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The Science of Integral Sound Healing

science of sound healing Nov 14, 2017

SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN, SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE

Integral sound healing is a non-invasive solution for muscle tensions, chronic pain, the effects of a stroke and many more physical, emotional and mental health challenges.  

Integral sound healing is very effective at triggering the relaxation response, which counters the many symptoms of chronic stress, including heart, endocrine and digestive disorders.  

Sound healing instruments can be applied both on-the-body and off-the-body, using a variety of easy-to-play instruments and voice. When instruments, such as tuning forks and singing bowls are played on the body, it is a form of local vibration therapy.

The instruments can be applied by anyone with some training for self-care, and for working with family and friends in the home. For best results, integral sound healing is practiced by certified practitioners with professional indemnity insurance.  

Training in Integral Sound Healing is uniquely provided by the Sound Healing Academy.

Permanent results can be achieved, especially in the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and naturopathy.

Frequent application areas are the treatment of chronic muscle, joint and tendon diseases such as arthritis, tennis elbow, heel spur and myalgia. 

In the neuro-rehabilitation sector, spasticity, neglect, voice and swallowing disorders can be treated. 

In the pain therapy field, sound healing can be used for phantom pain, tensions, trigger points and joint pains.

MECHANISM

The sound vibrations of the sound healing instruments penetrate deep into the tissue. This improves blood circulation and metabolism, regulates muscle tension and deeply stimulates the tissue.

Moreover, regeneration and repair mechanisms are stimulated.  Sound healing is both activating and relaxing – so it also has a refreshing effect.

HOW INTEGRAL SOUND HEALING WORKS

The frequency of sound waves is measured in Hertz with 1 wave oscillation per second being 1 Hertz (Hz). 

Sound waves are divided into three groups:

  1. Infrasound: less than 20 Hz (too low to be heard)
  2. Intrasound: between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (can be heard)
  3. Ultrasound: above 20,000 Hz (too high to be heard)

Intrasound is the range of sound frequencies which we can hear. Sound healing instruments and our voice use a specific part of the intrasound range which has been found to have the optimum frequency to create the ideal resonance in human tissue.

When intrasound waves reach molecules, which make up the cells of human tissue, each molecule absorbs a small amount of energy and then passes the wave on to the next molecule. 

This ripple effect continues until all the waves’ energy has been absorbed. When molecules are hit by sound waves close to their inherent frequency they will oscillate or strongly 'resonate'. The many different molecules in human tissue have different inherent frequencies. 

Sound healing instruments generate sound waves which create this resonance effect across a wide spectrum of body tissue.  This makes Integral Sound Healing so unique and effective. 

Sound vibration pulses are conducted through the connective tissue, blood, lymph and spinal fluids, cartilage, muscle tissue and bone with significant therapeutic consequences, particularly in the treatment of joints.

 How does this facilitate better health and wellness?

The oscillation, or resonance, of molecules, triggered by the sound vibrations cause alternating compression and relaxation of cells. It is, in effect, a form of massage at a cellular level deep within the tissue undergoing the treatment.

When the cell is compressed it loses some of its fluid, usually containing waste products and toxins. As the pressure relaxes fresh nutrients are drawn into the cell which starts the therapeutic healing process. Hormones within the tissue are also stimulated by this oscillation effect and they will improve blood flow to the area for many hours.

How do Infrasound, Intrasound and Ultrasound Waves Compare?

Ultrasound waves are widely used in medicine for both diagnosis, such as ultrasound scans and echocardiograms, and treatment. Ultrasound waves are able to penetrate deep into the body and must be very specifically targeted when they are used at very high energy levels to heat and destroy fibroids and tumours. Ultrasound can only be used therapeutically by very qualified medical professionals.

Infrasound waves are also used in medicine for treatment, such as lithotripsy (breaking up kidney stones).

Intrasound waves are perfectly safe for home and practitioner use. These waves can stimulate the body tissue but are not strong enough to heat or destroy tissue.

CAUTIONS AND WARNINGS

Do not use sound healing instruments on the body during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks.

Do not use if you suffer from epilepsy. Please consult your doctor to ensure you receive the right anti-epileptic medication and are in no danger of seizure from sound vibrations.

