Overview of Sound Healing


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An overview of the hows, whys and whos of sound healing/sound therapy/therapeutic sound. I show this in my course on Sound Healing at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont.

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Overview of Sound Healing

  1. 1. Eileen McKusick, MA
  2. 2. What is Sound?  Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.  Transmitted vibrations of any frequency.  A travelling wave which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations  Measured in Hertz (Hz)- one Hz=1 cycle of vibration  Above 20,000 Hz is called Ultrasonic  Below 20Hz is called Infrasonic
  3. 3. More about sound…  Sound turns matter and energy into form  The study of sound waves giving rise to form is called CYMATICS  Nada Brahma – All is Sound, Sound is God, God is Sound - Brahma is the creator of the universe or the name for the principle which creates all of the manifest realms  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God and the Word was with God.
  4. 4. Cymatics Cymatics is the study of the waveforms produced by sound- through different mediums such as water, cornstarch paste, and more  Cymatics Video  Iron Filings  cornstarch  voice
  5. 5. Overtones/Harmonics  Each tone has an overtone or a harmonic  A harmonic frequency is a multiple of a fundamental frequency. A fundamental frequency of 500Hz has a first harmonic frequency of 1000Hz(2f), double the fundamental frequency. Its second harmonic is 1500Hz(3f) the third harmonic is 2000Hz(4f)and so on. A musical instrument produces both fundamental and harmonic frequencies.
  6. 6. What is Healing?  The natural process by which the body repairs itself  To restore to health or soundness  Unsound: 1.Not dependably strong or solid. 2. Not physically or mentally healthy. 3. Not true or logically valid; fallacious
  7. 7. Why use sound medically?  We are wired for sound- hearing is the first sense to form and the last to depart. Our nervous system is exquisitely tuned to react to sound.  We experience sound both through our ears and also through our bodies. Cells have tuning-fork like antennas on their membranes that “read” and respond to vibrational information  Most of us already self-medicate daily with musicAmericans spend more money on music than they do on medicine  Sound and music have been used as medicine by humans for thousands of years
  8. 8. Historical Uses of Therapeutic Sound  The Aboriginal people of Australia are the first known culture to heal with sound. Their ‘yidaki' (modern name, didgeridoo) has been used as a healing tool for at least 40,000 years. The Aborigines healed broken bones, muscle tears and illnesses of every kind using their enigmatic musical instrument. Interestingly, the sounds emitted by the yidaki are in alignment with modern sound healing technology.
  9. 9. Ancient Greece  ‘Pythagoras considered that music contributed greatly to health, if used in the right way…He called his method 'musical medicine'…To the accompaniment of Pythagoras' his followers would sing in unison certain chants…At other times his disciples employed music as medicine, with certain melodies composed to cure the passions of the psyche...anger and aggression.’
  10. 10. Ancient Egypt Acoustic resonance was deliberately contrived by the Egyptian architects - it very likely that they were aware of the healing properties of sound long before the Greeks  There is strong evidence that the Egyptians designed their chapels and burial chambers to be reverberant in order to enhance sonic-based ceremonies  ‘As for us, we do not use simple words but sounds all filled with power.' a letter from Asklepios to King Amman
  11. 11. Other Cultures used sound and music therapeutically  Native Americans  Mayans  Celts  African Tribes  Tibetans  Chinese  Early Christians  Indians – Vedas - Om
  12. 12. Sound Applications - Conventional  Ultrasound – diagnostic imaging and pain relief  Sound surgery: Magnetic resonance (MR)-guided     focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) Music Therapy- surgery, post-op, pain management, Alzheimer's, thanatology Tuning forks for fracture diagnosis Lithotripsy- using sound waves to break up kidney stones Future: using sound waves to explode cancer and other non-beneficial cells
  13. 13. Lithotripsy
  14. 14. Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS)
  15. 15. Sound Applications- Alternative  Chanting/toning/singing  Drumming/rhythm  Tuning forks, crystal bowls, gongs, didgeridoos  Binaural beat frequencies  Voice Spectral Analysis  Vibroacoustic chairs and tables and even floors  Tomatis method  Cyma-1000 acoustic massager, Ondamed, Skenar, Rife machines, etc.
