Being music deficient

March 28, 2010

At my last checkup, my doctor told me that I was deficient in vitamin D. He found it odd and perhaps suspicious that 75% of his patients were also D deficient–odd because we all live in southern California (the sun is a large source for vitamin D; sunscreen and clothes and staying inside block the absorption–go figure). So, he suggested I take a D supplement. The first time I did, it was like taking pain medication after being in terrible pain–well, maybe not quite that dramatic, but I could tell this vitamin really made me feel better. I WAS vitamin D deficient. I didn’t realize it until I got some.

This morning I awoke wondering “What’s missing?” After a hot bath I figured it out: music. Listening to music. Not just going to concerts, but actively listening to music at home while doing something.

As we age, people seem to listen to less music. I may be wrong, but it seems that way with people I know. And you know? I think music is essential for our emotional well-being just as vitamin D is. So as I got out of the tub, I decided to rip 20 CDs to have on my computer for easy access: Pop, film, classical, folk, jazz, and some jazz and pop divas. As I listened to this music, I felt a wide range of biochemical hot flashes, an endorphin rush, and good old goose bumps popping all over the place. THAT’s what was missing: listening to music.

I feel MUCH better.

(Have YOU been listening to enough music?)

[Photo: © 2010 Sara Q Blog: Photography for happy people]

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

captainjasonhong March 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Interesting that you noticed a physical difference with the D vitamin. I wonder if I’m D deficient? I can remember that feeling of doing something different, something that we’ve gotten into the habit of not doing for a long time due to the fast-paced nature of life here. After tapping into it: consequently feeling rejuvenated from missing out on something that’s been there all along to tap into. Amongst all these worries about getting into grad. school conducting with Neal right now, I really miss that feeling of being inspired, of having a shot of energy in discovering what I’ve been missing (which I so need, esp. for this process). I need to find out what I’ve been missing and then I need to not miss it.

Brad Wood March 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

I know you have had skin cancers and are concerned about solar exposure, as are many in sunny climes like So. California. But, although the drawbacks of excessive exposure are reasonably well-documented, apparently the most dangerous skin cancers like malignant melanoma rarely appear on sections of the body that have had exposure to ultraviolet light. It is a puzzle, and I have read some dematologists who say well stay out of the sun anyway!—i.e., until we figure out why it works this way. A little like the healthcare bill—we can find out what’s in it now that it’s signed into law.

But, given the possibly well-founded aversion to exposure, vitamin D supplementation is a good idea (as I commented in your very old thread, after you’d had some patches removed). And the medical orthodoxy’s prevailing but increasingly questioned dose of 400IU/day is undergoing revision. I take 1000 IU and I also get some sun when I can. When it is overcast I’ll sometimes take an additional 1000IU.

Make sure of your sources too. Cholecalciferol, vitamin D3; I like the product from Jarrow Formulas.

Roger Bourland March 31, 2010 at 7:36 am

Jason, just remember that my doctor prescribed my taking D. Vitamin D, A and E are oil based vitamins and you CAN take too much. So please don’t take my post as advice. I am not a medical doctor and it’s not a good idea to self-diagnose.

captainjasonhong April 2, 2010 at 12:44 am

Oh, haha. I was not talking about vitamin D. I was talking about not losing momentum/inspiration/passion in this coming year. I seek to become a visionary (an orchestral conductor) and in this process, must come up with the passion/energy to ‘be the visionary’ (metaphorically and literally in the prescreening rehearsal video) in building the confidence and seeing the success happen even in this period of uncertainty, in this time when the thick procedures and requirements can start de-energizing you. It’s sort of counter-intuitive. I need to not think and just move forward like I normally would, in relation to the railroad tracks post. In this case, my diagnosis is a temporary lack of inspiration, partly due to too much work. I’m sure once the time gets closer (esp. summer), I start making narrower decisions, have my game plan down- I will have probably gained enough momentum to knock ’em out. Diagnosis: a bit inspiration deficient. Cure: less spread out and more focus (will happen naturally over summer, when the only two goals are relax and conduct (make good music and make music good)/office hours/weekends).

Jeremy Hirsch April 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts of music deficiency. For me, when I haven’t either actively listened to music, played, or sung, I physically feel like something is missing, almost like I haven’t really gone into my full-functioning mode yet. I have a theory (based on nothing but my own feeling) that a lot of it has to do with rhythm and with physically listening to one’s surroundings. As I’ve become a musician, hearing and listening has become a more important, integral part of my life to the point where I’m somewhat conscious of the little rhythms of every day life with or without music playing. And by I, I don’t mean to say just myself; I think everyone, once they warm up their ears, and sort of turn them on, can get into a subtle, little life rhythm and feel groovy, and healthier, and more alert. There’s sound happening all the time and I think if you do something as little as listen to a song you really enjoy, and I mean really listen, like impulsively rock out, or conduct along, or snap just because you’re feeling it, you warm up your sense of hearing and the way you interact with the world becomes a little more acute and hopefully, lighthearted, and enjoyable.

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