What is Sound Therapy?
A new and perhaps ancient concept of dis-ease in the human body is emerging, which is that illness is an out-of-tune behavior of the body. When something is diseased, it is due to some factor causing a frequency change and it begins to vibrate differently than it once did. Sometimes this is a necessary period of un-comfortableness (dis-ease) as the body perhaps is increasing its vibration and adjusting to a new frequency. Using sound, especially intentional and prayerful sound, it is possible to apply harmonizing vibrations which help the body to come into harmony again.
Jonathan Goldman, a dear friend and pioneer in the field of sound therapy, has made the analogy that in a healthy body, every tissue, bone, organ, and other part is producing a balanced set of frequencies that together make up the “symphony of the body.” Dis-ease is likened to one player forgetting or losing their sheet music, or playing the wrong notes. Traditional allopathic medicine would simply cut off the head of this player, or remove the player (organ) entirely. Sound therapy suggests that by projecting the correct resonant frequency back into the imbalanced part, it could restore natural harmony.
Musical intervals and the body:
In examining the human body, we find that anatomical proportions resemble the waveform expression of musical intervals. For example, the distance between one’s extended toe to the top of the sacrum, relative to the top of the sacrum to the top of the head is 3:2, the same ratio as the interval of a fifth (the note C to the note G). These musical ratios exist throughout the body.
“Proportion is not only to be found in numbers and measures, but also in sounds, weights, intervals of time, and in every active force in existence.”
–Leonardo da Vinci
Music and the brain:
We have seen evidence that changes in brain organization and function occur with the acquisition of musical skills. However, whether as a listener or participant, extensive research has shown that music clearly offers the potential to strengthen and increase the interconnections across the hemispheres of the brain.
Far more than a simple pump, as was once believed, the heart is now recognized by scientists as a highly complex system with its own functional “brain.”
In addition to the extensive neural communication network linking the heart with the brain and body, the heart also communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about 60 times greater in amplitude, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.
Entrainment of the brain and heart:
Music, combined with relaxed and deep breathing, has been shown to help the brain rhythms entrain with those of the heart. When the brain entrains to the heart, connectivity increases between brain and body. Conversely, the focus of consciousness in the brain leads to an increased disconnection between brain and body. When one shifts into heart-oriented cognition, mental dialogue is reduced.
“Research supports the theory that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz. Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres.”
–Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D
Dr. Arthur Hastings, Ph.D., conducted various tests on subjects with binaural beats designed specifically for sleeping. He wrote a paper called “Tests of the Sleep Induction Technique” where he recorded his results. In his paper he describes how the binaural beats were designed to slow the brain wave patterns from a normal waking Beta frequency to a slower Alpha frequency, then to a slower Theta frequency, our brainwaves when we are dreaming, and finally to Delta, the brainwave frequencies of deep sleep. Using an EEG machine to monitor the subjects, he reported that the shift in brainwave frequencies of the various subjects suggested that the binaural beats were in fact influencing the brainwave patterns.