Scientific Studies on Vibrational Sound Therapy
Albert Einstein proved that: “What we have called matter is just energy whose vibration has been so lowered so as to be perceptible to the senses.”
Nikola Tesla said: “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Sound is all of that.
The Science behind Vibrational Sound Therapy and Healing is astounding! I am happy to share here just a few of the notes on studies, discoveries, and ancient truths about our bodies and our world that fascinated me, prompted me to learn more, and helped to form the basis of The Alexander Method:
According to Dr. John Beaulieu, ND, PhD, composer, mental health counselor and expert on stress science, “A fundamental principle of sound healing is that physical, emotional, and mental symptoms are being generated by an underlying energy field. Thus, if we change the energy field, then the physical, emotional, and mental behavior patterns will also change.” The Universal Energy Field exists in all things.
As Einstein proved, an electron can operate as a particle or a wave. The wave is made up of vibrations that spread out like a ripple on the water. Modern physicists theorize that the universal energy field is composed of thousands of microscopic strings. These strings vibrate which create patterns that unite and orchestrate the universe. Solid objects, or matter, is actually the result of vibrating tones. This concept of the universal energy field is not new. Three thousand years ago the Egyptians portrayed the world as vibrating strings as played by a blind harpist. The harpist vibrated the universe into patterns.
The great Arab Philosopher, Al Farabi, (872-950 CE) was a renowned philosopher, scientist, doctor, music theorist, and metaphysician who closely followed and translated much of the writings and work of the ancient Greeks like, Socrates and Aristotle. Al Farabi understood the interaction of sound and healing and said “All doctors should be musicians and all musicians are doctors.”
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. in his book Self Healing with Sound & Music tells us that sound therapy as a modality has been very effective in treating a range of health issues including but not limited to heart disease, stress, arthritis, emphysema, mental and emotional challenges and more.
Scientifically, sound waves are measured in cycles per second. These cyclical waves are measured in hertz (Hz). The measurement of sound is called its frequency. One cycle per second is written as 1Hz. The human body has the ability to hear frequency from about 16Hz to 16,000Hz, young children even more. Since we have already established that everything is sound, and that everything in the universe is in a state of vibration creating that sound, whether or not we can hear these sounds is another story. And whether or not we can hear these frequencies, they are affecting us every day in every way.
A fascinating study: "Vibrational Sound Therapy Induced Relaxation; Down Regulating Stress Processes and Pathologies," by Elliot Salamon, Minsun Kim, John Beaulieu and George B. Stefano indicates that the nitric oxide molecules released by the cells of the body is mainly responsible for the relaxation of the psychological effects of stress. This study defines stress and cites past data that documents the detrimental effects of stress. It explains that the "emotional centers within the limbic system are activated along the path from where the cochlear nerve fibers enter the brainstem and are routed through the thalamus to the auditory cortex." This neuronal pathway was discovered to be mediated by nitric oxide. Furthermore, this study explains that the NO release after a vibrational sound therapy has the ability to "protect an organism from microbes and physiologic disorders such as hypertension."
Research often demonstrates that one of the main causes of our physical illnesses is stress. Hundreds of billions of dollars a year are spent on stress related treatments, office visits, and prescriptions. More so than any other diagnosis, anxiety and stress has become an epidemic. More prescriptions are written to control anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep disorders than anything else.
According to a study by the AMA (American Medical Association), 66% of doctor visits are stress related. 42 billion a year is spent in the US on anxiety related disorders. A 2013 stress study in the UK reported that 8 million pound sterling is spent yearly on anxiety/stress in medications. These figures alone suggest stress disorders are an epidemic.
As more and more research and studies are demonstrating the relaxing effect of the right kind of sounds and music to reduce stress and hospitals and treatment centers are integrating sound therapy into treatments; it is clear the time is right to consider the benefits of this incredible, natural science. If you would like to learn more, I recommend the resources below.
- Bohm, David. Quantum Theory, Paperback 1989
- Goldman, Jonathan. The Lost Chord. Spirit Music 1999
- Greene, Brian. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Vintage 2000
- Hawking, Stephen W. The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. New Millennium Press 2002
- Jenny, Hans. Cymatics: A Study of Wave Phenomena & Vibration. Macromedia Press 2001
- Myss, Carolyn. Science of Medical Intuition. With Norm Shealy, M.D. Hay House
- Talbot, Michael. Holographic Universe. Harper 2011 edition