Make sure to shake it every day to get your wellness wish into your medicine, and to help with the extraction process! This medicine will be sweet and delicious.

I like the idea of new parents having this on hand, and creating a ritual of a spoonful for them and a spoonful for their little one when they are both needing a little support. Lemon Balm is such a fantastic ally for nervous exhaustion, burnout, and extended periods of emotional stress. Ideally you would have time to make yourself a cup of Lemon Balm tea for this, but sometimes the convenience of a glycerite or tincture is the way to go.

In addition to being a wonderful plant for children and parents, Lemon Balm cools the thyroid, supports the liver and digestion, lowers blood pressure, and has a general tonic effect on the heart and cardiovascular system.

It also has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, is a remedy for heart disease (and heartaches) and is specifically indicated for folks with insomnia that is caused by grief or sadness.

In my clinical work, I have seen Lemon Balm be the life raft that pulls folks up and out of depression, insomnia, and feelings of extreme overwhelm.

If you have access to fresh Lemon Balm, we suggest you use the remaining summer months to cool off and chill out.

Try Lemon Balm infused water. Just pick a few leaves (if the plant says it’s ok!) and throw them right into your water bottle! You can also make sun teas! Try throwing in Lemon Balm with Hibiscus, Mint, or Lemon Verbena! Yum!

If you have access to dried Lemon Balm, know you are brewing a mighty, restorative tea that is perfect for this summer season.

We love this plant so much. We hope we have piqued your interest, and that you begin to deepen your relationship with this beautiful, medicinal plant.


Thank you so much for going on this Lemon Balm journey with us! We feel we have barely skimmed the surface, but trust all things will continue to deepen and unfold in their own sweet time!

We hope these last few days of June are full of the sweetest summer energy, and that you find moments to restore and re-balance as needed:)

If you are looking for a relaxing event this weekend, Josh is hosting another Sunset Meditation this Saturday June 29th at Fort Mason. We’ve been loving these Sunset Meditations! Check out the Happenings Tab at the bottom of our website to book your wireless headphones if you’d like to join!

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh




 

Meditative Music and Herbal Self Care

 
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Greetings Friends!

What a month it has been! Now more than ever it feels like a radical act to take care of ourselves, and create rituals to regulate our nervous systems and sleep cycles. We need to be well rested and have tools to calm our nervous systems if we want to keep showing up to fight for ourselves and for each other.

This month we are so happy to share over three hours of relaxing, ambient music. Each track is associated with a specific brain wave state, and has specific entrainment pulses to get you into that state. Josh will explore each of these brain wave states to give you an overview of how this album can be used therapeutically. After our Music and Mind journey, we will explore some of our favorite herbal self care practices that help to regulate the nervous system. We imagine you pairing these practices with our new album for ultimate restoration and relaxation.


Music and Mind 

by Joshua W Bruner


Western civilization requires us to maintain a hectic pace to keep up with the cost of living. Sustaining this toxic lifestyle can run down our parasympathetic nervous system and create mental disturbances due to excessive anxiety.


The constant pressure can cause immune system failures, sleeping complications, depression, stomach issues, and many other ailments. Creating a sound meditation practice can help us to preempt the negative side effects of our fast paced society by regularly relieving stress through visiting meditative brainwave states with the entraining guidance of sound pulses.


Here in America we are being confined to an abusive healthcare system, which is best avoided, if possible. This is why preventative measures are so crucial for us to adopt into our daily routines. What easier way to do this than simply relaxing with some meditative music? 


Scientists are uncovering astonishing connections to mental health and music at a rapid pace. Doctors and dentists are now using meditative music to help reduce the amount of anesthetic used on patients. NASA uses entrainment techniques to help astronauts keep a stable sleep cycle while in space. Everywhere we look, sound is showing us a way towards a higher functioning lifestyle in an ever-changing world. 


With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to introduce a new meditative album from Flower & Frequency designed to stimulate each of our brainwave states to help maintain healthy neural connections and reach deep states of relaxation.

There are 7 songs (3+ hours) with carefully calculated isochronic tones embedded beneath an ambient soundscape. Explore your Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Epsilon brainwave states while in a comfortable position with headphones on or stereo speakers. Gift yourself 20-30 minutes a day to rest, reset, and restore. 


Our brainwave states and how they shape who we are

Gamma: Our Gamma brainwaves join all of our other brainwave states into a single coherence. According to many studies, stimulating this brainwave state we may be able to strengthen failed connections in the mind in such cases of ADD, ADHD, Autism, and more.  

 

Beta: By stimulating our Beta brainwaves we can break up patterns of depression, sharpen focus, stir energy, and help with conditions such as ADD, ADHD, and Autism where there is usually a lack of Beta brainwave activity. 

Alpha: Our Alpha brainwaves increase drastically as soon as we close our eyes, lie down, or focus more on our breathing. By stimulating these meditative brainwaves we can relax more and become more tuned in to our environment. Exceptional types and elite athletes often have higher Alpha brainwave activity than the typical human mind. 

 

High Theta: The higher Theta brainwave state is an actively creative field of our mind. By stimulating this state we can deeply relax and explore a daydreamy atmosphere during meditation. This brainwave state is typically lower in instances of people with ADD, ADHD, and Autism. Research suggests this would be a great area of the mind to stimulate for these non-neurotypical brain types.

 

Low Theta: The Lower Theta brainwave state is on the cusp of our conscious mind. Our "gateway to the subconscious." This is where the creativity of our imagination is formed. By stimulating this area we can deeply relax and explore our neurally rich Theta dream state, which may become elusive during our sleep cycle. 

 

Delta: As we age we produce fewer and fewer Delta brainwaves. This is found to be true even more so in the male mind. If we don't visit our Delta brainwave state during our sleep cycle we may feel sluggish during the day, lack empathy, heal more slowly from illness and injury, and more. By stimulating this brainwave state we can help the mind make the needed neural connections to the Delta state during our sleep cycles and assist in resetting our parasympathetic system.

