Frequencies – How Sound & Vibrations Can Elevate Your Life

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When’s the last time you listened to music, or a podcast, or white noise, or binaural beats, or any other form of audio?

Probably not that long ago. Now answer this: when’s the last time you gave any thought whatsoever to the wavelength frequency of the sound being blasted into your ears? Most likely, never.

At the gym, at the end of a shift, on a romantic night in with the lights turned down and a delicious meal on the table, humans have this strange habit of turning on certain sounds from various sources that vibrate the air around and randomly hit your eardrums which stimulates specific neural activity in such a way as to effect a change in mood, focus or emotion.

Weird.

What’s even weirder is that this isn’t typically thought of as being bizarre. Music innervates daily life, and just as emotional health is critical to your humanity, music, sound, and vibration are tied up in your overall wellbeing. But sound doesn’t even need to be structured to elicit an emotional and physiological response. Think back to the last time you were sitting quietly minding your own business, focusing on some project, and out of nowhere the air is split by the sound of a glass or plate clattering on the ground. You snap to attention, briefly entering fight-or-flight fear mode.

This is due to something even weirder. The gut reaction to jump and become afraid at loud noises is deeply woven into human genetics. Loud noises elicit a fear response, including increased blood pressure and pulse rate, in order to keep you alive. And that type of fight-or-flight, sympathetic nervous system reaction initiates the release of the chemical norepinephrine, which shuts down immune functions like viral defense and ramps up the production of specialized white blood cells called monocytes. These monocytes, while extremely effective in inhibiting infection, are by nature pro-inflammatory. So if you’re constantly exposed to loud noises or sounds that cause a similar reaction to a nonstick pan colliding with tile, or louder, you may be allowing minor inflammation, the bane of longevity and physical health, to rise and rule largely unchecked. However, if you expose yourself to sounds that are more wholesome, you can reduce the damaging effects of other sounds, and even heal yourself of a myriad of diseases and decrease the prevalence of harmful mental states and degenerative physiological conditions.

That’s the (simply stated) basis of sound healing. Sound healing is the practice of using audio tones and vibrational frequencies to repair damaged tissues and cells within the body. It works on the idea that all matter is vibrating at specific frequencies, and sickness, disease, depression, and stress cause human beings to vibrate at a lower frequency. Playing tones that promote healing, happiness, and vitality will allow DNA strands to repair themselves.

Sound has been used as a healing tool for centuries and is still regularly utilized by many alternative health care centers and cultures with rich ancestral traditions. Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, drumming therapy, and even chanting are all used in sound therapy, and many participants experience strong emotions during therapy sessions. Advocates of sound healing claim that it has the power to heal mental illness, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and can even shrink cancerous tumors.

This may sound a bit woo-woo, but this type of medicine isn’t as superstitious as you might be led to believe. Sound healing is a form of energy medicine, which refers to two kinds of energy fields: veritable energy fields (measurable), and putative energy fields (can’t be measured with current technology). Veritable energy fields include things like vibrational energy from sound, and electromagnetic forces such as visible light, magnetism, and monochromatic radiation such as lasers.

There are oodles of well-established uses for measurable energy fields in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), laser eye correction surgery, cardiac pacemakers, radiation therapy and UV light therapy, just to name a few. There are even a few less well-known therapies based on veritable energy, such as magnetic therapy for pain relief, and, as you’re about to discover, sound energy/vibrational therapy.

Sound therapy is as old as dirt – or at least as old as primitive human medicine. Here, you’ll discover just a few of the dozens of methods available, including one super practical tip you can implement today. But first, it’s time to put to rest the naysaying and to get into the specifics of how sound physically interacts with your body.

Sound Waves, Brainwaves, and Cellular Waves

There are three things you should familiarize yourself with: sound itself, and how it works, the electromagnetic rhythms of your brain, and the vibrational energy of your cells.

Sound is vibration, or waves of air molecules oscillating as a result of the rapid, back-and-forth movement of an object. And if you'd like a crisp scientific definition:

“Sound waves are produced by a vibrating body, be it an oboe reed, guitar string, loudspeaker cone or jet engine. The vibrating sound source causes a disturbance to the surrounding air molecules, causing them to bounce off each other with a force proportional to the disturbance. The energy of their interaction creates ripples of more dense (higher pressure) to less dense (lower pressure) air molecules, with pressures above and below the normal atmospheric pressure. When the molecules are pushed closer together it is called compression; when they have pulled apart, it is called rarefaction. The back and forth oscillation of pressure produces a sound wave.”

