Updated: May 2
In this article, we will explore the efficacy of sound healing from clinical and research perspectives.
How it works...
Sound therapy is one of the prototypical vibratory healing modalities. Through music, we know that sounds have a direct influence on our emotional and mental states. From a clinical perspective, the frequency and amplitude of sounds have the ability to influence the geometric patterns and organisation of cells within a living system.
One of the earliest research on the link between sounds, forms and living systems was conducted by a Swiss researcher called Hans Jenny. Using sonic generators, Hans Jenny was able to visually prove that certain specific sound frequencies can produce a specific form or pattern and that each time that same sound frequency is used, the same pattern will emerge. Hans Jenny's research was groundbreaking because it provided clear evidence of how sounds can heal us as well as make us sick. He coined the term cymatics to describe the acoustic effects of the sound wave phenomena that he had discovered. He noted that different frequencies produced different complex patterns in water.
Consider this... 73% of the brain and heart is composed of water. 83% of the lungs is water. 64% of the skin consist of water. 79% of the muscles and kidneys is water. 31% of the bones are water and overall, 60% of the human adult body is made up of water. (H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry p. 158)
Given that the largest component of our physical body is made of water, it means that sound therapy remains one of the most promising and safest ways to activate the body's healing mechanism because sound alongside its frequencies and amplitude can change the form and structure of water and its vibratory effects.
Efficacy of sound therapy
The key to sound healing would be to know which sonic frequency needs to be applied to the body for various physical disorders and how the sounds should be applied. Many sound therapists do this intuitively which causes the results to be erratic and ineffective. Clinical use of sounds, however, does produce more reliable and repeatable results especially when delivered using machines. Healing with sonic energy patterns has been explored by British researcher Dr Peter Guy Manners. Manners found that he could significantly improve various medical conditions by applying ultrasonic waves in particular frequencies to specific acupuncture points in the body. American researchers, such as Dr Irving Oyle have also successfully used "sonopuncture" to treat a variety of painful musculoskeletal conditions. Today, ultrasonic treatment is one of the main tools used by physical therapists to manage pain and to treat sore muscles and aching backs.
Manfred Clynes the founder of Sentics, conclusively links music and emotions. In his book, Music, Mind and Brain: The Neuropsychology of Music, he laid out the research that shows that music affects the functioning of the brain, the motor function of the body and the overall wellbeing of the living organism. For music lovers, this would have been obvious since they would have experienced firsthand how music influences their state of mind.
Dr Lennie Soo a pioneer in brain entrainment and clinical hypnotherapy in Malaysia, uses sounds and lights machines to induce a hallucinatory virtual reality in patients which increases the neuroplasticity in their brains. She has been using this technology successfully in the treatment of stress, anxiety and addiction. Machine-assisted sound and light therapy has also been used to induce and improve the following: - Peak performance (for professional athletes) - Relaxation (to stop overthinking and to help train the brain to enter meditative states). - Improve learning and memory functionality - Improve wellbeing and help reset the body clock - Improve visualization and the ability to conceptualise concrete ideas - Reduce brain fog and increase alertness - Improve sleep Using a treatment protocol that includes this treatment, her success rate for helping people quit smoking in one session is about 96%. That is a significant improvement over any other type of form of methods to help people quit their addiction to smoking cigarettes and tobacco.