Epsilon: Our Epsilon brainwaves are the slowest brainwave state and are believed to regulate our body's most primal pulses through what is known as our parasympathetic nervous system. By stimulating this brainwave state we can relax and reset this system in a person suffering from any negative effects of anxiety and stress in their life. When our parasympathetic system is out of alignment, we slip into our sympathetic nervous system, or "fight or flight" mode. This pulls energy, oxygen, nutrients, and blood away from virtually every organ and system in our body that is not connected to our stress response. As you can imagine, this seriously effects the body long term, and keeps us from functioning and healing properly. Getting our brains to an Epsilon brain wave state pulls our nervous systems back into alignment.


Herbal Self Care

Loving up on yourself with herbs and building self care herbal rituals into your daily, weekly, or seasonal self care practices is one of the most profound gifts of healing you can give to yourself. I’ve found that my favorite rituals with herbs are often the simplest, and I am so happy to share some of my go-to herbal practices that restore balance to the nervous system and encourage the body to rest and recover.


Morning and Evening Tea

Never underestimate the power of a hot cup of tea. The ritual of making ourselves tea is an act of healing in itself. It forces us to slow down, to lovingly pick out the herbs we will use, and to wait patiently while the tea steeps. This is an act of loving awareness that opens our hearts. We are telling the universe, the plants, and our bodies that we deserve this moment of respite, that we are worth these extra moments of self care. When your tea is done steeping, place your face over the cup and inhale. The herbal steam works to loosen pores, open nasal passages, and encourages deep, slow breathing. This lowers blood pressure, and signals to our body that we are safe to enter into our parasympathetic nervous system. If you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, you can work this tea ritual later into the day, or if you are feeling brave, try a coffee substitute. This is a really lovely coffee alternative from herbalist Kami Mcbride:


Kami McBride's Dandelion Mocha:

 

3 tablespoons Roasted Dandelion Root

1 tablespoon raw cocoa nibs or raw chocolate

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

1 TB maple syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

A dash of nutmeg or clove powder

 

Decoct the roasted dandelion root and cocoa nibs in 3 cups of water, letting mixture simmer for 30 minutes. Strain then add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, reheat as necessary. Drink as you please!

In addition to this awesome recipe, I like to keep it simple with my teas throughout the day. Lemon Balm, Tulsi, Rose, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nettle, Red Raspberry Leaf, Hibiscus, and Astragalus seem to be the herbs I reach for most, often in combinations of up to five, or just on their own. One of the beautiful things about making yourself a cup of tea, is that you get to really check in with your body to find out what it is craving. This act of loving awareness and inquiry is an empowering self care skill to develop.


Herbal Baths and Foot Soaks

Recently a dear friend reached out to ask what on earth she could do with all the roses in her garden! She wanted a way to preserve and continue to enjoy the many rose petals she might otherwise compost. Among the many rose medicine ideas I excitedly shared with her, my favorite came from a recent episode of the Herbal Highway. Herbalist Karyn Sanders shares that adding a strong batch of rose tea to a hot bath is a wonderful way to ground your body and help your nervous system develop protective boundaries. The medicine of rose is such a beautiful ally for the nervous system, and often overlooked, or thought of as just a pretty flower. Bringing the medicine of rose into a bath with Epsom salt is such a beautiful self care ritual. If you are conscious about the amount of water you are using, or if you don’t have a bathtub, try a foot soak! This is a luxurious spa treatment you can give to yourself at home! All you need is a big enough bowl for your feet, and a towel on the floor. I especially like suggesting this to clients and enjoying myself, because our feet literally HOLD US UP every freakin day. It’s so important to say thank you, to give them a rest, to let the roots of your body experience tending. In addition to rose, I have loved adding lemon balm, chamomile, ginger, and lavender to baths and soaks. In addition to making a tea prior to your bath and adding that to the water, you can also add about a cup of herbs into in a muslin bag and just throw the bag into your tub as it fills!


Lavender Face and Room Spray

I love this nervous system hack, because it is SO easy to make and even easier to use. All you need is a two ounce spray bottle, distilled water, witch hazel or alcohol, and Lavender essential oil. The beauty of this spray is that it works to calm you down by soothing your nervous system, specifically targeting stress that is held in the shoulders, neck, and forehead. If you are someone who gets stress headaches, or who feels stress and anxiety manifest as tense muscles in their upper back and neck, this will be a beautiful remedy for you. Another beautiful thing about this spray is that you can take it with you anywhere! Lavender is also a powerful antiseptic, so this makes a beautiful spray to take with you when you are traveling, camping, or using public facilities of any kind. Just spray it on your hands or onto your surroundings as needed.

Chill the Eff Out Spray:

for 2 ounce bottle:

1 part alcohol (for two ounce bottle 15ml)

3 part distilled water (for two ounce bottle 45ml)

5-20 drops of Lavender essential oil (for two ounce bottle up to 10 drops)

  • For your alcohol, you can use either witch hazel extract, vodka, or if you want to get really fancy, use an herbal tincture for added benefits! I like to use rose tincture or lemon balm tincture as the alcohol portion of my sprays.

Have so much fun with this one! Shake well each time (as the essential oil can often rise to the top!), then spray directly into your face and all around your body for immediate stress relief. Use before, during, and after stressful situations.


We hope you are feeling inspired to put on some of our meditative music and try out some of these herbal remedies! We are so grateful and honored to walk beside you on your healing paths!

We are also excited to announce that in addition to private sessions and weekly sound meditations at Anchor, Josh is beginning to host sunset meditations with wireless headphones at various outdoor venues in the bay area. Join us this Sunday, May 26th, 7-8pm at the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon to experience this very special offering. Bring a blanket and cuddle bud and get cozy with us as we meditate to gorgeous ambient music as the sun goes down. To reserve your headphones for this unique experience click the link below.

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh

 

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Portals of Change

 
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Greetings Friends!

We've been thinking of you, sending ripples of support as we move through the dynamic energy of this Aries Season! Anyone else feeling the fire of transformation at their doorstep?

We hope you've been taking gentle care of yourselves and of each other, and that you are feeling ready to embrace this season of change.  

This Month we are happy to announce that Josh is officially offering private sessions at Anchor Meditation! For our sound section this month, we are sharing a beautiful testimonial written by the founder of Anchor, Kelly Ryan. We are so grateful for Kelly, and hope her words inspire you to experience a session for yourself!