  16. 16. The difference between Sound Healing and Sound Therapy ?  Sound Healing refers to the more general field of     sound work. Sound Therapy tends to be more clinical. For example, the work being done with children with learning disabilities is Sound Therapy. Sound Therapy is a subgroup of Sound Healing Music Therapy falls into the category of Sound Therapy Also called Sound Medicine, Harmonic Medicine, Vibrational Medicine, and Acoustic
  17. 17. Music Therapy           Pain control Relaxation and stress relief Meditation Sleep Accelerated learning Alzheimer's/Stroke victims Enhanced productivity Connecting to spirit Birth and Death (thanatology - music to help with dying) Surgeries and Post –Op
  18. 18. More on Music Therapy  Studies have shown that music therapy that works most effectively with the principles of resonance and entrainment.  For example, if a person is initially agitated, music selected will match that agitation initially, and then move slowly into a melodic piece that can lead to anxiety reduction. This technique has been used successfully in reduction of both pain and anxiety.
  19. 19. Resonance and Entrainment  Resonance occurs when one vibration is in tune with another  Entrainment (in music therapy) is defined as “any stimuli that matches or models the current mood state of the individual and then moves the person in the direction of a more positive or pleasant mood state”
  20. 20. Binaural Beat Frequencies  Binaural beats are created when two tones are detuned from each other by a small amount. The resulting third oscillation, which is the difference between the two frequencies, will automatically entrain the brain into different brainwave frequencies  315 Hz is played into the right ear  325 Hz played into the left ear  Brain becomes entrained towards the beat frequency 10 Hz, in the alpha range. Since alpha range is associated with relaxation, this has a relaxing effect  Embedded in music, or simply as repeated tones, listened to through headphones.
  21. 21. Schumann Resonance  A standing wave of 7.83 Hz and its higher harmonics that is produced by the continual lighting and thunder strikes around the globe at any given moment  Consistent frequency  Frequency of Brain in Theta or meditative state  Produced by Chi Gong masters from their hands during healing – body becomes antenna and channel for ambient beneficial frequencies
  22. 22. Resonance in Sound Healing “All cells emit sound as a consequence of their metabolic processes. There is an interaction between the cells own sounds and those imposed by the environment, including those applied by sound healing devices. The resonance principle relates to the cellular absorption of the healing sounds and/or their harmonics. In sound healing, resonance principles are employed to re-harmonize cells that have been (hypothetically) imprinted with disruptive frequencies. Such troublesome imprints may have been a result of toxic substances, emotional traumas, pathogens, or long-term exposure to noise pollution”.
  23. 23. Vocal Analysis  BioAcoustics Vocal Analysis computer software program can pinpoint individual frequencies related to various disorders and provide a mix of balancing tones to the client, who listens to them on a daily basis.  A variety of voice analysis programs now correlate frequencies with specific disorders such as 54 Hz for kidney stones and 72.5 Hz for chronic melancholy
  24. 24. Vibroacoustic Sound Chairs and Tables  Frequencies fill your body as you relax on a special sound table equipped with low frequency transducers.  30 - 120 Hz sound pressure waves, blended with music, transfer sound waves directly into the body through a vibroacoustic table.  Results in muscle relaxation, increased circulation and pain reduction.  Accesses and frees areas where we carry tension or stress
  25. 25. Cyma-1000  Developed by Dr. Peter Guy Manners, a British Osteopath beginning in the 1960’s  Device emits over 500 different frequencies and 50 years of research has determined which frequencies and combinations of frequencies treat which ailments  Used and accepted in Europe, not so much in the US  Similar to a tuning fork
  26. 26. Tuning Forks, Crystal Bowls, Gongs  Used both on and around the body  Sound waves pass through body and energy field, breaking up stagnant energy, lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscles  Tones from forks and bowls stimulate the production of nitric oxide
  27. 27. Drumming and Rhythm  Drumming and rhythm are now used by corporations to release stress and build team consciousness. Group drumming breaks down social barriers, promotes freedom of expression, non-verbal communication, unity and cooperation. It decreases depression, anxiety, and stress, boosts immune system functioning and benefits physical health  Studies have shown that repetitive drumming changes brain wave activity, inducing a state of calm and focused awareness.  Shamanic drumming takes people into altered states of consciousness. "Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.” - Babatunde Olatunji
  28. 28. Chanting/toning  Chanting, toning and overtone singing are some of the most powerful methods for resonating sound throughout the body  Used for thousands of years by virtually every culture  Sanskrit mantras, Gregorian chants, Chakra Vowels, Overtone chanting
  29. 29. Some Sound Therapy Pioneers  These next slides show a few of the pioneers of sound therapy  There are many others who are exploring this new frontier with a variety of methods and technologies  Sound healing has been called “The most dynamic and promising frontier of Alternative Medicine”
  30. 30. Alfred Tomatis 1920-2001  He came up with the theory that many of the voice problems were really hearing problems. He called his theory that "The voice does not produce what the ear does not hear," the "Tomatis effect" and was the hallmark of his career and his method  When our ears cannot hear certain frequencies, our voice does not contain them either  Developed a process for improving the way one hears through an “electronic ear”  The Tomatis Listening Therapy has helped children and adults with auditory processing problems, dyslexia, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, autism, and those with sensory integration and motor-skill difficulties. It has also helped adults fight depression, learn foreign languages faster, develop better communication skills, and improve both creativity and on-the-job performance. Many musicians, singers and actors also found it helpful in fine-tuning their artistic skills.