A vibrating object, whether a guitar string or your own vocal chord, causes the air surrounding it to also vibrate. These sound waves hit your eardrums, making them vibrate, and that in turn causes waves in the fluid of your inner ear. Those waves are detected by various auditory nerves that relay the information to your brain to let you hear. Hearing, the detection of sound, isn’t detached from the physical world – it’s a physical effect, resulting from a physical cause. So it shouldn’t seem all that weird that certain frequencies of vibrating air impact your physiology and mental state.

Now onto brain waves. Neuroscientist Seth Horowitz wrote a book called The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind. He talks about the “right rhythms” for your brain, which may affect neurohormonal changes that occur over several months to a single neuron changing its activity state in milliseconds or less. With EEG (electroencephalography) machines, a few major rhythms have been identified that underpin the human cortex (the largest part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness), each of which changes under different physiological and cognitive conditions. The theta rhythm is the slowest (4-8 Hz) and rises at least in part from the hippocampus during memory processing. The alpha rhythm (6-12 Hz) is generated by connections between different parts of the cortex and the cortex and the thalamus. The beta rhythm (20 Hz) is generated in the motor cortex to control voluntary movement, and is usually only seen right after a person stops moving, acting as a sort of “off switch”. The gamma rhythm (40 Hz), may be involved in binding together individual sensory inputs and feedback loops that let you observe the world as a coherent, consistent environment.

But waves, rhythms and electrical vibrations don’t zap around just in your cranium.

These waves interact with your entire body and this is how sickness, disease, depression, and stress cause human beings to vibrate at a lower frequency, according to a JB Bardot article. There’s also a great book available titled Healing and Recovery, by Dr. David Hawkins. In it, he explains how frequencies, including audible frequencies produced by sound and music, can elicit either positive or negative emotion. And those frequencies can also elicit positive vibrations in different cells and tissues in your body – but they can also cause negative vibrations. That’s why some music makes you feel really good, while some can stress you out to no end.

Sound medicine is the science of biohacking these bodily rhythms that are vibrating in your brain, feet, and everywhere in between, in order to maximize the prominence and efficiency of specific wavelengths. Dr. Horowitz mentions a number of commonly-used strategies, like playing a tone or noise at a particular rate like the 8-10 Hz posterior alpha rhythm to induce relaxation. But methods like that are a bit simplistic, so he goes on to say that to get large portions of your brain hooked to a single rhythm, you need to expose yourself to a complicated input from a number of sources acting together. One way to do that is through binaural beating.

Most of the current research on binaural beats is based on the early 1970’s research done by biophysicist Gerald Oster, who showed that when a tone is played in one ear, and a slightly different tone is played in the other, the difference between the tones causes the brain to create a third, internal tone, which is the binaural beat. This syncs up the brain waves in both hemispheres, a process duly dubbed “brainwave entrainment”. In 2008, the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published a review of twenty studies of brainwave entrainment and patient outcome and concluded that it is indeed an effective tool against cognitive functioning deficits, stress, pain, headaches, behavioral problems, and premenstrual syndrome.

Sound can even be used to treat more serious conditions than a simple lack of focus or drive, however. Ultrasound, whose most commonly-known use is observing the fetus in the womb, uses sound waves to produce a visible image. It’s also used to determine pain sources, as well as loci of swelling and infection. But lately, it’s taken on a more therapeutic application. Either by itself or in conjunction with drugs, it’s used to treat diabetes, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infections, osteoporosis, thrombosis, glaucoma, nerve damage, skin wounds and bone fractures. And one of the primary ways by which it works is its interactions with cells and tissues. Hold on tight, things are about to get a little technical.