After Kelly's testimonial, we will explore a host of plants and herbal formulas that are supportive for working with addiction. The energy of spring, and of the Aries season in particular, are fantastic allies for folks looking to create new relationships with drugs and alcohol. We fully believe that adding the power of plants to this equation will amplify your intentions, and truly support your body transition into new ways of being.

A look inside the Portal

by Kelly Ryan

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My Private Sound Paths Meditation with Josh was amazing!  The session took place at The Portal at Anchor Meditation.  I lied down on a massage bed over an amethyst crystal heated mat. He provided a heavy pillow that lightly vibrated, which provided weight and coziness on my belly. 

Josh placed a "Muse" Headband gently around my forehead. This headband was to monitor my brain waves. I had no idea what to expect, as I've never done anything like it.

He also hooked up a "MIDI Sprout" to a plant placed next to the massage table I was on. The midi sprout enables Josh to co-create music, and the muse allows my brain to participate!  WHOA....!!!

Josh began the session with some aromatherapy, and a brief explanation of what was happening.  He demonstrated the sound he was playing, the sound the plant was creating, and described the sound my brain waves would make as "like a harp."  Still very unsure what to expect, the session got underway!

Upon starting the session, my monkey mind immediately began racing, as our minds tend to do!  The harp sound was prominent!  I was thinking a lot about what the heck was going on.  The music was beautiful and calming and put me into a state of peace quickly. 

After a period of time, I became aware that the harp had ceased playing.  I was in a state of deep relaxation, and I guess my busy mind had a little lull.

I believe we manifest things when we are crystal clear about what it is we desire to create for our future, and we feel the feelings associated with having those desires come true!  I decided to play around a little bit since there are many things I am currently manifesting.  It was SOOOOO FUN!  When I realized that there hadn't been harp noises for a period of time, I'd think about the feelings (excitement, freedom, relaxation, satisfaction, peace) that I will feel when I am in Hawaii for that trip I am dreaming of) and the harp noise would come through the earphones with a burst of beautiful music!  Spoiler alert, I leave in 2 weeks for Hawaii! I played around with this experiment throughout the session, and was amazed that each time I allowed myself to feel "as if" the things I am creating are actually coming true, the harp would appear! 

It feels like proof of what I know to be true about how we co-create our reality, and this feels wildly exciting to me!   

I also tried "sending loving thoughts and feelings" to the plant that was hooked up to the MIDI Sprout.  The plant was generating beautiful music throughout the session. I have read lots of studies about how you talk to plants and direct your energy towards them effects the plant’s ability to thrive and grow.  For example, if you plant 3 seeds and say all negative things to seed #1 (You suck. I hate you. Etc.) it typically does not grow into a healthy plant.  If you are neutral to seed #2 it grows a bit but does not thrive.  If you harness all positive thoughts and words to seed #3 (I love you.  Thank you.  You are beautiful. Etc) this seed tends to grow, thrive and prosper.  

My experiment of sending love to the plant was a little less obvious than the sounds of the harp, which were brilliant and distinct.  I did experience a sense of union with the plant, but it's more difficult to define, and I'm not quite certain if I was just slipping in and out of deeper brainwave states. I believe the plant felt the love though, and I am very grateful to have had this experience!

Thanks Josh for your musical talent, creativity and cool gadgets!  I loved every minute of the session, and recommend it for music lovers, plant lovers, meditation lovers, and mind/body/brain enthusiasts and seekers! It would also be lovely for anyone who just wants to relax and receive the healing benefits of sounds, but for me the opportunity to test some of my beliefs surpassed my desire to rest and receive this time around.

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Herbs for Addiction

Throughout my journey into plant medicine, I have found that learning about herbs that support folks who are working with addiction to be a great source of hope, comfort, and activation for me.

On a very personal note, I have lost many people I love to drugs and alcohol, and can trace the persistent threads of addiction throughout my life and nearly every life that touches mine.

When I began delving into the science of addiction, I became very curious about my own relationship with drugs and alcohol, and realized that for me, there were various social, biological, and spiritual conditions that predisposed me to have unhealthy, impulsive, and addictive relationships with both.

As an experiment, I decided to take a year off of drinking alcohol, to try to break the chain of addiction that runs through my entire ancestral line, and to re-wire my brain to make healthier choices when I am feeling stressed, scared, under-resourced, or even when I have something to celebrate.

It’s been an absolutely illuminating year that has given me the chance to re-negotiate my relationship to alcohol, and get to the root of imbalance in my system that had me reaching for cocktails in the first place. It has now been a little over a year booze free, and I feel open and curious to see how a healthy relationship might develop and what that looks like. I know this relationship will be on my terms, and carry a new kind of full body and heart consciousness that earlier versions of myself could have never imagined.

I want to pause here to say that I am privileged beyond measure to have the kind of family, community, and economic support to try this experiment in the first place. I am by no means suggesting that giving up alcohol or drugs is as easy as making a hard lined decision to do so, and I am certainly not advocating for moderation if it is clear that abstinence is the healthiest, life-saving, and desired plan of care.

I am just eager to share my experience, and highlight some plants that have worked for ME, as well as plants that have broader applications for addiction.

Into the plants we go!

In general, teas or oxymels (vinegar and honey extractions) are beautiful preparations to reach for when you are working with addiction. This keeps alcohol completely out of your system. It is worth noting, however, that a tincture has about the same amount of alcohol as a ripe banana, so if you do not consider yourself, or person in your care, as an addicted person, and someone who desires 100% abstinence, I believe alcohol extractions, or tinctures, are just fine to use.

To organize what feels like an infinite amount of plants, I am first going to highlight the herbal actions we are looking for, then explore several plants I have found useful under each of these categories.

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Adaptogens

Adaptogens help our body deal with stress. This can be physical, emotional, environmental, ancestral, you name it. Adaptogens are vital when working with addiction, because often the addicted person is trapped in a cycle of feeling stressed, then not having the right levels of dopamine and serotonin, or the proper function of dendrite receptors to receive these stress relieving hormones. This is when they reach for drugs or alcohol to self soothe and provide short term stress relief, which only depletes the body further of these stress relieving hormones, while depleting and damaging every system in the body.

