This CD was recorded by the folks behind the Reverie Harp Program at the Mayo Clinic Health System -Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, WI.
The CD features 6 tracks and each track has two Reverie Harps making music together. You'll find some relaxing improvisations as well as a couple of familiar melodies explored on the Reverie Harp.
The Reverie Harp Program (created in May 2012 by Regina Chihak and Tom Vaughn, along with the Director of Spiritual Care, Mike Brown,) emphasizes a collaborative approach between the disciplines in medicine. This philosophy of treatment addresses not just the body but also the mind and spirit of the patient.
This program offers therapeutic harp using the Acoustic Immersion techniques developed by the harpists at the Mayo Clinic campus in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The harpists observe that the pentatonic scale and the particular sound of this harp have a profound effect on all people, not just the patients. Family members in the rooms, staff members, and the harpists themselves are often moved and comforted.
What began as a one year trial on one floor of the hospital (palliative, comfort care, dementia, and elder care) has grown organically to now cover the ICU (intensive care unit), the surgical floors, and the oncology (cancer) center. Currently, the harpists are providing care, free of charge, to about 200 patients monthly.
Harpists work in teams of two, typically male and female. One harpist plays softly at the patient's side while the other places the harp against the patient's body. The combination of the physical vibration of the strings and resonance of the instrument, along with the audible sound of the music occupies the mind, interrupting the cycle of pain and anxiety. Patients become immersed in the sensations, relax, and often fall asleep.
The harpists work closely as a team with nurses and other staff. The constant presence on the floors is very important, as it reinforces the notion that complete healing is a collaborative effort between the physical medicine and spiritual care. Currently, a professional staff of five works with the patients about 70 hours each week.
The outcome is that difficult patients are more cooperative, the restless are calmer, anxiety is lessened, the cycle of pain is interrupted, and some COPD and pneumonia sufferers report that breathing is easier. Patients are receptive to the presence of the harpists, who approach them without the authority that a lab coat or other hospital uniforms suggest. The harpists bring not only their instruments, but their intuition and listening skills that further promote healing.