The Birth of Baby Heart Songs
composed by veteran Sound Healers
Suzanne Jonas and Regina Murphy.
Know of anyone that would spend Valentine’s Day with young strangers, hugging each one, giving them $20 in a card and a box of See’s candy? He was a 19 year old “tough” guy who had a giant loving heart.
This happened at a facility for children with emotional problems who had no family environment in which to live and were cared for by the State of Nevada. To understand this unusual event you need to know more of the story.
This young man started his life by being taken from his mother and being strapped down in the incubator under bright lights because he had a rare liver complication. Being isolated in the incubator prevented him from being held by his mother and hearing her voice or feeling her touch. Emotional damage from this affected the rest of his life. He was put on medications for his behavior, including Zoloft, and that nearly caused him to have renal failure at the age of 8. This little boy fought back and although he lived with extreme depression and anxiety, he always reached out to help those less fortunate than him.
After he was taken off the medications he took guitar lessons; playing the guitar seemed to relieve his depression and anxiety. He could not leave his house without first playing the guitar. It was his way of self medicating; the vibrations from the stings on the guitar helped soothe him.
He always carried the cellular memories of being tied down and blindfolded in the NICU. This surfaced when he had been hit by a car and needed complicated knee surgery. When he was strapped down and was being moved from the pre op area to the operating room, the movement of the bed triggered such a response that he panicked, ripped out his IV and started screaming. He was emotionally out of control. A therapist in the pre op quickly tapped under his eye, using what is known as Energy Psychology, and he was fine, but it made it clear that birth trauma in the NICU isn’t over when we take the baby home.
The boy’s name was John, he was Regina’s son. She was the therapist in the pre op room. John’s life was music and she is a sound therapist. Regina began studying alternative therapies when John was on so many medications for behavior. Although his life was cut short, his life is the inspiration for her life’s work. Regina spent tireless hours doing something that has never been done except in hospital studies, not knowing if it will ever reach the mothers and babies that need it, but she can feel him in her heart pushing her to keep on going.
Now back to the Valentine story!
[Picture taken at Oasis Center on Valentine’s Day 2005]
When they were invited to their Valentines party, he repeated his $20 gifts but, as a special bonus, he wanted to give each child their own box of candy, See’s, no less. On the way home from the party he cried because one of the boys was being punished and was not allow to attend the party. He felt that having no home and having to live there was enough punishment. Regina passed this on to the director who was touched. She later reported that this policy was changed after it was brought to the attention of the upper management, who agreed with John.This funny gesture from Regina’s son, the “tough” guy, touched her heart. What a funny thing he had done. For this reason, he will always be Regina’s “Funny Valentine”. This was his last Valentine’s Day.
After his death, she did what every mother does: agonize over what went so terribly wrong. She was drawn back to two things: his early birth trauma, and how sound and vibration work so well. She realized that the sounds babies are the most familiar with are the hearbeats, intrauterine sounds, and the mother’s voice. She also remembered how music was the ONLY thing that would stop John’s screaming as an infant in the middle of the night. Regina began researching sound with specific vibrations and a technique called Vibroacoustics several years ago. In her search she met Suzanne Jonas, Ed.D. Together they have developed Baby HeartSongs.
Coincidences are really amazing. The year that John was born, Suzanne was doing her doctoral internship in counseling psychology and creative therapies in several units of a general hospital in Springfield MA. One of the units was a NICU where she was placing little tape players in the cribs – on the tapes were intrauterine sounds, heartbeats, and soft lullabies. The staff and parents would watch with amazement as the babies quieted and fell asleep; they progressed more rapidly than the other babies, being sent home sooner. That was the beginning of her path into Musical Medicine, before it was a recognized field.Since then, she has brought healing music and tones to hospitals, clinics, and her private practice, and trains healthcare professionals in Musical Medicine and how to administer it. It was ‘no accident’ that she and Regina have come together.
We have combined all of our experiences, research, and talents into this project to assist babies everywhere. The recording studio, location and musician, and welcome messages were chosen with the highest intention of this project even before the compositions were commissioned.
Researcher, Musician, Behavioral Medicine Psychologist, Sound Therapist
Massage Therapist, Energy Worker, Sound Therapist
Founder of Emotional Sound Techniques, Approved Provider for NCBTMB
Regina Murphy, R.M.T.