Adaptogens can help break this cycle by nourishing our adrenal and nervous systems, and basically mamma bearing us into a state of balance.

Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

  • Fantastic for folks just entering sobriety. Makes a beautiful tea. I’ve personally enjoyed at least 1 cup a day this entire past year! Therapeutically, you can try 1-3 cups per day.

  • Talks directly to the part of our brain that generates stories of heartbreak and trauma and helps us re-write these narratives

  • Especially helpful for ancestral trauma

  • Supports the Heart, Cardiovascular and Digestive Systems

  • Helps with cerebral circulation, memory, and concentration (helpful for folks who experience mental fatigue and brain fog when they stop using)

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

  • Protects body from toxic effect of substances

  • Helpful for anxiety

  • Helps body heal relationship with “time.” Often called the white rabbit plant. If you are finding yourself scrambling to get everything you need to get done in a day, this is a great plant to reach for. It prevents burnout by giving you energy while simultaneously nourishing your adrenals.

  • I’ve also found Eleuthero to be helpful for the overwhelm and emotional response that come with fatigue. If you are on the verge of a breakdown because mentally you can’t wrap your brain around the size of your to-do list, Eleuthero (perhaps because it is a root medicine) really helps to ground and calm you down.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifers)

  • I’ve especially loved ashwagandha and turmeric as a soothing golden milk before bed.

  • It’s calming to the nervous system, and awesome for stress induced insomnia and nervous exhaustion

  • Energetically, it is great for lifting the spirit and is helpful for depression

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Nervines

Nervines support the nervous system by strengthening and restoring, easing anxiety and tension, calming the body and mind, and stimulating the nervous system when necessary. Long-term alcohol and drug use often frays the myelin sheath of our nerve endings. We end up ingesting more of the substance of choice to calm these nerves, thus causing more damage, and more physical manifestations of withdrawal when we try to quit. This is why someone dependent on alcohol might shake before their first drink of the day. I was beyond excited to learn that two plants in this category actually work to re-coat the myelin sheath of nerve endings and help our bodies reverse this nerve damage. We will explore these two plants, Skullcap and Milky Oats first, and then I will share a few other Nervines I have found especially helpful over the last year.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

  • Helps sever attachments to addictions

  • Cools and calms the liver (this is important!)

  • As a result of its interaction with the liver, skullcap also cools and calms ANGER! (it is believed we store Anger in our Livers. This is SUCH an important energy to clear out of the body!)

  • Amazing for acute anxiety or nervous tension

  • Fantastic for circle thinking that keeps us in a loop of infinite, anxious thinking. Pairs beautifully with Passionflower and Lemon Balm as a night time formula to help quiet your brain and self critical thoughts

  • Repairs and coats frayed myelin sheaths

Milky Oats (Avena sativa)

  • When tinctured fresh, and used over a long period of time, milky oats repair the myelin sheaths as well

  • This is a beautiful, deeply restorative plant for a person’s long-term plan of care. It soothes and calms the nervous system, but more importantly it FEEDS the nervous system

  • As it feeds our nervous system, it works to decrease the desire of wanting to use our substance of choice

  • It can also help with symptoms of withdrawal

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

  • Motherwort has an affinity for the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the liver.

  • Energetically it is used to heal all relationships with the mother archetype. This can be relationships with our actual mother, the divine feminine, how we show up as mother to ourselves, or our identity as mother to others.

  • Motherwort calms anxiety, and is an extremely bitter herb, which supports and heals the liver. As we saw with Skullcap, the liver is where we store anger, which feels important to think about. Our liver is not only processing the toxins in our body, it is also processing our heavier emotions. Motherwort works with our cardiovascular system to get our hearts pumping optimally, then supports our liver to process what is flowing through our veins. All while cooling the body, and calming irritability, anxiety, and stress.

  • Lowers blood pressure and helps with heart palpitations caused by stress

  • Helps with exhaustion and the kind of stress that stems from feeling there is never enough time in the day

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

  • I have loved making cold infusions of chamomile each evening, letting steep overnight, then enjoying in the morning first thing when I wake up. I find it calms my digestive system, which is where many people including myself, tend to hold their anxiety. In addition to calming and cooling the nervous system and GI, cold infusions of chamomile help your body hold onto and use the water you drink throughout the day. This is a vital part of restoring the body after and during long-term drug and alcohol use.

  • Hot infusions of chamomile are also great for calming the digestive system and particularly indicated for restless sleep and nightmares, nervous headaches and anxiety related to withdrawal symptoms

  • One of my teachers, Rylan Sían, describes Chamomile as the Mother of all healing plants. Coincidentally, chamomile is a wonderful, safe plant to use with children, and also great for reaching and healing our inner child. This can be powerful healing work when working with addiction, as a lot of the trauma that leads us to substance use traces back to our experiences as children.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

  • Lemon Balm brings in the cooling medicine of the moon. It floods the body with light, but not in an oppressive, overwhelming, I need sunglasses way

  • Can be used as an anti-depressant

  • Indicated for insomnia caused by grief or sadness

  • Beautiful as a tea when you are feeling tired, burnt out, and emotionally fried

  • Has a tonic effect on the heart and entire cardiovascular system

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Sedatives

Often we use drugs and alcohol to help us get to sleep, which actually keeps us from reaching healthy brainwave states that restore the body. This ends up making us more exhausted and depleted in the long run. As you break free from the ritual of a glass of wine or two to get to bed, there are a handful of beautiful, restorative plants that can support you as you find healthier bed time rituals. I have especially loved using passionflower, which I gushed about in our last newsletter. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and Hops (Humulus lupulus) are also fantastic sleep allies.

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Hepatics

Plants that support and protect the Liver are extremely important when working with addiction. As we discussed, our livers are the organs in our bodies that help us process toxins. After and during drug and alcohol use, it is vital to take care of our livers!

Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

  • Helps move toxins and heat out of the blood

  • Taken as a food (try pickled burdock!) it is a nutritive, and works to strengthen all body systems and assists in general recovery

  • Supports the liver and is especially helpful for skin issues associated with heat in the liver

  • Useful as a lymphatic, which gets lymph moving through the body, and is therefore supportive to the immune system. This is important when we are transitioning off of using substances as our immune systems are extremely compromised

In addition to Burdock, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) and Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) are fantastic liver herbs to reach for.