  31. 31. Sharry Edwards  Founder of BioAcoustics  Vocal Spectrum Analysis technique for examining the human voice to determine a persons state of health  Looks at the body as a musical instrument. When even one note is out of tune, the result is often discordant. Tune the instrument and the sounds become consonant.  The body is capable of being self-evaluating, but not so capable of self-generating the frequencies that are required for restoration.
  32. 32. John Beaulieu, ND, PhD  Early work with tuning forks  Created BioSonic Repatterning  Has done a lot of scientific research  Discovered tuning forks stimulate production of nitric oxide  Discovered tuning forks work directly on nervous system  Offers tuning fork instruction
  33. 33. Jonathan Goldman  Director of Sound Healers Association  Composer, writer, lecturer – one of the best     known teachers on the circuit Toning, chanting, use of the voice and music Author of book 7 Secrets of Sound Healing Many sound healing, chakra balancing CD’s Sound + Intention = Healing
  34. 34. What is intention?  Sound + Intention= Healing Jonathan Goldman  A course of action that one intends to follow.  An aim that guides action; an objective.  An act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result
  35. 35. Don Campbell  Trademarked name The Mozart Effect  Listening to Mozart (and other energetic and positive emotional music) can improve IQ scores, improve spatial reasoning, and provide other benefits for health and well-being  Somewhat controversial –benefits have been proven and disproven in scientific studies  Opened The Therapeutic Sound Schools - first integrated study of soundwork in USA in 1992
  36. 36. Dr. Jeffery Thompson  Started as a chiropractor, discovered certain tones would     cause spinal subluxations to spontaneously self correct Has done a lot of work and compositions with binaural beats Creator of Bio-Tuning Uses physical vibrations of your own voice split into binaural beats played back through a sound table Balances central nervous system, enhances creativity, promotes physical, emotional and cognitive health
  37. 37. Joshua Leeds  Executive director of new Sound and Music Alliance     organization Writer, composer, organizer Collaborates with Dr.Andrew Weil in music therapy cd’s Recognized as having a comprehensive overview of the field of Sound Therapy PhD in Pyschoacoustics
  38. 38. Daniel Levitin  Author of “This is Your Brain on Music”  Head of Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal  Doing a lot of brain imaging while people listen to music  Writing such papers as “Current Advances in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music”
  39. 39. Fabien Maman  Founder of Tama-Do Academy of Sound, Color and Movement – first school of soundwork in the country  Tuning fork techniques with color lights that balance acupuncture command points as well as the spine.  Fabien was the first to use tuning forks on the body, a He created the now famous system which uses tuning forks instead of needles on acupuncture command points in 1977.  Sometimes called the Father of Sound Medicine
  40. 40. Eileen McKusick  Use tuning forks diagnostically and therapeutically, working with the body’s energy field/biofield.  Has mapped the biofield  Has successfully treated pain, anxiety, head injuries, vertigo, depression (not severe), restless leg syndrome and numerous other disorders.  Once the body becomes aware of its patterns of imbalance, it spontaneously begins to heal itself.
  41. 41. Other tuning fork teachers/schools  Acutonics – Kairos School of Sound Healing  uses tuning forks tuned to “planetary frequencies” on     acupuncture points – most mainstream of all sound work techniques SomaEnergetics – David Hulse – Solfeggio Frequencies Tuning Fork Therapy – Francine Milford Globe Institute for Sound Healing and Consciousness – David Gibson, founder Randy Masters – Universal Song
  42. 42.  California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco  http://www.ciis.edu/about_ciis/public _programs/certificate_programs/sound _certificate.html  California Institute of Human Science (CIHS), Encinitas