Musician’s harp playing provides calming therapy for those facing medical issues

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Amy Camie will tell you she’s always known her life was destined. But, it was more recently that she realized her life was meant to help others facing death.

“The clients that come to see me are dealing with a family member in the ending stages of their life and they don’t know what to do. They don’t know where to put their love anymore,” said Ann Ross, LPC.  

That’s where Amy’s harp comes into play. 

“As a certified clinical musician, I actually went through training, so I would have the skills necessary to create a therapeutic setting for patients,” said Amy Camie, a certified clinical musician.

It wasn’t just training; it was a calling.  When a friend of hers was going through hospice, Amy recorded a tape of her music for her friend.  

“She used it to relax. That was the first time I ever thought about music as healing, but a fire lit up,” said Camie.

The spark for that fire, Amy says, came from her adoptive parents, who were both music teachers and encouraged her to play the harp. A beautiful sound that is so much more than just music. Ross experienced that personally when she used Amy’s therapy for her own mother.

“My mom was 97 years of age, lived an absolutely beautiful life and she died in a beautiful way as well,” said Ross.

Ross played her mom’s favorite music first, but saw no response, she wondered “what are the things I can do for my mom when she became non-verbal when she was sleeping most of the time, and I knew time was coming.”

So, she called Amy, “Immediately when Amy started playing, mom started moving a little bit. She was there.  It’s almost like the angels were there in the room as well,” said Ross.

That may be because Amy says the music she wrote and uses, "The Magic Mirror,” was inspired by the spiritual connection she has with her husband, John.  The music is beautiful, emotional and spiritual, yes but also scientific. 

“We met Dr. William Collins who was a neuro therapist here in St. Louis and he offered to do quantitative EEG to see what was happening,” said Camie. 

The results were positive.  She added, “That led us to questioning, 'Well, if we can impact the brain, if we can increase the alpha frequency and decrease the beta frequency in four minutes, maybe we can impact the immune system.'” Research continues. Meanwhile, the impact of Amy’s music is undeniable.

“I think it touched a place that nobody else could touch in my mom,” said Ross.

 Amy’s music has also been sent overseas to help troops with PTSD, as well as used in the U.S. to help people with Alzheimer’s, those going through chemotherapy, as support for stress and anxiety as well as people of all ages with problems sleeping.

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