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Nutritives

The last category of plant powers I have found especially helpful, are nutritives. Nutritive plants work to restore and support our adrenal glands, they help our body absorb nutrients, and they support the detoxification process.

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

  • Nettle makes a great herbal infusion (tea steeped for 4-10 hours)

  • Fantastic tea to drink when you are overworked and stressed, or feeling like you need a little boost

  • It’s especially helpful to drink as a spring time tonic, as we gather the energy we will use for the vibrant times of spring and summer

  • PACKED with minerals and nutrients that support every system in our body

Some other beautiful nutritive herbs are Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Wild Oats (Avena Sativa), which are the dried aerial parts of the milky oats we discussed earlier.

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Home Again Formula

The last piece I want to share with you is a formula we’ve made to specifically support folks working with addiction.

My intention for this blend is for it to ground a person deeply in their body, and allow their heart to defend, honor, heal from, and reach for, a sense of "Home."

The combination of adaptogens and nervines are specifically helpful for trauma, and the lymphatic properties of burdock support the body as it deals with stress and helps it to process and heal from toxins. The honey and flower essence blend inspires courage, boundaries, a sense of safety in the home, and forgiveness.

Home Again Formula

8 parts Albizia

5 parts Hawthorn

3 parts Linden

2 parts Burdock

1 Motherwort

1 Lemon Balm

Tulsi, Cinnamon and Rose infused Wildflower Honey

Flower Essences of Yarrow, Willow, Motherwort, Borage

Since addiction can often be thought of as a dis-ease of the spirit, there are SO MANY flower essences that are helpful, which we will get into in another post!

In the meantime, there is a list of flower essences for addiction, as well as flower essences for friends and family of addicted persons, at the end of a pathology report I began working on last year, which investigates herbal applications for Heroin Addiction. I am happy to share this document as another resource for our community, although it is just the beginning to my investigations of herbal medicine and heroin. I look forward to having so much more information and resources to offer in the future.

Wow this has been a lot!

We hope you will keep this post tucked in your back pocket for times when you are needing extra support surrounding your relationships with drugs and alcohol. We passionately support your endeavors and look forward to being a resource and loving ally along the way.

Thank you from our whole hearts for taking this journey with us, and special thanks to one of my mentors, Dana Aronson of Wild Kin Botanicals, for so much of this information, and for all the work she does to empower and heal Drug and Alcohol Users.

As always here is a fresh meditation track from Josh! We suggest making a cup of Tulsi tea, putting on some headphones, and letting yourself have a restorative moment or two.

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh

 

Sound Tables and Sleep Medicine

 
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We hope you are reveling in this new moon energy and that you are feeling supported and inspired as you set intentions for the coming months and find new ways to offer gentleness and compassion to yourself and the humans around you.

It's been a busy month for us! We've loved offering our weekly Sound Path Meditation Classes at Anchor Meditation and Passion Project, and especially loved taking our Sound Paths class on the road! Thank you to Andrea Cortez of Mind Body Music for hosting us in Austin, and creating such an inspired evening of community sound healing and meditation.

We also loved connecting with the radical, kind folks of Aural Canyon, an Austin ambient tape label that released Josh's latest album, Gathering on the Grass.

It feels so incredible to expand our wellness community, and our intention for this month is to continue expanding and deepening our relationships with everyone in our wellness tribe!

For this month’s newsletter, we’d like to pull back the wizard’s curtain and share some empowering, technical information for all you sound and plant curious readers!

To begin, Josh will explain step by step, how to build your own DIY vibroacoustic sound table! It is our dream that everyone we love have access to the benefits of a daily vibroacoustic practice! After your sound table journey, we will explore the magic and benefits of one of my favorite sleepy time plants, passionflower.

A Vibrant Touch

DIY VIBROACOUSTIC THERAPY

By Joshua W Bruner

This month I’ll be talking about sound vibrations felt through the body, specifically on a sound table. Vibroacoustic therapy uses musical frequencies in a variety of ways to help calm the mind and body. A sound table can be considered a haptic device, which translates sound into the body through sonic vibrations. You’ve probably experienced vibroacoustics before in a rumbling movie theater seat or a video arcade where they shake you during the exciting parts to amplify your sensory experience. Today we’ll be talking about ways of using this technology to specifically relieve stress instead of just shaking your body as an entertainment gimmick.

The term Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) was coined in the 1980s by the Norwegian sound therapist, Olav Skille. With deep sub bass range frequencies it is possible to deeply stimulate our bodies on a cellular level. Imagine this feeling like a sonic hot tub with no water. Sound travels five times as fast through water as it does air so it really stimulates our bodies, which are known to be roughly 60% water. This sound based therapy has been researched as treatment for autism, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis, depression, recovery from surgery/trauma, pain and anxiety relief, insomnia, blood pressure, Parkinson’s Disease, and more.

The first time I personally experienced a sound table I immediately recognized that after 20 years of making all kinds of music, I knew absolutely nothing about sound. This was a welcomed awakening and extremely humbling. I immediately began seeking more information to learn how to create my own DIY sound table and was lucky to find a few interesting videos out there that showed just how easy it is to make your own. There is something to be said for a professionally made sound table (See here) but if you don’t have $3,000 to spend, you can create something that’s very enjoyable for only a couple hundred dollars, maybe even less if you’re crafty.

What you’ll need to make your own DIY sound table!

Bass shakers or transducers:

This is where the mojo lies. With bass transducers you are able to translate a lot of vibration without as much room noise. You would need to blast massive sub speakers into your body to get the same desired effect, and that would be terrible for your ears. After trying out several types of transducers over the last year I’d suggest you start off with two of these shakers. They’re really affordable and provide you with the exact kind of vibrational response you’ll need.

Amplifier:

Dayton Audio DTA-120BT2 Class D Mini Amplifier 60 WPC is affordable, doesn’t overheat, and pushes these two bass transducers really nicely. If you already have a decent stereo amplifier you can save some money here.