Your cells have what’s called electrical potential, by which they resonate and vibrate at specific frequencies that change under various circumstances. All molecules, including the ones that make up your cells, oscillate at a specific frequency, whose intensity is dependent on temperature. For single molecules and molecule groups, there are characteristic frequency patterns with defined peaks already used in modern chemical analysis. The characteristic spectra of molecular vibrations of many biomolecules have been determined for different tissue types, ranging from 1011 – 1014 Hz. Certain parts of tissue cells, like the cell membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and different microsomes representing polar lipids, will exhibit varying frequency patterns in different environments. When the cell is damaged, it reads the electromagnetic signals of specific frequencies in order to properly respond to the surrounding circumstances.

Now, ultrasound will actually elevate the temperature of the target tissue cells. It’ll also impact the vibrational frequency of the entire cell. And granted, different tissue types will react differently – osteocytes (bone cells) have a higher ultrasound absorption coefficient than muscle cells, so they react more dramatically. But ultrasound is still beneficial to the entire body. Perhaps the most dramatic effect is called “cellular cavitation”. Cavitation bubbles form when high-amplitude ultrasonic pressure waves travel through liquid. When the bubbles occur in close proximity, they rupture, and the resulting jets can rapidly stretch cells, poke holes in them or even obliterate their membranes, leading ultimately to cell death. Dying cells express a signal to the surrounding surviving cells to eat them and clean up the remains, a process known as “autophagy”. This is what makes ultrasound so effective against unhealthy, damaged, and/or tumorous cells. By targeting them, the ultrasound waves cause them to rupture and be swept up by the surrounding tissue cells.

To summarize:

Your body is literally humming (albeit very quietly) with energy at specific vibrational frequencies. When you’re healthy, you hum along at normal rates. But when something’s wrong with some part of your body, your cells, and therefore you, hum much more quietly and less efficiently. So in order to fully maximize your natural inclination to vibrate your way through breakfast, work, lunch, school, and dinner till you go to sleep and hum a different tune, you have to expose yourself to beneficial sound waves. There’s a wonderland of paraphernalia that can induce audio therapy, from sound healing ceremonies and crystal bowls, to music, to vibrating massage therapy tables and all sorts of other things out there that capitalize on your body’s response to vibration. So for the next little bit, enjoy a short and sweet introduction to sound therapy biohacks.

Vibrational Energy Healing & Restorative Frequency Therapy

First of all, you need to limit or eliminate exposure to deleterious sound and vibration frequencies. Composer Michael Tyrrell realized that there are negative frequencies that cause negative physiological effects. In particular, the “A” tone generated by most tuning instruments oscillates at a frequency of 440 Hz, which, when played on its own over the body, introduces a certain level of physiological chaos. So Tyrrell did some experimentation and discovered that sonically, moving up ever so slightly to 444 Hz gives you the greatest frequency, something you can play safely because it activates every single organ, and positively impacts your DNA. Tyrrell now makes music of specific frequencies that are associated with positive emotions as well as different organ functions.

For example, 528 Hz affects your brain and influences any sense of shame or unworthiness, lending a greater sense of self-worth, as well as impacts the cells of the heart and also elicits a sense of love. You can put the CD into your player, plant yourself between a set of speakers, and let actual waves of healing power wash over you. You can even do things like getting massages while exposing yourself to Tyrrell’s compositions. If CDs and big speakers aren't your thing, you can also get something called a tuning device that you can blow into to produce a specific tone, or use a tuning fork. Or, by listening either to Tyrrell’s compositions or a binaural beating track through your headphones, you’ll get enhanced exposure to the positive effects of tonal frequencies.

There’s also an app called Brain.fm, co-founded by Junaid Kalmadi and innovated by Adam Hewett, a neuroscientist and expert in audio and brain stimulation. Brain.fm is designed to generate realistic 3D sounds that are 100% digitally engineered through artificial intelligence software, in order to “lull” your brain into what might best be described as a state of mild hypnosis, using different sounds to cause a state of either “Focus”, “Relax”, or “Sleep.” It works like gangbusters if you’ve got a work project you need to buckle down on, a thesis to write, if you’re sleep-deprived and need a nap, or if you have trouble falling asleep at night.

You can also use two devices that generate potent, body-optimizing frequencies using pulsed electromagnetic fields, or PEMF – the Delta Sleeper PEMF machine, and the EarthPulse PEMF Sleep Machine. As already stated, your brain naturally generates specific electromagnetic frequency patterns that reflect what state you’re in. But the brain is highly receptive to external electromagnetic stimuli. So if you expose your body to specific PEMF frequencies, they’ll stimulate those that your brain would produce at various sleep stages, thus inducing that particular stage at a much faster, more efficient rate, and resulting in better sleep, improved energy production and greater metabolic health.

