Dr. Mitchell Gaynor is a board certified medical oncologist, internist and hematologist and the Founder and President of Gaynor Integrative Oncology. Currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Gaynor also served as the medical director and director of medical oncology at the Weill Cornell Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Gaynor has served on the Executive Review Panel at the Department of Defense – Alternative Medicine for Breast Cancer Sector- and the Smithsonian Institute’s Symposium on New Frontiers in Breast Cancer and the Environment. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at hospitals, conferences, and universities throughout America and abroad and the author of five books, including two on the therapeutic use of sound and music.

Gaynor Integrative Oncology allows patients to integrate state-of-the-art allopathic medicine with nutrition and mind-body techniques, which Dr. Gaynor has pioneered. The practice also provides music-based meditation sessions and educational conferences for music therapy, yoga, chi-gong, and other alternative therapy instruction. Patients may participate in both group classes as well as see individual practitioners. Patients can thus incorporate meditation, healing sounds, guided imagery, and cognitive behavioral therapy, in concert with activities such as restorative physical therapy, aerobic exercise, chi-gong as well as botanical and nutritional counseling. This integrative program is the foundation for creating a healing partnership between doctor and patient. The latest addition to the healing arsenal is Crystal Sonic Therapy, which Dr Gaynor presented on the Dr Oz show this July.

I can personally testify that Dr Gaynor is an extraordinary doctor and visionary healer. His brilliance, compassion, and dedication have helped several members of my family who either have been diagnosed with cancer or are genetically predisposed to it. In addition, Dr. Gaynor’s sound healing CDs have been invaluable to me in coping with stress, insomnia, and creative blocks; I use them frequently to soothe, galvanize, and motivate me. I’m delighted that Dr. Gaynor has agreed to answer my questions about the CDs and to give free copies of the CDs to one lucky commenter!

How did you become interested in sound as a healing modality? And what specifically inspired and motivated you to create these CDs?

The CDs are the result of decades exploring the science and history of sound and music and healing. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was six years old and succumbed to the disease when I was nine years old. Her last two wishes were for my father to buy me a piano and to make sure I took piano lessons. I studied classical piano and progressed rapidly, playing in competitions and eventually learning music composition. Many nights after my mother’s death, the only way I could get to sleep was by composing music in my mind in order to drift off. I would then play the music and write it the following morning. However, by the time I was 14 years old, I had decided on a career in medicine and gave up playing the piano so I could focus on my math and science courses.

Many years later, I was given a Tibetan metal singing bowl by a Tibetan monk who was a patient in the early 1990s. These bowls are made of between seven and nine different metals, each vibrating at a different frequency. The effect is like church bells ringing simultaneously. I was struck by how the sound was felt throughout my body. I had been using guided imagery, yoga breathing, and meditation with my patients for years. I began combining these singing bowls with those techniques and the results were accelerated and more profound for patients. I began to travel to India to study yoga breathing, chanting and Indian music. I also started a charity that eventually funded two hospitals and an orphanage in the school in a very poor part of southern India. I then started using quartz crystal singing bowls that can be tuned to any frequency with great accuracy. They can be combined with precious metals such as gold and platinum as well as other minerals such as ruby and emerald.

I wrote The Healing Power of Sound, published by Shambala in 2002. I also made several CDs incorporating music therapy, Tibetan and quartz crystal singing bowls, guided meditation, and yoga breathing instruction. I called this music Crystal Sonic therapy.

The son of one of my patients, Jon Regen, recently composed a song written for his father called “Stay.” The song referred to his father having been given a terminal prognosis after being diagnosed with two cancers presenting simultaneously. The father had a connection to Dr. Oz who subsequently referred the patient to me. The patient was able to have successful surgery for both malignancies and is currently in complete remission. Jon wrote the song about the entire transformative experience in which his father was initially treated like a nameless number but was ultimately considered as a human being with a problem that required solutions and compassion. I hoped at the time that I would be able to make an album with Jon one day.

In March I received a call from a producer at the Dr. Oz show inviting me to appear as the expert on Crystal Sonic therapy. I thought to myself: “this is the opportunity to create an album with Jon.” I made the call to him and we soon begin working on “Change Your Mind,” which we created in under 24 hours. The harmony and resonance of the way we composed and played music was amazing! We subsequently composed two more albums, “Uplift” and “Peaceful Sleep.”

