Friday, November 30, 2012

Books about Music and Epilepsy

   Sally Fletcher has written two books coming out of her own personal experience.  She is a musician who plays the harp and organ and she also has suffered from epilepsy.
In The Challenge of Epilepsy:  Complementary and Alternative Solutions, Ms. Fletcher shares her own challenges with epilepsy and how she arrived at-if not a cure- a method to prevent seizures.  In the first chapter she tells us that she used to suffer from ten to fifteen seizures per month that were uncontrolled by medication.  She now is seizure free and the rest of the book is devoted to explaining how she, without the help of doctors, books, or any other outside source overcame her affliction. 

The book explains the facts and myths of epileptic seizures and what we know about what parts of the brain are affected.  She devotes a couple of chapters to diet and life style habits that can affect seizures and their frequency. She delves into what is called biofeedback, neurofeedback and brain waves.  A chapter describing medication and their side affects are also listed.

After filling the reader in on the background of epilepsy- causes (unknown), medical facts and different studies of the brain, she gets to the main thrust of her book.  According to her, a person can control their own brainwaves and eventually learn to prevent seizures.

   Much of what she offers includes yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques that she asserts will raise an epileptic’s threshold so that they do not suffer a seizure.  Examples of “correct thinking techniques” are included in one chapter where she directs the epileptic to allow the body to obey each conscious thought as follows:


1.  I feel very quiet.

2. I am beginning to feel quite relaxed.

3.  My feet feel heavy and relaxed.

4.  My ankles, my knees and my hips feel heavy, relaxed and comfortable.

5.  My solar plexus, and the whole central portion of my body, feel  realxed and quiet.


There are 23 more thoughts listed that Ms. Fletcher walks you through. 


Other chapters discuss good exercise and the role music can play in healing an epileptic of seizures.


I would like to point out that I am not an epileptic and have not tried any of these techniques so cannot vouch for them.  However, the book was interesting to read and the idea of controlling one’s thoughts to contain seizures is thought-provoking. My personal advice?  Consult a doctor before embarking on any unconventional therapy.



Ms. Fletcher’s other book is Music:  Healing and Harmony.  In this book she gives a lot of information on how music affects the mind and body.  She cites many sources that show the impact music has on the development of our mind, the manipulation of our emotions and even our bodily health. 

She devotes some interesting chapters to the actual science of music, the vibrations that make up different pitches and how they can affect the brain and emotions.  She gives information on different styles of music and how they help us to become energized, relaxed, concentrate, think logically or excited.  She describes studies that have shown how music helps control ADD and ADHD as well as the immune system.

While some of her information smacks of Eastern mysticism (she talks of enhancing bodily energies by finding “chakra” points), I found the book –if not providing a lot of new information ( I have a Master’s degree in Music)- at least an interesting and useful tool for the non musical layperson. 

Disclaimer:  I received these books for free by the author.

Ms. Fletcher also records on the harp and organ.  For more information you can go to her website:



Brian Joseph said...

I really believe that diet, lifestyle as well as improving ones mental well being through things like planned relaxation and meditation can make such a difference in ones physical and mental health.

Though I can see how it would work, it is incredible and wonderful that Fletcher has achieved such results. I can also see how music could play a key part in all of this.

This sounds like a great book to read!

Sharon Wilfong said...

The books are short and easy to read. The mechanics of the mind is certainly fascinating. Glad you enjoyed the post. Take care.