But even if you don’t take advantage of all these cool gadgets, there’s one simple, practical tip that you should absolutely try after reading this, and it requires nothing more than your bare feet. This giant ball of dirt and rock hurtling through space we call Earth emits a natural electromagnetic frequency called the Schumann resonance. It falls roughly between 7.3 and 7.4 Hz, so it’s super slow but oh-so-powerful. And honestly, not nearly enough people get their minimum daily intake of the Schumann resonance. Human ancestors got a heavy dose every single day, walking around barefoot, sleeping on the ground, running through the woods hunting, meandering from bush to bush gathering nuts and berries, and even just sitting on the packed earth in their homes. But with the rise of thicker footwear and man-made flooring, man experiences far less Schumann resonance, a sad lot to be in since 7-8 Hz has been shown to effect a healing change in the body, and to regulate the body’s electrical signals and conducting channels after flying on a plane, using WiFi or Bluetooth, or being surrounded by appliances and cell phone towers and dirty electricity.

To reorient yourself to the frequencies of the Earth, just go outside for ten to twenty minutes a day barefoot and get in touch with trees, rocks, dirt, or any natural thing that’s touching the earth so you can absorb the healing properties associated with the Schumann resonance. You can even get specially designed shoes that compound its effect, like the Earth Runners minimalist earthing sandals, just in case you don’t want to be that barefoot hippie at the neighborhood potluck. They’re inspired by the world-renowned long-distance runners, the Tarahumara Native American Indians of Northwestern Mexico, capable of traversing over 100 miles on foot in just a couple days, with minimal footwear. However you do it, barefoot or in special footwear, go out of your way each day to recreate this one-of-a-kind, primal experience to fully optimize body, mind, and spirit.

Summary

Words and sounds are much more than just a method of communication. They are tangible forces that have a direct effect on your health and wellbeing. The study of quantum physics shows that the human body and the entire universe is made up of tiny pieces of vibrating matter, hinged together by magnetic forces. Exposing the internal organs and brain to different musical frequencies will encourage the living matter in you to heal from within, to raise the frequency of your body and promote health, vitality and spiritual enhancement.

As you go through your day, think about how your exposure to various types of vibrations affect you. What kind of music do you listen to? Are you getting in touch with the planet you live on? Do you play frequencies like 444 Hz, 528 Hz, or any frequency in the 800s to hone in on specific areas of your body? Do you surround yourself with pulsing, electromagnetic energy to reset your brain and capitalize on the waves you generate naturally?

There are lots of ways you can maximize your exposure to beneficial vibrations. So your task now is to make time at some point in the day to kick aside the shoes and wiggle your toes in some dirt. It doesn’t have to be long, just ten or twenty minutes, so you’ve got every opportunity to include this in your daily routine. Wholesome, total-body rejuvenation can occur from within, all you have to do is tune your environment, and your body will inevitably follow suit.

Uncovering why playing a musical instrument can protect brain health

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A recent study conducted at Baycrest Health Sciences has uncovered a crucial piece into why playing a musical instrument can help older adults retain their listening skills and ward off age-related cognitive declines. This finding could lead to the development of brain rehabilitation interventions through musical training.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience on May 24, found that learning to play a sound on a musical instrument alters the brain waves in a way that improves a person's listening and hearing skills over a short time frame. This change in brain activity demonstrates the brain's ability to rewire itself and compensate for injuries or diseases that may hamper a person's capacity to perform tasks.

"Music has been known to have beneficial effects on the brain, but there has been limited understanding into what about music makes a difference," says Dr. Bernhard Ross, senior scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute (RRI) and senior author on the study. "This is the first study demonstrating that learning the fine movement needed to reproduce a sound on an instrument changes the brain's perception of sound in a way that is not seen when listening to music."

This finding supports Dr. Ross' research using musical training to help stroke survivors rehabilitate motor movement in their upper bodies. Baycrest scientists have a history of breakthroughs into how a person's musical background impacts the listening abilities and cognitive function as they age and they continue to explore how brain changes during aging impact hearing.