Keep a minimum distance of 20 cm from any implanted heart pacemaker, stent or shunt.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Do not use sound healing healing instruments:

  • on any deep vein thrombosis in the leg or known thrombi.
  • on open wounds. 
  • on acute inflammations and tumours.
  • directly on or above a pacemaker or defibrillator. Keep a distance of at least 20 cm from where it is implanted.
  • directly on or anywhere in the immediate area of a metallic implant.
  • post surgery before the sutures have been removed and the scar is not fully healed and closed.
  • around the neck in case of carotid atherosclerosis.

The following people should consult their doctor before first use:

  • People with carotid stenosis (prior to application in the area of the carotid artery/larynx)
  • People with cardiac pacemakers, artificial heart valves, or cardiac arrhythmias
  • People with a stent
  • People with a shunt
  • People with a deep brain stimulation device (DBS)
  • Epileptics
  • Pregnant women

The sound healing instruments must not be used:

  • directly on implants (or near implants until they have completely healed)
  • directly on screws
  • directly on artificial joints
  • directly on inflamed joints and veins
  • in the case of inflammatory skin disorders
  • directly on weeping eczema
  • in the case of other inflammatory processes generally associated with fever
  • near diseased veins
  • on the stomach or back of a pregnant woman

Treatment should not commence until three days after injury at the earliest for:

  • Whiplash

APPLICATIONS

Applications for sound healing in the context of orthopaedic indications:

  • Osteoarthritis (joint wear)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of the bursa)
  • Epicondilitis (tennis elbow)
  • Fibromyalgia (fiber-muscle pain)
  • Lumbar (lower) back pain
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Recovery of muscle performance following cruciate ligament surgery
  • Pain reduction in acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • Tendonitis (tendon inflammation)
  • Torticollis (e.g. with cervical spine syndrome)
  • Cervical spondylosis (nerve root compression in the cervical spine region)

Applications for sound healing in the context of occupational therapy treatment plans and rehabilitation measures:

  • Hand therapy
  • Hemiparesis (spasticity, following a stroke)
  • Scar treatment
  • Rehabilitation after neurological diseases
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Assistance in physiotherapy of stroke patients or patients with limb spasticity
  • Improvement of body schema
  • Improvement and preservation of mobility
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (defects in the ordered sequence of muscle movements)
  • Cerebral palsy: To aid in the treatment of muscular hypertonia

Applications of sound healing  in the context of logpaedic treatment plans:

  • Dysphagia
  • Functional dysphonia
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Reduction of orofacial pains of a variety of causes
  • Improving articulation and food intake

Further fields of application:

  • Muscle regeneration after exercise
  • Phantom pain
  • Pain reduction for outer dermatological and cosmetic procedures
  • Sinus pain
  • Improvement of muscle performance and posture

Vibrational sound healing can be effective as a supporting measure for serious illnesses, however it does not replace a visit to the doctor. Ideally, its application should be arranged with the treating doctor or therapist.

Sound healing instruments can also be used in compliance with the symptom: placed directly on or in the immediate vicinity of the aching area, on the antagonistic muscle and/or the antagonistic tendon, on trigger points near the aching area (or even acupuncture points), or contralateral to the aching area.

OPERATION

Sound healing instrument produce sonic waves with mixed frequencies mostly between 30 and 5000 Hz.

Therefore, the vibrations which are produced lie within a frequency range that can be directly felt at the point of contact and in the surrounding area. 

In this sense sound healing can be compared to local vibration therapy.   The deep penetrative effect of sound wave treatment can be attained by both direct application to the bone and to relatively soft tissue.

USAGE

Sound healing instruments are passed over or around the area to be treated using a variety of techniques: pressure on points; linear strokes, tapping, circular and spiral motions. 

Unless otherwise prescribed, treatment can be carried out twice a day (or more often if necessary) for a duration of between 10 & 30 minutes.

The duration of the application can be reduced when treating sensitive or very sore parts of the body. 

The instruments do not have to be used on bare skin. Textiles have a negligible influence on the deep penetrative effect.

WELLNESS APPLICATIONS

Sound healing instruments are exceptionally well-suited to wellness applications such as relaxing full-body massages, invigorating foot and leg massages, and soothing face massages. For sustainable results the treatments should be carried out daily; or even multiple times per day, e.g. mornings and evenings.

PUBLISHED RESEARCH

For a list of published articles covering the science of sound healing, please click here

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