Table:

Massage table, couch, chair, or even build a portable table out of plywood. I’ve made several now and like cutting a piece of 3/4 inch plywood down to the size of a standard yoga mat and adding short coffee table legs. Just mount the two shakers under near where the shoulders and the tail bone might normally be positioned on the average sized person lying down.

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Hook up the bass shakers to the amp with speaker wire.

Other suggested items:

Headphone extension with volume control to be able to adjust the headphone volume separately from the table volume, 1/8th inch splitter hub, and noise canceling headphones.

Special thanks to  Memory Seed Family Garden  for providing both of these pictures of one of Josh’s DIY tables!

Special thanks to Memory Seed Family Garden for providing both of these pictures of one of Josh’s DIY tables!

Make the table comfortable. Use an extra thick yoga mat. Add a bolster for under the knees. Use a comfy pillow. I upgraded mine with a matching far infrared crystal heating pad and pillow. After you deck it out to your liking, you’re all set. If you need access to music made specifically for these tables you can find free songs on our website or subscribe to our Bandcamp to gain access to unlimited Flower & Frequency meditation music.

Once you experience music in this new, deeply vibrational way, you’ll be changed in ways that will surely surprise you and encourage you to continue experiencing the many health benefits found within vibroacoustics and sound meditation.

I’m sharing all that I know about this and many other amazing sound meditation techniques in hopes that you’ll take this knowledge and serve your community with your own unique musical tastes and talents. Spread the literal vibes!

Let us know how your own journey goes and remember to keep it mellow and do no harm!

Avoid Vibroacoustic Therapy if you have:

Active or borderline psychosis

Open wounds, external or internal bleeding (except menstrual)

Recent thrombosis

Pregnancy

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introducing:

Passionflower

We are gearing up to release a Sleep Ritual Box this May, which will include meditation music, meditation mist, a sleep tincture, and sleep salve! Passionflower has turned out to play a staring role in our ritual box, so we thought we’d gather some of our favorite things about them to get you all acquainted! May your relationship be cloaked in magic, curiosity, and joyful reciprocity.

Can you even believe passionflower exists?! When I first gazed into a passionflower bloom, I felt an overwhelming sense of curiosity, electricity, and the kind of kindred feeling that happens when two outer space creatures meet.

I could tell that the medicine in this plant was profound. The deep blues and purples indicated to me that this might be a portal plant, I immediately felt a sort of calm hypnosis spread throughout my body, and especially my heart.

The more I learn about the constituents and herbal actions of this plant, the more our first encounter, and the striking bloom of this flower makes sense to me.

To begin, Passionflower, or Passiflora incarnata, is a perennial vine native to the tropical and semi-tropical regions of the Americas. In our neck of the woods, it is native to the southeastern part of the Unites States, but is easily cultivated and can be found thriving all over the place.

Medicinally, Passionflower has an affinity for the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and is considered a Nervine, Antispasmodic, Sedative, Hypnotic, and Anodyne.

In less medical terms, Passionflower helps you chill the heck out, helps you release tense smooth muscle and nervous tissue, helps you ease into restful sleep (without sleep hangover), and is pain relieving.

Historically, Passionflower has been indicated for circular thinking (windy condition that keeps thoughts cruising through your head like a Ferris wheel on speed) that causes insomnia, especially if the thoughts or worries stem from grief, or matters of the heart.

Passionflower pairs beautifully with Skullcap, Hawthorn, Motherwort, Milky Oats, and Blue Vervain for Nervous System support.

In my practice, I have especially loved using Passionflower to help anxious “circle thinking” clients with high blood pressure. The depressive actions it has for the central nervous system act as a hypotensive (lowers blood pressure). This feels like such an important piece. When we are anxious or stressed, our veins tighten, our hearts start pumping faster, and our blood pressure goes up. This can lead to a host of health concerns. Introducing Passionflower into our systems during times of stress supports the proper function of our hearts and helps prevent the constriction of our veins and arteries.

Something special about Passionflower on a chemical level, is that it helps our body break down serotonin and norepinephrine in slower, more efficient ways. This leads to a more even, gentle hormonal cascade and peaceful state of consciousness. This also may be a reason why Passionflower has historically been used to help folks struggling with addiction.

Personally, I’ve had beautiful results pairing Skullcap, Tulsi and Passionflower together for this purpose.

I just love this plant so much! Taking a look at the bloom again, notice how the pistil and stamen might remind you of some sort of underwater, oceanic creature. This has lead me to experiments pairing sea essences with Passionflower, and I’ve had great fun tracking the interfaces between these two energetic medicines! You can look forward to some of these pairings in our sleep box!

There is so much more to share about Passionflower, but the last thing I will share, is how mush I’ve loved experiencing the medicine of Passionflower through my skin. On a whim, I began experimenting with Passionflower as part of a sleep salve this past year. Since I’ve made copious amounts, I often end up coating my entire body in this salve on a daily basis, even when I’m not ready for sleep. What I’ve noticed, is that I feel calm, that my muscles feel spacious and relaxed, and that I spend less time worrying about things I may have done wrong throughout the day. Intuitively, I feel like this is Passionflower teaching me how to be gentle on myself, and showing me that If I stay relaxed in my body, my heart can surrender to the curious magic of being a human.

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Passionflower, and look forward to hearing about your own experiences with this beautiful plant medicine.

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Thank you for coming on this sound table and Passionflower journey with us!

As always, you can find a new meditation track on our Bandcamp to enjoy!

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh

 

Brainwaves and Honey

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We hope this past month has been filled with cozy wintertime rituals and deep self care. As we swivel into this new moon cycle, we have been practicing the art of

s l o w i n g d o w n.

We’ve been enjoying offering our sound paths meditation classes at both Anchor Meditation and Passion Project, and loved it when one of our students described our class as “adult nap time!”

The effects of being a modern human, with 24 hour access to computers, mainstream media, and cell phones, as well as 24 hour pressures to somehow balance full time work, while finding extra time for meaningful friendships, relationships and marriages, all while raising families, having side hustles, cleaning the house, exercising, and somehow having a creative or spiritual outlet, is quite frankly making us sick.

It feels so important to combat these modern day conditions by resisting the pressures to conform, and by nourishing your adrenal glands and nervous systems with nutritive, stress relieving herbs, rest, and meditative practices.