I continued the creative process and the joy of playing piano and keyboard returned. I had not played since I was 14 years old. I composed and performed 18 more songs for three albums: “Crystal Sonic Sound Sleep”, “Crystal Sonic Clear Focus”, and “Crystal Sonic Sampler.” For the last three CDs, I recorded the crystal bowls into a synthesizer and performed and wrote melodies using about 30 different bowls. I combined these with live natural sounds of quartz crystal singing bowls, nature sounds involving water, and a type of Indian drum called the tabla. The bowls used were from the “alchemy set” made by Crystal tones. They contained everything from gold, platinum, and Ruby, to rare earth minerals like kunzite and azetolite.

How do you incorporate these CDs and other kinds of sound healing into your practice?

I currently do meditation groups several times per month with my patients. During these groups, I play several of the quartz crystal singing bowls for taking the patients through guided meditation using imagery and yoga breathing which I studied in India. I also have a bio sonic machine- its use was demonstrated on Dr. Oz. I use this with each patient during initial consultations and follow up office visits. This machine allows the listener to hear music via headphones and experience music as vibration via a cushion which converts the music to corresponding vibrations. This cushion is moved over the heart and belly so that the listener has a whole new appreciation for music as harmonic vibration.

What are some sounds that are particularly aversive or detrimental to the immune system?

The human body is 60% water which is an excellent conductive medium for sound and vibration. Professor Emoto in Japan has done studies using x-ray crystallography which demonstrated that when water freezes its crystalline structure is influenced by sounds in the environment. Harmonious sounds yield crystals which are beautiful hexagons whereas disruptive sounds containing disharmony (yelling or cursing) yield crystals which have dysmorphic irregular shapes. One could presume that our bodies have been influenced by disharmony in our environment and our lives. We know from the field of neuro-cardiology that our heart rate variability changes with our emotional states. Stress causes a higher heart rate variability which is associated with decreased coherence in our brainwave patterns. This means that the hemispheres in our brain can either work in harmony or not. The electro magnetic field generated by the human heart is 5000 times stronger than that generated by the brain. This is why you can put electrodes on the wrists and ankles and see a nice clear EKG tracing; however with the electrodes placed on the skull you see only a very small EEG tracing. Therefore it is the heart that entrains the brain, not vice versa. Entrainment is a concept that was demonstrated by the 17th-century physicist, Huydgens. He studied pendulums hanging from clocks on a wall. He noted that the larger pendulum would entrain the smaller pendulums. The net effect would be that the pendulum motions would be equal and opposite so that enough that they “canceled each other out.” This is an example of nature moving toward harmony. I believe it is important for all of us to “re-tune” ourselves every day using Crystal Sonic therapy.

Who are some of your favorite musicians and what are some of your favorite styles and/or pieces of music?

“Have I Told You Lately” By Van Morrison and “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton are two of my favorite popular songs. The emotional intensity, love, and devotion are conveyed in both the words and melodies. “Stay” by Jon Regen is similar in style. John Lennon’s “Imagine” also ranks high amongst my favorites as does George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” In addition, I love Indian devotional chanting and music, and I have been influenced by the work of Philip Glass. The classical music that I began playing at age 9 is still a big part of my music library and includes Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart.

What are some other creative projects that you have in the works?

I am currently working on a new book which is almost complete called Dr. Gaynor’s Eco-Genetic Diet. It is a book about how micronutrients in our diet can affect gene expression. We are born with the genes that are given to us but the expression of those genes can change throughout our lives depending upon the nutrients as well as the toxins that we are exposed to. I was at Rockefeller University as part of my post-doctoral training studying nutrient gene interactions and the immune system. I was amazed at the fact that we really “are what we eat” and that with the best medical training in the world, nobody had ever taught me this. I embarked on a career combining genomics (toxicogenomics and nutritional genomics) with medical oncology and cancer prevention.

The concept of homeostasis and harmony applies equally to the mind-body aspect of my work as well as the nutritional. The endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems all must be functioning in harmony for optimal health. However, when one or more of these come out of harmony, disease results. Therefore, the foods we put in our body are as important for “re-tuning” as listening to Crystal Sonic therapy.

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