The study involved 32 young, healthy adults who had normal hearing and no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders. The brain waves of participants were first recorded while they listened to bell-like sounds from a Tibetan singing bowl (a small bell struck with a wooden mallet to create sounds). After listening to the recording, half of the participants were provided the Tibetan singing bowl and asked to recreate the same sounds and rhythm by striking it and the other half recreated the sound by pressing a key on a computer keypad.

"It has been hypothesized that the act of playing music requires many brain systems to work together, such as the hearing, motor and perception systems," says Dr. Ross, who is also a medical biophysics professor at the University of Toronto. "This study was the first time we saw direct changes in the brain after one session, demonstrating that the action of creating music leads to a strong change in brain activity."

The study's next steps involve analyzing recovery between stroke patients with musical training compared to physiotherapy and the impact of musical training on the brains of older adults.

With additional funding, the study could explore developing musical trainingrehabilitation programs for other conditions that impact motor function, such as traumatic brain injury.

Research for this study was conducted with support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which supported research staff and equipment.

Dr. Ross' work is setting the foundation to develop hearing aids of the future and cognitive training programs to maintain hearing health.

HEALING WITH SOUND, FREQUENCY, AND VIBRATION

“IF YOU WANT TO FIND THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, THINK IN TERMS OF ENERGY, FREQUENCY AND VIBRATION.”

– NIKOLA TESLA

Many associate illness and disease with prescriptions and interventions such as surgery. Allopathic medicine and science have traveled a narrow path built on chemical substances and sharp instruments rather than energy.

But the ancients recognized sound, vibration, and frequency as powerful forces that influence life all the way down to the cellular level. The gifted Greek philosopher Pythagoras prescribed musicas medicine, asserting that the musical intervals he discovered are clear expressions of sacred geometry. He stated that music is the phenomena of numbers in time, reflecting the structures of nature, and has the power to restore balance in an organism.

SHAMANIC SOUND

Shamanic traditions are found everywhere on the globe — it is the ancient system of, in part, healers entering trance states on behalf of patients to gain knowledge and insight into a condition. The shaman returns from the trance journey with prescriptive measures to return the patient to health.

Ancient and modern shamans employ drums and singing to access trance states — tourists attending Native American “pow wows” observe drumming, dancing and singing — evidence of ancient shamanic practices. Researchers believe that repetitive shamanic drumming and singing open a pathway to the subconscious, bringing an opportunity for healing and integration.

Behavioral science is deconstructing shamanic methods to understand their value. This research is working its way to the intersection of science and spirituality, with ground-breaking discoveries in healing with frequency, tone, and music.

SOUND HEALING RESEARCH

According to  a study published by the National Institute of Health, “Music effectively reduces anxiety for medical and surgical patients and often reduces surgical and chronic pain. [Also,] Providing music to caregivers may be a strategy to improve empathy, compassion, and care.” In other words, music is not only good for patients; it’s good for those who care for them.

A 2010 Finnish study observed that stroke patients who were given access to music as cognitive therapy had improved recovery. Other research has shown that patients suffering from loss of speech due to brain injury or stroke regain it more quickly by learning to sing before trying to speak. The phenomenon of music facilitating healing in the brain after a stroke is called the “Kenny Rogers Effect.”

For those struggling with addiction and substance dependencies, learning to play an instrument may play an important role in recovery. A study at the University of Wisconsin showed that exposure to the right music, tones, and frequencies produces dopamine, which is in short supply for the nervous system during the withdrawal process.

Singing bowl bathing is gaining popularity as a method to reduce stress and anxiety, and to promote well-being. Laying down with eyes closed, participants listen while different bowls are struck and toned by a practitioner.

Studies show that that this practice, called “sound bathing,” directly reduces anxiety and depression; both are related to increases in disease. According to one study, “Sixty-two women and men with an average age of 50 reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood after sound sessions. Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being.”

study published in the Southern Medical Journal (2005) demonstrated the beneficial effects of music in hospital settings. Researchers reported that, “For children and adults, music effectively reduces anxiety and improves mood for medical and surgical patients, and for patients in intensive care units.” Researchers also noted that ambient music increased empathy in caregivers without interfering with the technical aspects of treatment.

