Daily Mail Article by Columnist Bel Mooney

And finally… Silence soothes the soul

Daily Mail Columnist Bel Mooney

Observing the two-minute silence in church last Sunday and again at home on Tuesday morning (I'm a passionate believer in respecting such important rituals), it occurred to me how rarely we experience an absence of sound. Of course, during the two minutes there was a distant hum of traffic, a faint voice calling, or the trill of a bird. But no noise.

Normally, we're bombarded with noise, so much of it driving out contemplation. Sometimes, during a TV drama or documentary, you can barely hear the words because there must be music playing over them. In the rapidly-disappearing countryside of crowded southern England, human sound is rarely far away. Peace is something we pray for on Remembrance Day. Yet everyday peace is crowded out of our rowdy lives.

What does this do to us? I'm as bad as anyone - unable to switch off the noise in my mind. That's why I was thrilled to discover a 57-minute DVD called Calmer By Nature which has introduced me to what Simon and Garfunkel called 'the sound of silence'. Film-maker Barry Wheelock worked in the City for 20 years, so he knows about stress.

He has produced a film which should be owned by every hospital, care home and psychiatric unit in the land, and shown on a loop in the lobbies of businesses and in departure lounges instead of Sky. It might help disruptive pupils, too. Apparently, there's been excellent feedback from patients shown the film in an acute day care room.

It consists simply of beautiful, mesmerising wildlife footage - deer, rushing water, poppies, birds, trees, coastal scenes, and so on - the crucial point being that there is no soundtrack (not even gentle music), only the pure sounds of the scenes filmed. It's glorious, and when I let it run on my computer as I did some research, I was relaxed by the gentle tones of nature and the enchanting scenes which transfixed me when I glanced up. We can't all escape to the real countryside, but the sounds of silence ease the soul.

This DVD provides sensory therapy for stress relief and works with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s and insomnia and is increasingly being used in the areas of mental health and in different types of community care. Various parts of the film with its natural sound is helping with cognitive therapy, cognitive psychology and with the development of techniques relating to cognitive behaviour, communication and processing and sensory integration.

Calmer by Nature in summary is a natural therapy, a proven aid to Sensory Therapy, Stress Relief, Autism, anxiety, dementia, Tinnitus, insomnia, Alzheimer's, Asperger's Syndrome, mental health, community care. It also supports Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).