Monday, September 24, 2012

Celtic Harp Event Marks the Autumnal Equinox

On Saturday, September 22, Marcie Swift helped us usher in the start of fall with a moving performance of the Celtic harp, though, in her words, she hesitated to use the word performance and instead liked to think of the event as creating an atmosphere of relaxation; a mini-retreat at the Farmington main library.

And in that she succeeded.  She paired her music selections with tales of her experience in performing the harp for a variety of groups and patients who suffer from illness, chronic emotional and physical ailments, and behavioral problems.  Studies have shown that the harp is one of three polyphonic instruments that are the most healing in their vibrations (the other two are the piano and guitar.) These vibrations have been shown to lower blood pressure, lower the pulse rate, increase the immune system, tremendously reduce pain, and to lessen nausea and fatigue in chemo patients.  She shared some of her own direct experiences in reducing the pain in hip replacement patients, easing the suffering of the terminally ill, and aiding in the vocal recovery of stroke victims.

As for those of us in the audience, we had the rare treat to be up close so as to feel the vibrations of this magical instrument, to be lulled into a relaxed meditation, and to rejoice in the beautiful tones and sounds of this unique music.  It was a special and memorable way to mark the autumnal equinox!

Marcie Swift, M.Ed. NCSP CMP, has been playing the harp for the past ten years. She is a nationally certified school psychologist, certified music practitioner of the harp, and board certified diplomate in behavioral health through the American Association of Integrative Medicine. She provides therapeutic harp music for chemo patients during treatments, and runs support groups for cancer patients, using harp therapy and relaxation therapy at several hospitals. Marcie is the Director of The Swift Center for Learning, LLC, in Simsbury, where she consults with patients on stress relief, pain, insomnia, and depression. For more information about Marcie and her practice, please visit her web site at

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