Barbara Ann Greim has some pretty sensational stories about her “magic” harp, River House PA’s newest addition to our team of amazing helpers. Stories of noticeable, significant change in a patient’s breathing pattern, heart rate, blood pressure- just by Barbara going in and out of the hospital room where the patient lay as she played her harp. A surgeon made Barb do this test without her knowing why and they were all amazed at the results.
“It was a moment for me,” Barbara Ann admitted, even though this Master Harp Therapist has recorded thousands of healing hours in hospital, rehabs, hospices and private home sessions. Barbara has her Masters in Music and pretty much plays every instrument, but primarily the harp, acoustic guitar and flute. She taught music 20+ years and is a Hospital Certified as a Trauma Informed Care trainer utilizing music therapy into the area of Trauma Care.
Barbara visits hospitals in the Reading, PA area and plays for patients at least one time a week. She often focuses on the oncological center where cancer patients are being treated. She often just walks the halls
and gets invited in to play privately. One particular young man had a difficult surgery and his parents came to Barb later and said, “When you arrived in the doorway and played for our son, we all knew he would pull out of this. Everything changed, our whole attitude shifted and there was huge hope.”
Surgeons sometimes ask Barb to sit with them and play for them as they get ready to go into surgery. They understand that the mind/body needs to be centered and calm. The medical profession is realizing that alternative therapy can work wonders.
Playing for the dying is probably the most moving experience , “To be invited into that sacred space, to be allowed by the families to participate is so humbling,” Barb shares. “I really feel like I am walking them home.”
Playing a large harp physically affects all people who hear it , but being close to the actual harp has an even greater effect. Small portable harps where the sounding board actually sits against your body sends the vibrations right into the person’s heart. Barbara Anne explained that we humans are made of so much water, and that when the soft sound waves of a harp enter the body, they actually rearrange and change the water molecules in a positive way. They relax and soothe the body.
We at River House PA have big plans for Barb’s harp therapy. We want to design nighttime walks outdoors in nature with harp players placed along the path, resonating off the trees and the breeze. Also, using harp therapy for super relaxation after yoga for trauma sessions; harp playing instructions or just the opportunity for our veterans to play the harps themselves or sit by Barb’s side and absorb.
Barb will take her gifts and her big heart and head up River House’s Music Therapy program encompassing many ways to help heal through music. We believe Barb and her harps can truly help our vets heal and get back home to who they once were.
Here’s a related harp therapy story …