CAN SOUND FIGHT CANCER?

In 1981, biologist Helene Grimal partnered with composer Fabien Maman to study the relationship of sound waves to living cells. Maman was also an acupuncturist, and had previously discovered that by using tuning forks and colored light on acupuncture points he could achieve equal and even greater results than he could with needles.

For 18 months, Grimal and Maman worked with the effects of 30-40 decibel sounds on human cells. With a camera mounted on a microscope, the researchers observed uterine cancer cells exposed to different acoustic instruments (guitar, gong, xylophone) as well as the human voice for 20-minute sessions.


Using the nine note Ionian Scale (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D), Grimal and Maman observed that when exposed to sound, cancer cells lost structural integrity until they exploded at the 14-minute mark. Far more dramatic was the sound of a human voice — the cells were destroyed at the nine-minute mark. 

Next, Maman and Grimal worked with two women with breast cancer. For one month, the women devoted three-and-a-half-hours a day to “toning,” or singing the scale. One woman’s tumor became undetectable, meaning it simply disappeared. The other woman underwent surgery. Her surgeon reported that her tumor had shrunk dramatically and “dried up.” It was removed and the woman had a complete recovery and remission.

Maman said, “Cancer cells cannot maintain their structure when specific sound wave frequencies attack the cytoplasmic and nuclear membranes. When the vibratory rate increases, the cells cannot adapt or stabilized themselves and die by disintegrating and exploding.”

SOUND HEALING TECHNOLOGY

According to a paper published on the Institute of Noetic Science website, “Since its development as a therapy in Australia over 40,000 years ago, sound healing has been used  to aid in treatment of mental and physical illnesses and injuries, as well as to assist in the dying process. Though originally performed using only the yidaki, or didgeridoo, sound healing now involves a wide array of instruments (tuning forks, crystal bowls, drums, ultrasonic devices) as well as human and animal vocalizations.”

One elegant piece of sound healing technology was the inspiration of alternative health practitioner Lilly Whitehawk. Combining her observations of the beneficial effects of specific sound frequencies with her knowledge of quantum physics and physiology, Whitehawk envisioned a healing tool combining ancient knowledge and modern technology. Confirming Maman’s findings, Whitehawk observed that the human voice is the most effective for sound healing, followed by singing bowls and tuning forks.

Partnering with friend and client Larry Doochin, Whitehawk began the process of bringing her vision to life. “Larry had the faith in the project to go all in and help me make it happen,” she said. After working with a studio engineer, software, and hardware developers, the partners created the HUSO — a small box that delivers “uniquely enhanced human toning sounds” to the body via headphones and pads placed on acupuncture meridians.

Whitehawk believes that the body’s fascia, a network of fibrous tissue that wraps around organs and muscles, can carry toned frequencies throughout the body. The partners also discovered that digital recording technology eliminated essential subtle frequency ranges needed for optimal benefits and results, so they recorded in a “lossless” non-digital mode.

Their clients report improved general health and well-being, better sleep and mental focus, and enhanced performance. Parents of children with high sensitivity and ADD say that their children have better sleep and focus as well as enhanced self-regulation skills. “HUSO utilizes the scientific principles of resonance and entrainment to return an out of balance body system to health and harmony. It is non-invasive, safe, and effective,” Whitehawk said.

“The effect is similar to what happens when you experience authentic indigenous shamanic healing using sounds of chanting, toning, drums, rattles, whistles, flutes and bells. You are hearing the sounds, but also feeling the vibrations from those sounds in your body. These are very powerful transformative experiences. I have seen miraculous things occur that modern science would say are impossible. Yet they happen… again and again,” Whitehawk said.

SOUND, FREQUENCY, AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

Medsonix, a publicly held company, manufactures a medical device that delivers low-frequency sound to increase blood flow and decrease inflammation and pain. Non-invasive and drug free, the technology is used by health care providers for pain management.

Beginning at age 13, Donatella Moltisanti was plagued by excruciating menstrual pain leaving her bedridden for one full week out of each month. Things changed unexpectedly when Moltisanti began studying singing and music in her late teens. She noticed that she had less pain each month. Later she studied vocal techniques that brought additional healing to her body, and could be of benefit to others. Over time, Moltisanti learned to combine her vocal gifts with a healing discipline that includes crystal and singing bowls.

