Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Echoes of a Winter Brook soundtrack

Check out the catalog to preview the newly released soundtrack, "Echoes of a Winter Brook". It's one of the few sounds of water that is specific to Winter, as it is created from the sound of a brook rushing through a cavity of ice and snow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Sounds Coming

Following up on my post from last week called "Winter Downtime":

Despite the Arctic cold temperatures we've been having this winter in New England, I did eventually get the courage to head into the deep woods, snowshoes and all, for an afternoon of recording. And I'm glad I did, because I was treated to some very interesting "winter-only" sounds.

The small streams have frozen over and there are a couple feet of snow on top of the ice, but in the faster sections of the streams, the rushing water has carved out little "caves" in the ice and snow down the middle of the stream, and these cavities add a great reverberation to the sound of the flowing water. It's kind of like the sound of water in a tunnel. This is the recording that I think will turn into a great soundtrack for relaxation, meditation, or hypnosis.

Generally, 70% of my recorded material gets discarded before production, due to excessive artificial noise, wind noise, other unwanted noise, or it's just not unique enough to differentiate it from other soundtracks I've created. Well this time, I believe I "nailed it" and came home with useable material from just a couple hours of being outside, including the hiking time to get to the recording site. As I mentioned in my "Winter Downtime" post, there is so much less human-generated noise in the woods during winter that a half hour of recording will actually yield just about half an hour of useable material. I might just need to edit out a distant jet plane or two, but that's it! No hikers, no Harleys in the distance, no recreational prop planes, no motor boats. The moral of the story is: If you can handle the bitter cold, recording in winter CAN be fruiful.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Don't Let Stress Be Such a Grind

Hello fans of relaxation, self-change, and all other great things!

I came across this great article about the connection between stress and teeth grinding (or bruxism, as it's formally called).

The American Dental Association says that teeth grinding usually happens during sleep, and may be brought on by stress and anxiety, frustration, or anger.
So if it happens while you're asleep, how would you know if you're suffering from bruxism? Symptoms include increased tooth pain or sensitivity, or awakening with jaw muscle strain, pain in the face, and tenderness in the jaw. In extreme cases, if left untreated, teeth grinding leads to worn-down or chipped teeth, and even tooth loss, which must be repaired through extensive dental work to restore the entire mouth.
Experts suggest that sufferers of stress-related bruxism find a way to manage their daily stress, such as exercise or meditation.

So what this says is that if you grind your teeth at night or during stressful situations (I know some people who clench their teeth while stuck in traffic), you need to stop the problem before it gets worse, or else you may have a lot of expensive dental work in your future. If you experience the symptoms of teeth grinding, chances are you have stress in your life that needs to be managed. Begin a daily practice of mindful stress reduction. Meditation works great for this, and it's really quite easy to get started. I began meditation a few years ago simply by reading some books. The information is out there, we just need to seek it out. Moodstreams soundtracks work great as meditation aids.

And of course another great solution is to seek the help of a hypnotist. As a certified hypnotist myself, I work with many clients on stress management. Stress is the root of many disorders including bruxism, and a qualified hypnotist has scripts to address both general stress management as well as bruxism in particular. And a good hypnotist will also teach you self-hypnosis (which works the same way as meditation), so you can continue the practice of relaxation when you are out of the hypnosis clinic and going about your daily life.

Relax and live peacefully,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Downtime

I hope all of you who have been listening to Meditation Getaways have been satisfied with it, and have used these meditations to find inner peace, and discover your latent powers of imagination. I have done 3 episodes so far, and I have many more planned. Please leave me feedback on what you think of the guided meditations, and what changes you'd like to see in upcoming episodes. I try to keep the length of these meditations between 15 and 20 minutes, so that you can listen to them in the middle of the day as a quick break, without taking too much time out of your schedule. The last thing people need in this day and age is ANOTHER COMMITMENT, right?

Here in New England it is the dead of winter, we've had 3 snowstorms and temperatures are steadily falling to teeth-chattering levels this week. Winter is typically a time where my nature recording activities are drastically reduced, which is why you haven't seen an update to the online store in a while. Recording is difficult in winter, because the equipment doesn't enjoy being subjected to below-freezing temps too much, battery capacity is drastically reduced, and wimpy nature recordists don't like freezing their butts off while they wait for a 45-minute winter stream recording to finish. ;)

That being said, recording in winter DOES have its perks: There are much fewer people out in natural areas, so I don't have to go as far out of the way to avoid human interference; The Harley Davidson, the bane of a nature recordist's existence, is completely absent from country roads in winter, which, again, means I don't have to go as far off the beaten path to find quiet spaces to record. At least motorcycle riders also have the same problem with freezing their butts off in winter; The number of recreational airplanes in the sky is also drastically reduced in winter, which means I can now record in wilderness areas that are within a few miles of a small airport (which is most of central Massachusetts, and ironically the parts that are furthest from car traffic); Recreational motorboats are all out of the water, tightly wrapped in their winter plastic-wrap cocoons, which it makes it much easier for me to record near the ocean and near lakes; And a thick blanket of winter snow over everything just seems to have a way of insulating the wilderness from the sounds of society. If you ever want to experience true quiet (the kind of quiet that's so profound that you can hear your own blood running inside your head), stand in the middle of a remote New England pine forest in the dead of winter during a gentle snowfall. You will not hear cars, planes, tranes, animals, wind, or even water (because it's all frozen). But in those cases, the silence is so overwhelming that there's nothing to record!

With all that in mind, I suppose I'll suck it up soon and go out and capture some recordings of some partially frozen winter streams flowing. The sound of water flowing under sheets of ice is really quite amazing. This is also a great time to go and record the Atlantic Ocean, because there'll be no people on the beach and no boats in the water. And as soon as we get a warm spell, I'll go out and record the sound of icicles melting and dripping water rhythmically onto the ground below, which I've been thinking would be quite soothing and mesmerizing.

So, yes, you CAN expect to see and hear something new soon!

Moodstreams adds a new location!

I am proud to announce that Moodstreams now has a new clinic location for private hypnosis sessions in the suburbs of Boston, MA. I, Paul, your friendly local hypnotist, have started seeing clients at Assabet Valley Natural Health, a new alternative health clinic in Maynard, MA. I'm in this clinic a couple of days a week, and I am able to hold appointments there on Fridays and Sundays. I share this wonderfully quaint clinic space with two incredible alternative health practitioners: George Mandler, an acupuncturist and dietician, and Joy Mandler, a massage therapist and maternal care specialist. They are the owner's of the clinic and have done a great job setting up the space.

I continue to be avaiable for house call hypnosis sessions throughout the suburbs of Boston. But I encourage clients, both new and old, to come to the clinic for appointments if possible, because you'll be impressed with how comfortable the space is, and you'll find that it is very easy to relax and go into hypnosis there. And besides, getting out of the house once in a while is a good thing, right?

In Health,
Paul Nguyen, Certified Consulting Hypnotist