A Menu of Sound Therapies
A Menu of Sound Therapies
from Take Two CDs and Call Me in the Morning
by Suzanne Jonas, EdD.
The most widely recognized and accepted use of frequency application is the field of ultrasonics. In medical applications, the basic principle is using high frequencies to generate heat, which can penetrate to the deep tissues of the body. Ultrasonics is currently used in physical therapy, surgery, and dentistry. Experiments are also focusing on ultrasonics as a method of birth control.
As a tool for diagnosis, ultra-sonagraphy is a method of scanning internal organs with pulsed or continuous high-frequency waves and recording the rebound (echo) of these waves. Ultra-sonagraphy is used in assessing the stages of pregnancy and to detect diseases and tumors of the bladder, kidneys, liver, ovaries, pancreas, brain, and heart. Treatment of disease and surgical techniques are relatively new, though successes havebeen achieved in treating Meniere's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, bruises and strains, in removal of tumor and kidney stones, and in ophthalmic surgery.(McClellan, 1991)
The therapeutic application of cymatics (the science of how sound waves translate into physical patterns)is currently being researched in England. The basic principle operative in cymatics therapy is entrainment. The healthy frequency of the body part to be treated, having been predetermined, is incorporated into a harmonic of five frequencies, which is applied through that skin by an “applicator”to specific acupuncture points on the body. The sounds produced are attuned to the body's natural frequencies. Although the approach is only 30 or so years old, successes have been demonstrated in cases of rheumatism, arthritis, fracture, muscle strain, and many other afflictions. The leading pioneer in this area is Dr. Peter Guy Manners. (www.cymatherapy.com)
Today there are several sound tables/chairs available. Somatron, Betar, “So”Sound, KliniSoundWave, Vibroacoustics, and Dr. Jeffery Thompson's are a few of the current names of tables/chairs that have speakers or transducers embedded in them. Lying on the bed, one can feel the vibrations of music, a condition known as sensory resonance when all the senses receive simultaneous stimulation. This assists in freeing up mental energy that would normally be used to screen out countless irritating background sensations and assists in decreasing physical symptoms.
Researchers point out that musical frequencies when experienced through the table or chair, are perceived not only by our ears and skin, but also by our spinal cored and brain, and therefore potentially by all parts of our bodies. Vibro-tactile tables and chairs are being used in hospitals, universities, schools, mind/brain centers, and private and governmental facilities across the world. (see list of research citations at end of this chapter).Clinical reports demonstrate some interesting results including: the complete elimination of migraine, sinus and tension headaches; decrease in pain during invasive cancer procedures; decrease in anxiety, muscle tension, and spasticity;assistance in entering into deep relaxation faster; and a consistent ability to summon and soothe individual personalities of those suffering from multiple personality disorders.
The nature of the sonic treatment on the bed is essentially dependent on what music comes through the speakers. Children's Cancer Center in Tampa FL finds soothing music that has a mother's heartbeat embedded in it to be effective both before and after painful invasive procedures. In a study designed to reduce stress headaches (McElwain), native American flute music (“Canyon Trilogy” by Carlos Nakai) was found to be successful. Other music found to be influential is: Baroque music with autism, any of the Hemi-Sync music tapes (www.InnerHarmonyHealthCenter.com), and in general, music that is nonpercusive, slow, melodious, and has a strong bass line. David Ison (www.Therasound.com) has been composing specific music for the Somatron and Vibrasound tables that have been consistently successful.
The Betar, KliniSoundwave, “So”Sound table, Viobrasound table, and Dr. Jeffery Thompson's sound table are equipped with specially designed low frequency, solid steel transducers,comparable to electronic tuning forks, attached to a hardwood underside of the table. When lying on this padded tuning board, a person feels and becomes part of the sound vibration through direct bone conduction. As many say,“It is an awesome experience...” To magnify and spread the sound more evenly throughout the entire body mass, geometrically engineered Resonance Chambers are used. The transducers and resonance chambers of the Dr Thompson™ Patent Pending Sound Table System are mathematically arranged for the highest resonance of the body.
The Dr Thompson™ Audio Program Recordings have been technologically engineered with precision low frequency vibrations to most effectively resonate the body and entrain the brain into different states of consciousness for stress reduction, holistic healing, deep relaxation, emotional release, enhanced therapeutic interaction, openness, meditation, etc. These specific low frequency sound waves give the optimal effect of vibration through the body and hence, set the stage for the true holistic healing.
VIBRO ACOUSTIC THERAPY
In 1959 Dr. Teirichbuilt a couch containing loudspeakers that had a response range from 20hz-60hz for generating vibration into the back. Clients reported warmth in the solarplexus, warmth throughout the body, floating sensations caused by the bass tones, relaxation in the region of the stomach, dreamlike states, and images. Norwegian educator and therapist, Olav Skille, constructed a unit which he initially described as a “music bath” that bathed his subjects in sound. He found some success in helping children who were severely physically and mentally impaired to achieve relaxation. This process consisted of playing music and sinus tones through speakers into a mattress filled with semi-soft pellets. He found that the most significant frequencies range between 40-80HZ. Patients lying on the mattress feel the vibrations throughout their bodies. For instance, 40 hz was predominantly felt in the thighs and legs, 50 Hz was more significantly felt in the coccyx, sacrum, and lower lumbar region, and 60 Hz was typically felt in the thoracic area and to some extent in the lumbar region. Dr. Skille noticed several effects with his patients: weakened spasticity, a rise in activity level, a lessening or disappearance of stress-related shoulder pains; reduction in lumbago-type back pains and other muscular tension; reduction in back-area menstrual pain (Skille, 1982). Since then, a variety of clinical conditions have been treated with Vibro acoustic therapy in Norway, England, Finland, Estonia, and the U.S. Some of these conditions include:autism, pulmonary disorders, asthma, spastic conditions, anxiety, neurosis(Wigram, 1995). There sound tables and chairs listed in the website references at the end of this chapter.