Researchers at McGill University have established that music calms children visiting potentially frightening pediatric emergency rooms. Another study notes that patients who listened to soothing music experienced less pain during insertion of intravenous (IV) tubing.

An article in “The British Journal of General Practice,” notes that music has a direct effect on pain levels. Responses to a questionnaire sent to a group of chronic pain patients showed that, “Those who listened to music more frequently had a higher quality of life, suggesting that music can lessen chronic pain.”

THE FUTURE OF SOUND AND MEDICINE

Quoting British physicist Colin McClare, Dr. Bruce Lipton said, “Information can be carried by chemistry, and information can be carried by vibration. The question is whether one is better than the other.” Lipton explains that chemical reactions transfer only about two percent of information — 98 percent dissipates as heat loss. Information transmitted by frequency and vibration (energy) passes nearly 100 percent of the information. Lipton added that chemical signals travel through fluid at a speed of about one foot per second; vibration, resonance and frequency (sound) travel at 186,000 miles per second.

The visionary Rudolf Steiner said that “Pure tones will be used for healing before the end of the [20th] century.” Indeed, that has happened, but there is much work to be done in identifying how specific sound and energy frequencies affect the body in specific ways. But with the number of studies underway today, it should not be long before sound therapy technology is embraced by mainstream medicine as a powerful complementary therapy.

Japan Constructed the World’s Most Incredible Sound Garden

Nature itself has beautiful sounds. When the wind blows the trees make beautiful sound. When heavy rain drips through the leaves they make an amazing sound. Just like a wild orchestra.

Now, when a tree falls in a Forrest does it make a sound? What if you use those trees to make a giant, 50-yard long xylophone. Do you think it makes a sound? It certainly does, and that sound is astounding!

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In 2012, when a Japanese company put the latest touch phone on the market, Morihiro Harano and his teammates decided to abstain from the technological addiction associated with such spots and take an organic approach, instead emphasizing the phone’s wooden backplate. A strange design may seem like an odd thing to emphasize, but it was necessary for the project.

Working together with carpenter Mitsuo Tsuda, sound engineer Kenjiro Matsuo, and on-site carpenter, the team created a huge xylophone elevated from the forest floor.

This reticular xylophone was not tangled and complicated, but rather a simple, straight line.

Then, they placed a small rubber ball at the top of the xylophone and let it free fall down, slowly plunking across the shady groves.

Note by note, the ball plunked out Bach’s famous Cantana 147, instrumental subtleties and tempos intact.

In the middle of the silence in the forest, the wooden symphony was composed by this beautiful creation.

There was little room for mistake – one misplaced sound could distort the entire Cantana’s tempo off – making the construction of the instrument extra difficult.

The exact day the commercial was filmed, a massive earthquake hit Japan. When the commercial was on thereafter, the xylophone’s peaceful melody provided a calming experience for the nationally-felt trauma – and more importantly, a message everyone needed to hear. A message of hope and rebuilding, of nature’s indestructible ability to survive, carry on and stay beautiful. The advertisement went viral, and eventually aired on television (check it out below).

Today, the forest xylophone has found its new home at the Daisetsu Mori-no Garden, the primary venue of Japan’s famous Hokkaido Garden Show.

Visitors to the forest can buy a rubber ball from a vending machine and become conductors, proceeding one after the other to continue the vernal symphony.

Because wet boards can rot and deteriorate, the xylophone “rests” on rainy days, but at any other time, the forests of Japan are alive with the sound of music – and while the tune may be Bach’s, the music ultimately owes its magic to the spirit of nature.

Good Vibrations

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The healing power of Himalayan singing bowls and sound therapy.

Spas across the globe are taking an increased interest in sound therapy—and we’re not talking about the Enya tunes wafting from the speakers.

“Dating back thousands of years, sound therapy is the use of both sound and vibrations at varying frequencies to achieve a soothing effect on the mind, body and spirit,” explains Christine Hays, CEO (that’s Chief Energy Officer) of Eastern Vibration, a U.S.- and Nepal-based organization dedicated to the research, education and promotion of healing through sound and vibration (easternvibration.com).