For this Month, we have two exciting offerings to help you reclaim your right to slow down and nourish yourself!

First, Josh will explain how he learned to create ambient music using his own brainwaves and the bio data of plants! This will be a fantastic section for anyone who is interested in making their own ambient music, or for folks who are just curious how the heck this is done.

After our brainwave journey, we will travel to the land of plants and honey. This will be a fantastic section for folks looking to learn how to make their own herbal infused honeys, or for folks looking to easily integrate plant medicine into their daily routines.

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How to Make Ambient Music using Brainwaves and Plants

by Joshua W Bruner

Hello to all of you sound curious beings!

I’d like to speak in depth about my path to creating ambient soundscapes using brainwaves (EEG) and plantwaves (GSR) over the last several months. 

The experience has been an incredible one which has opened the floodgates of my curiosities and creativity. It hasn’t always been fun. It hasn’t always been easy. It definitely hasn’t been cheap. It has, however, been a complete joy to accomplish and I certainly would do it all again in a heartbeat. I’ll try my best to walk you through the process but if you have a different computer than me, or a different EEG headband than me, you may need to search the internet for the few people who have generously posted in forums about their own methods using different tools and operating systems.… 

Learning to make plant music was too easy! You don’t need to know a thing about music to pull this off, and I love that aspect. It’s brilliant. I just purchased a MidiSprout, connected it to a plant and began making beautiful, generative music from plant energy! They have an easy to use app that you can play from your iPhone/Mac or if you use a DAW you can even route the MIDI into your session with ease and create your own instruments to be played. This is all thanks to DataGarden/MidiSprout for their hardworking team of sweethearts and visionaries. If you’d like to buy one for yourself, or a plant obsessed loved one, you can get a 10% discount on your purchase if you use our affiliate code of FLOWER. I highly recommend you spend some time with this healing piece of tech and explore a fascinating new world. 

The brain music is where things got super tricky. I’m already sweating at the brow thinking about it. LOL.

The tools I use to make this happen are a 2013 MacBook Pro, MUSE EEG headband (2014), Ableton Live, Max for Live, and MusePort/MIDI Generator plugins from To The Sun. Depending on your gear and computer knowledge this process may be easier or possibly more complicated than my experience. 

I started with searching forums to see if it was possible to create music with a Muse headband. I already owned the 2016 model and figured if you could pull off making music with plants, then you must be able to pull it off with brainwaves. My hunch was correct and I found several people across numerous forums who shared how they had already made it work. I understood about 20% of what I read. It was incredibly intimidating and often times included some hacking and coding, which I just don’t have the skill-set for. One thing was clear though—I needed to purchase Ableton Live and MAX for Live. Kinda pricey and since I was happily using Logic Pro, I was really hesitant to buy them but I couldn’t make any brain music with Logic Pro so I bit the bullet. I found a couple of MAX plugins made by To The Sun in a forum and I was ecstatic that someone had already made these tools just for this purpose. These were the MusePort and Midi Generator plugins and they were really affordable. I figured it out!

Not so fast!

At this point I realized that due to outdated developer tools for Muse, and the 2016 model, I couldn’t actually connect or stream any EEG data to my computer via bluetooth although some said I should be able to with this via another app. I tried a million combinations with no luck. Then I remembered someone mentioning in a forum that the 2014 Muse headband could make the connection that I needed. I tried to swap out headbands with Muse directly but they had sold out of the 2014 versions by now. I found one on EBAY and bought it immediately. This was the missing link I had been searching for!

I was able to troubleshoot some old legacy version bugs in the MusePort plugin, learned a thing or two about using Terminal on a Mac to receive an OSC stream from the headband, and I was actually making music with my brainwaves!

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My head was tingling with each note played. It was a special kind of rush I’ll never forget. The rest was just choosing which virtual instruments I wanted to assign to each brainwave state to create my meditative soundscapes. That’s the fun part!

I’m not an especially tech savvy person but I have a special kind of persistence which sometimes pays off. I’m so glad this was one such time. Lately I’ve been using both MidiSprout and my Muse headband to play duets together in my Sound Paths classes. It’s my favorite musical experience of over 20 years of playing music, easy. There is an undeniable awareness between the plants and the brain during these jam sessions. They react to one another often and other times seem intentionally syncopated! The plant and brain are playing together!

If you’d like to purchase a 30 minute ambient soundscape created with plant and brain data, a music which is composed to help strengthen your sleep cycle and relieve stress, you can do so here for $1.99 on our Bandcamp.

You can also save a little money by becoming a subscriber for just $20 a year. This will provide you with monthly meditation tracks for an entire year!

I hope you enjoy the music and that you create a sound and plant ritual within your own life for a healthier parasympathetic nervous system which will improve your quality of life in ways you’ve not yet dreamed. 

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How to Make Plant Infused Honey

Infusing plants into honey is one of the most ancient, sacred, and simplest ways to extract and enjoy the medicinal constituents of plants. We are so excited to share this method, because it is EASY and fun and the opportunity for creativity when choosing your herbs is limitless.

It's basically as easy as throwing whatever plant is calling to you into a mason jar, covering it with honey, letting it sit for at least one week, or up to one moon cycle, then straining and enjoying as a heaping spoonful on its own, or adding to teas, oatmeal, smoothies, snacks, or whatever you feel is needing some sweetness.

The magic and medicinal properties of honey are many. In addition to it being anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and an antiseptic for sore throats or external wound healing, it is also rich in amino acids which help with digestion and metabolism, and rich in minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. On top of all that, it is fantastic for healing burns and skin irritation, as it reduces inflammation while promoting the growth of healthy new skin cells.

Herbalist Robin Rose Bennett describes honey as "an everyday, sacred miracle."

We couldn't agree more.

When infusing herbs into honey, you are not just creating a tasty treat! You are brewing potent, intentional medicine. It's a melody that your body remembers, and knows how to use.

When thinking about nourishing your heart and nervous systems, herbal infused honey is such a wonderful medicine to reach for. The plant matter suspended in honey becomes even more bio-available, because your cells become more permeable and receptive in the presence of sugar. It is also a beautiful thing to give your heart and nervous system something sweet. We often go days/months/years without remembering to soften or to slow down enough for self-care. Ingesting honey is like eating a love poem from the earth, sky, and bees.