Auditory assessment for the purposes of sound therapy was founded by Alfred A. Tomatis, a French physician and ear/nose/throat specialist. Sound therapy is based upon the idea that the body requires the presence of a full range of harmonious frequencies working cooperatively. As the voice is a source of sound, the ear is the receiver of sound and together they form a dynamic system. Tomatis believed that during gestation the brain is developed from the pattern of the first organ to form: the ear. Early in his work, he discovered the right ear needs to be the dominant listening ear as it has more connections with the left side of the brain and that the neural link between the left bran and the larynx is shorter. He discovered that when the right ear is not in a position of control there will be no leading ear at all. Hesitant and monotonous speech may occur, possibly stammering or even stuttering. In most children with language and learning problems, the right ear did not develop as the leading ear. His method therefore addresses specific problems of listening, not hearing.
After assessing the listening strengths and weaknesses, the ear is introduced to filtered sound stimulations through special equipment. The chief objective of the passive phase is to recreate the prenatal environment by means ofsounds rich in high frequencies. The sounds are usually a combination of mother's recorded voice and music by Mozart. The ear is forced to expand its range of perception and increase its selective powers. The program the progresses to an active phase of voice exercises including singing and chanting then word and sentence repetition, and a read aloud phase. (Madaule 1993)
Many language, speech, and behavior and learning disabilities thought to be irreversible are currently being changed including ADD and ADHD. Someof the specific changes that have occurred are: accelerated learning, increases in information integration, improved vocal range and hearing, reversal of several behavioral problems such as attention, concentration, memory, aggression, hyperactivity and regressive tendencies, problems with lateral dominance and handedness, and reversal of learning disabilities and problems with reading, writing, spelling and calculation. (Edwards, 1997)
BioAcoustics is an exciting new field within Subtle Energy Medicine. It is built on a foundation of three decades of research at Sound Health Alternatives,Inc. BioAcoustics can most aptly be described as a cross between vibroacoustic therapy and biofeedback. It is based on the premise that all living systems emit frequencies termed “Signature Sounds”. These Signature Sounds are an indication of each person's physical and emotional status, as well as a reflection of any stress which resides in a body's frequencies. In this therapy analysis of the voice is used to identify and interpret the constant, complicated frequency interactions within the body. The technique demonstrates that the frequencies contained in the vocal patterns provide a holographic representation of the human body. Sharry Edwards is the founder and primary researcher in this area. Her preliminary studies indicate that when a person's missing sounds are returned to his/her environment, the body begins to rebuild itself- even from the so-called “incurable” diseases. The technique consists of a voice spectral analysis and the deliverance of specific frequencies in the brain wave range through headphones and tone box, or subwoofer, or vibro-tactile chair/table. Although it is still in its infancy, frequency formulas based on a person's Signature Sounds have assisted in attaining positive results in cases of: lung ailments, broken bones, eye problems, epileptic seizures, heart conditions, high blood pressure, metal toxicity, hyperostosis, diabetes, Down syndrome, genetic syndromes, MS, chronic and traumatic pain, attention/learningdisorders, and many more.
In the 1930's, German experimenter H.S. Dove discovered the phenomenon of binaural beats. These are beats that are generated in the human brain as a result of hearing different externally-generated frequencies in each ear. For instance, if a tone of 200 beats per minute was played in the right ear and a tone of 210 beats in the left, the brain would “here” the difference in the beats and generate its own frequency of 10 beats per minute. No one ever “hears” the binaural beats per minute. (Atwater, 1997)
The late Robert Monroe, formerly a composer in the communications industry, used this theory to develop an auditory guidance system to heighten selected awareness and performance while establishing a relaxed state. Using entrainment principles, specific frequencies sent to each ear assist in entraining the separate areas of the hemispheres to equal electromagnetic environments to enhance the free-flowing exhange of information between hemispheres. The resulting synchronicity of the hemispheres greatly increases learning, healing, meditative abilities, i.e., when the brain waves are in a particular frequency and left and right hemispheres are synchronized, optimal functioning occurs.
Research at the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia indicates that an optimal brain wave state might be in the “theta state”, when an individual is very relaxed and highly receptive and uncritical. States of consciousness are differentiated by brain wave pattern:
Beta (14-100 Hz) Normal waking consciousness; alert, analytic
Higher levels associated with anxiety, dis-ease
Alpha (8-14 Hz) Alert but unfocused, relaxed, light trance, pre-sleep
Meditation, increased serotonin production
Theta (4-8 Hz) REM sleep, trance, deep meditation, uncritical,
Optimal learning state, creative, integrative
Delta (.1-4 Hz) Deep dreamless sleep, access to unconscious,
loss of body awareness
The greatest practical problem with the efficacy of the theta state is an individual's tendency to slide down into delta (sleep). To assist in achieving this state,a special mix of frequencies is used. These are embedded in ocean surf sounds,“pink noise”, or non-rhythmical music recorded onto cds. The actual tones are inaudible, as hearing them would be irritating. There are dozens of cds with specific purposes: deep relaxation; pain reduction or decreasing other physical symptoms; improving performances such as sports, concentration,and memory. The results from regular usage of the programs can be dramatic, as the brain is trained to operate at an optimal level. With respect to healing, it appears we can consciously learn to control various aspects of our physiology when we are in the theta state.