Immaculata Magazine Summer 2014 - page 42

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I MMA C U L ATA MA G A Z I N E * S UMM E R 2 0 1 4
PROFILES
“It’s music for cells. It forces them to re-harmonize,” Reilly said. “The
Scriptures say we are fearfully and wonderfully made …We are just
beginning to scratch the surface of that.”
Reilly has treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
a debilitating autoimmune condition in which the body stops
manufacturing synovial fluid in the joints, causing inflammation.
Reilly’s cymatics device shoots the vibrational signature of synovial fluid
at patients’ bodies, and so far, they have reported decreased pain. He
hasn’t yet tested their joints to see if they have more synovial fluid, but
the anecdotal evidence suggests that this might be the case. “I am not
advertising a cure for RA, but I have treated about 12 people and had
success with it,” he said. “We’re still studying all of this.”
Reilly also sees ways that music therapy can address the root cause
of a disease, which can sometimes be an emotional, psychological, or
spiritual issue. “There’s more to an illness than meets the eye,” he said.
He knows a cymatics practitioner who believes that she developed RA
because of the deep resentments she once carried. When she began
to forgive, she experienced a lot of relief. “It’s not just treating the
symptoms,” Reilly said.
As music therapy becomes more widely practiced, “people are going
to have a lot more fun going to the doctor’s! And also, they will not be
hurt as much. Let’s face it; a lot of medicine is either controlled poisons or
surgery.” But Reilly is quick to add, “In no way do I want to impinge upon
what’s been created and discovered in medicine in the physical realm over
the last 400 years. What I’m trying to do is add on to it.”
***
Behavioral health professionals are now recommending that, instead
of concentrating the intellectually disabled in large intermediate care
facilities, it’s better for them to be in smaller group homes that are more
integrated with the rest of the community. This shift in philosophy means
that Pennsylvania will no longer fund an intermediate care facility like
the Cardinal Krol Center. Without these funds, the center will be closing
soon, and the men will be moved to various group homes. Once the men
are scattered geographically, Reilly doesn’t see any easy ways to get the
Wise Guys all together to rehearse and travel to performance venues.
“There was a part of me that thought this was the worst thing that
could happen,” Reilly said. “But over the last two years, I’ve realized that
… He’s got the whole world in his hands.” He plans to keep in touch with
the Wise Guys, and he’s not giving up on working around the logistical
difficulties. “Once all the dust settles, we’ll see.”
Filmmakers Ed Kiggins and Todd Gerber of Phocus Media took an
interest in the story of these “unlikely rock stars,” as they call the men,
and are making a documentary about the group, the last concert they gave
in May, and the relocation the men are facing.
Reilly commends Kiggins’ and Gerber’s vision, which
they’ve maintained despite not meeting their fundraising
goal for producing the movie. “It’s running on love, at this
point!” Reilly said. “They see the men as enlightened beings
who should be honored.”
They were certainly honored at their final show, a
“last waltz love fest,” Reilly called it, presenting the Wise
Guys’ greatest hits. About 1,000 of the Wise Guys’ family
members and friends attended and, to Reilly’s surprise,
joined him in singing
Philadelphia
as the group came
onstage. Reilly wrote this song with Angela Falco ’96, ’97
M.A., another music therapist and composer. The lyrics
paint a picture of brotherly love:
If you’re down, come on up
If you’re broke, better try your luck
Streets of gold, room for all
City of light, never more to fall…
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Philadelphia
Lord, you know we’ve found a home.
The physical location of that home is changing for the
Wise Guys, but Reilly is confident in their spiritual home,
a place of brotherly love that they will now be able to share
more readily with the wider community.
“I think the Boss of the Universe’s plan is to bring
these men even closer to us, by making them our next-door
neighbors,” Reilly said. “Now they’re going to be in a place
where they’re going to have, I think, even a more powerful
social impact … They really are beautiful beings. And
they’re a lot happier than you or me!”
***
In the “healing laboratory” at his home, next to the
Innovative Music Therapist Award Immaculata gave him,
Reilly displays a plaque given to him by a Japanese surgeon
general during his visit to Japan with Sister Jean. The plaque
has a single Chinese character written in calligraphy, with
two brushstrokes forming a cross at the center. It is “le,” the
word “music,” which can also mean “joy.”
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