When thinking about which plants to infuse, we encourage you to slow down and look around at what's growing around you. Often the plants that are growing right outside our door, the plants that remind us of our childhood, or the plants we walk by every day are just the medicine our bodies are craving.

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Another tactic is to think about which plants you know you want to ingest, but have trouble getting down. Shout out to valerian! Traditionally, honey was used to make pungent herbs more palatable, or easy to ingest. Herbs were ground up to a fine powder then infused into honey to make an herby paste. This was then eaten by the spoonful or used as a spread. This can go a long way with compliance, especially when you are working with children or the inner child in all of us!

This moon cycle we challenge you to infuse and enjoy your own medicinal honeys!

We put together three of our most beloved recipes featuring plants that open and heal the heart, plants that ground us into our bodies, and plants that support the digestive, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.

We hope you fall in love with herbal honeys as much as we have:)

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Ingredients:

Dried Herbs

Raw, Unfiltered Honey

Directions:

1. Fill a clean quart sized jar a little less than halfway with dried herbs.

2. Pour raw, unfiltered honey over herbs. Try using a chopstick to poke the herbs down to make sure honey completely covers the herbs.

3. Put a lid on the jar and place the jar on a plate.

4. Turn the jar over AT LEAST once a day to get the honey moving over all the plant material. (You'll be happy the jar is on the plate for this step!) Say a thank you to the bees, to the sun, to the plants, as you engage with your medicine.

5. Keep an eye on your jar. Does it need more honey? Sometimes the herbs soak up the honey and more is required to keep the herbs submerged. It's really important they are fully covered at all times.

6. Infuse for one moon cycle. I like infusing from new moon to new moon! But if you are in a pinch, I've had great success with infusions that sat for just 1-2 wks.

7. Strain out herbs using a finely grained strainer, then store in a cool, dark place.

Here are our some of our favorite formulas:


Tending the Fire

3 parts Ginger

2 parts Cinnamon

1 part Rose

7 Cardamom pods

 

This one is so spicy and delicious! We love adding it to teas or just taking a spoonful whenever we need a little extra warmth in our belly and heart space. It's fantastic for digestion, so it's wonderful to have before or after meals, and it really helps get the blood moving. It's great for keeping warm on winter nights, or feeding to your sweetheart before going in for a kiss!

 

Let it Flow

2 parts Hawthorn Berry

1 part Linden

1 part Rose

 

Sometimes we need a little support to feel our feelings and move forward. This formula really helps you drop into grief and allows trapped emotions, anger, and water energy to flow up and out of the body. This is tree medicine. Thorny and Boundaried. Celtic and Witchy as hell. It holds you in the shadow, drapes you in profound self love, and walks you back into the light.

Redeux

2 parts Tulsi

1 part Lemon Balm

1 part Rose


This stress relieving formula helps to re-write stories of trauma and helps break unhealthy patterning connected to trauma, nervous system fatigue, stress, and heartbreak. It is soothing to the nerves and supportive to the digestive and cardiovascular system. We love this one!

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Thank you for coming on this brainwave music and herbal honey journey with us!

We hope you are feeling the new moon energy and creating space for continued self care.

As a reminder, we are holding weekly sound paths meditation classes in San Francisco. Check out our calendar on our Sound Paths page for this month’s events!

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh

 

Unveiling the New Year

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Happy New Moon and New Year to all of our dear friends and collaborators on this wellness path!

We want to officially welcome and call in this time with you, as we are feeling the momentum of many bright days unfolding! It’s a wonderful time to look ahead to all the light that is coming, and an equally exciting time to sit back with gratitude and appreciation for the gentle wisdom of the dark days we are leaving behind.

It also feels like a time to consider the work that is yet to be done, and investigate how we can be of greater service to ourselves, our families, our inner circles, and our greater communities.

Here at Flower and Frequency headquarters, we believe we have much to be grateful for, and much work to do. Our hearts and heads are buzzy with the anticipation of many herbal and sound meditation offerings we are gearing up to release, and we are counting our blessings as we enter this new-year in health and vibrant partnership.

An important part of our process is ritual. Whether we are making our herbal medicine, creating plant generated music for our sound meditations, or collecting brain wave data from our polyharmonic entrainment sessions, we believe in the sacred process of creating ritual, and honoring the magic that lies within intention, action, and the human desire for authentic connection.

We are therefore thrilled to begin the ritual of this monthly, new moon newsletter that will keep us connected, and keep you up to date on all of Flower and Frequency's upcoming products and events! It will also be a place to find recipes, plant monographs, ideas for integrating herbs into your kitchen and everyday routine, as well as all things involving sound, meditation, and ideas to bring the medicine of music, plants, and frequencies into your self care practice.

We are also excited to offer our email subscribers an opportunity each month to download a custom meditation track!

Beginning in February, we will offer this download for $1.99 per song, or $20 for a yearly subscription, but for our inaugural newsletter, it's free!!!

We are envisioning you cozying up with a cup of herbal tea (try lemon balm and rose with a healthy scoop of honey!) then laying down with headphones on, thirty minutes before bed, and giving yourself the gift of deep relaxation.

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You can also enjoy the stress relieving benefits and experience our plant generated music in person, by joining us at one (or four!) of our upcoming Sound Paths in San Francisco:

Monday - 1/21/19 - Anchor Meditation - 8pm - 2118 Union St, SF

Tuesday - 1/22/19 - Anchor Meditation - 8pm - 2118 Union St, SF

Sunday - 1/27/19 - Passion Project SF - 5:30pm - 3435 Cesar Chavez, Studio 204, SF

Tuesday - 1/29/19 - Anchor Meditation - 8pm - 2118 Union St, SF

Photo by Jess McElhattan

Photo by Jess McElhattan

We look forward to treating you to a truly relaxing evening!

May this new moon bring you restored dedication to your own healing rituals! We are walking beside you on this healing path, delighted by your curiosity and investment in reaching your health and wellness goals!

With Much Love,

Nora and Josh