Rhythm and Movement are More Than Musical Terms

Music was an eminent tool for healing the body in ancient times. One element of music that was particularly helpful was rhythm.

Each person has a signature, healthy rhythm. Our heartbeat, circulation, breathing, and schedule-of-body-repairs all have rhythms. They combine and create our signature rhythm.

Since ancient times, we consciously observe a person’s rhythm. You can observe one’s signature rhythm by observing the rhythm of one’s walk or gait. For example, a person “bobs” up and down while walking. If a sage observed this person’s walk slowing down and his “bounce” replaced with shuffling of his feet, the sage knew that he needed rhythmic adjustment.

A person’s voice is also a measure of internal rhythm. Imagine the slow draw of one voice versus the fast chatter of another – presenting fast and slow rhythmic patterns. Musical-like phrases and “pause” patterns characteristic of an individual’s rhythmic pattern are on display in his voice.

The Energies Contained in Individual Rhythms are Clues

Movement is another indicator of a person’s rhythm. Notice the smooth and flowing movement of one athlete versus the jagged actions of another. One athlete shows a slurred and smooth transition of movements, whereas the other demonstrates staccato or crisp movements. Likewise, we could represent a horse by copying his exact gait patterns during a walk and a run.

Imagine the personality associated with one who bounces when walking, another who marches and yet another who shuffles his feet. It is not hard because our personal rhythm helps cultivate our personality.

In ancient times, changes to this rhythm were noted by using an imaginary musical tool, which worked like a thermometer. A depressed person was correlated to the bottom of the thermometer and a stressed person would be on the top. Low energy was at the bottom of the measuring tool and too much was at the top.

Fine Tuning Rhythm the Ancient Way

Ancient masters compared a person’s normal rhythm with his unusual rhythmic pattern (that occurred during difficult times). They applied music with heavy doses of his normal rhythm pattern until the body entrained and maintained the healthy beat pattern. When the normal rhythm pattern was restored, so was the person’s healthy mental and emotional energies. Over time their physical energies were also restored.

The Earth also displays healthy rhythmic patterns: spring, summer, fall and winter; and wet and dry seasons; and morning, noon and night. Even the starscape moves in a rhythmic way. Rhythms occur over time. Healthy rhythms are a vital part of our world.

Personal habits are also indicative of internal rhythms. This rhythm is created by the type of activities over time. One may have a heavy diet of flurried activity, and then a period of rest, growth or challenge. When these normal rhythm patterns get broken, the person feels stressed. (This contributes to holiday stress.) Simply a change in routine introduces stress.

Normal Rhythm Patterns and How to Achieve Them

Some rhythm patterns are healthier than others. A person who uses a pattern of work, work and work, will next wobble and crash. (The “crash” is analogous to the silence portion of a rhythm.) Procrastination also produces an unhealthy rhythm. An absence of rhythm occurs until it is crunch time. This is followed by a super-fast-paced rhythm and ends with a wobble and crash; another dead spot in the rhythm.

A healthier rhythm is a balanced one. Examples are: an activity is balanced by rest, stress is relieved by relaxation, and boredom is balanced by challenge. Rather than using one’s will to establish balanced habits, ancient healers had patients listen steadily to balanced rhythmic beats and their personal habits became healthier.

Sages didn’t ask which came first – the chicken or the egg, or did the healthy rhythm affect a personality or did one’s personality contribute to his unique rhythm. All waves influence each other – stronger waves overcomes the lessor. So, listen long enough to balanced beat patterns and watch balance develop in other areas of your life.

What Information is in Age-appropriate Rhythm Patterns?

Age appropriate rhythm patterns occur during periods of one’s life – much as the Earth experiences the rhythms over large time spans, such as drought and wet time spans that endure for hundreds of years. Likewise, the rhythm of a toddler is decidedly different than that of a teenager or a man in his prime.

Notice that in old age, personal rhythms becomes chaotic before the health declines. Ancient wisdom was that establishing strong and youthful rhythms with drum beats and appropriate music, prolonged virility, and youthfulness. (Belonging to a drumming circle may be more beneficial than you ever imagined.)

A steady and lively beat – perhaps with a little bounce to it – would be applied until a sick person entrained to this rhythm. Eventually, as the natural body rhythms are restored, health and personality problems dissipate.

People use drumming to get a group to work together. By establishing group beat patterns by drumming together also encouraged cooperation, and teamwork.

Natural Rhythms of the Ancients – Still a “Hit” Today

In ancient times, the wondrous variety of normal rhythm patterns found in nature were presented in healing music concerts. The rhythms of animal gaits, bird wings flapping, mother’s patting their babies to sleep and so on were copied and used prescriptively. For example, workers pulling heavy loads would sing using a rhythm just like a strong and steady elephant gait, but a warrior preparing for an attack would dance to the drum beats of a cougar attacking its prey.

Cataloging and copying successful rhythms could be studied for their results in one’s lifestyle. We could document unique body and life rhythms of successful, spiritual and healthy people, allowing us to entrain to rhythms for their specific benefits.

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