Hays also notes that sound healing “is one of the most easily accessible and inexpensive forms of therapy and healing,” and that its benefits can include “improved sleep, elimination of toxins, stimulated circulation, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and improved recovery from trauma or illness.”

While everything from recorded music and traditional instruments to gongs and tuning forks are used in these types of treatments, Tibetan Singing Bowls (also called Himalayan Singing Bowls) have become among the most popular spa choices. We asked Hays to break down what they are, what they do and how they make a difference.

The history Related to the bell, singing bowls originated thousands of years ago in the Himalayas and were mostly used in monasteries and temples for spiritual ceremonies, meditation and sound healing therapy. Today, they are still primarily made in India and Nepal, and are available as both pure singing bowls or hand-hammered versions made from an alloy of seven metals, symbolizing the seven planets, days of the week, primary colors and musical notes.

ABOVE: Bowls by  Eastern Vibration

ABOVE: Bowls by Eastern Vibration

THE HISTORY Related to the bell, singing bowls originated thousands of years ago in the Himalayas and were mostly used in monasteries and temples for spiritual ceremonies, meditation and sound healing therapy. Today, they are still primarily made in India and Nepal, and are available as both pure singing bowls or hand-hammered versions made from an alloy of seven metals, symbolizing the seven planets, days of the week, primary colors and musical notes.

HOW THEY WORK Singing bowls resonate with a pure, healing sound, while hammered bowls create a special vibration when struck or strummed. The vibrations are similar to those of the brain’s alpha waves, and they oscillate with an energetically high frequency, like that of the “Om” mantra. 

The sound of the singing and hammered bowls has an effect on brain-wave frequencies and can help bring the brain into a Theta state within minutes. (Theta waves occur during REM sleep, hypnosis and deep meditation.) At the same time, the vibrations that emit from the bowls provide a cellular massage.

HOW TO USE THEM Simply strike or strum the bowl clockwise, using a mallet; in order to get the full benefit, aim to be totally present and have positive intention. The sound itself helps to center the mind, as all attention becomes focused on the bowl. In spa treatments, bowls are placed on and around the body (typically on the main chakras) and gently struck to bring on the sound and vibrations.

CAN YOU USE THEM AT HOME? Definitely. Try it for at least an hour before going to bed: Practice chanting, singing and vocal toning while being aware of the vibrations in the body, which can have a healing effect. For a deep sleep, place a bowl on your solar plexus or heart chakra and strike for about 10 minutes.

WHAT KIND OF BOWL TO BUY? It depends on what the bowls will be used for. There are concert-grade bowls for group sound sessions (these are usually heavy and have a thick rim), while spas tend to use therapeutic grade bowls, which are slightly thinner and more refined, and emit a longer vibration than the concert grade.

We recommend bowls made of seven metals (instead of three) and hand-hammered ones over those made from a mold or cast, as the hand-hammered ones emit stronger therapeutic vibrations.

Savor the Sound

Experience sound healing at these domestic spas:

SOLAGE
Guests of this California wine country resort enjoy complimentary Mindful Awareness meditation classes that incorporate singing bowls (private classes are also available). As Spa Director Helen Brown explains, “focusing on the nature, quality and duration of the sound provides a form of listening practice for participants, helping them work on increased mindfulness, while the vibrations have been found by guests to be deeply therapeutic and relaxing.” The spa is currently working on a new singing bowl experience for its mineral springs bathhouse, too. solage.aubergeresorts.com

THE MAYFLOWER GRACE
Head to this boutique hotel and spa in rural Connecticut for peace, quiet and therapeutic services like the one-hour Sound Healing, which includes breathwork, meditation, guided intention-setting and the use of Tibetan bowls to helpmove you to a deep state of well-being.gracehotels.com/mayflower

TURNBERRY ISLE
Among the menu highlights at this South Florida resort’s three-story spa are two sound therapy treatments: Tibetan Singing Bowls (50 or 100 minutes), in which the bowls are placed and played on and around your body to help balance energy fields and encourage total relaxation; and Spa Wave (25 or 50 minutes), which is performed on a special acoustic simulation massage table and uses rolling audio frequencies matched to the body’s organs and chakras to help reduce stress, balance moods and improve sleep. turnberryislemiami.com