Here’s a collection of my research regarding the proven therapeutic and healing effects of vibration, sound, texture and heat.
What are the health benefits of vibration therapy?
Advocates claim that whole-body and localized vibration therapy have a range of health benefits. For example, some people claim vibration therapy can help:
- increase bone density
- increase muscle mass
- improve circulation
- reduce joint pain
- reduce back pain
- alleviate stress
- boost metabolism
Vibration therapy can improve blood flow in the body.
Linda B White. (2007). Natural relief from headaches, even migraines. Topeka: Ogden Publications, Inc.
Vibration therapy has many uses, both in medical use and alternative treatments or home-care. It can be used for stress relief, pain relief and many other uses. In HEADOC™ vibrations assist in the reduction of pain and anxiety levels and improving blood flow. Vibration therapy is widely spread in many forms of home use and alternative care. Many devices and instruments use vibrations to provide relief and improve blood flow.
Quite why sound meditation “works” continues to be debated by the alternative medicine community, but a 2016 study entitled “Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study” found that “sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood,” adding that “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.”
Sound meditation is centuries old but in recent years, it has been co-opted by the “wellness” movement. Cosendai performs up to 10 sound meditations every week across London. He claims that his sound baths instil a handful of benefits including “lateral thinking, self-awareness and mental cognition, efficient and compassionate communication, increased self-confidence and resilience, enhanced ability to listen and pay greater attention to details and sustained states of calmness.”
Sound Therapy is much more than just nice music to calm you down. It has been found to work on normalising many of the automatic functions of our nervous system, by working directly on the ear-brain connection. The ear is intricately linked to our nervous system, and in particular effects the functioning of our vagus nerve. The latest scientific discoveries in this field show how our primitive neural pathways affect our feelings of safety and our social and emotional responses.
Sound Therapy calms and harmonises the entire nervous system bringing deep and lasting relief.
Sound therapy originates from ancient times when shamans were beating their drum not only to enter into altered states consciousness, but also to offer healing to their people.
From the didgeridoo of the Aboriginals of Australia to the Roman Aulus Cornelius Celsus who advocated the sound of cymbals and running water for the treatment of mental disorders, sound vibrations were used from ancient times for healing, by tweaking brain’s activity.
Today we know that a rhythmic sound has the power to alter our brain wave patterns driving the mind into a relaxed or even to a deep meditative state.
Sound therapy can help you alleviate anxiety by re‐training your brain to relax, cooling down your “fight‐or‐flight response” and nurturing your “relaxation response”.
Through sound therapy you are going to lower your general anxiety levels and you will retrain your parasympathetic system by empowering your “relaxation response”.
Also known as binaural beats, this method stimulates the brain into a specific state using pulsing sound to encourage your brain waves to align to the frequency of the beat. It’s supposed to help induce enhanced focus, entranced state, relaxation, or sleep. Though more research is needed, there’s some evidence that audible brainwave entrainment reduces anxiety, pain, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and improves behavioral problems in children.
Here’s a science-backed one: make a playlist of the 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth. According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, which conducted the research, the top song “Weightless” produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.
Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, Laura Lockhart visits Jacobs twice a month for hour-long sessions. Bathed in low frequency sounds that bring her to a meditative state, Lockhart says the therapy is able to help her in ways that medication never could.
We have been working with a professional Brainwave Researcher and have done EEG maps while listening to David’s music on the sound table. It has shown that it commonly brings the brain into very consistent and stable alpha and theta brainwave rhythms.
As previously mentioned, stable vibrations (rhythms in this case) are the key. However, getting someone’s brain entrained into a stable and consistent rhythm that is that person’s natural rhythm is the ideal goal.
Based on the research of Dr. Jeffrey Thompson the first step is to find the natural rhythm of the brain and body when at rest. This can be done by way of EEG and a heart monitor. Then, can easily entrain the brain into its own natural rhythm using binaural beats tuned to the person.
One of sound healing’s biggest mainstream advocates was the late Mitchell Gaynor, an oncologist and clinical assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and director of medical oncology at the school’s Center for Integrative Medicine.
Gaynor encouraged sound therapy alongside conventional medicine, arguing that relaxed patients have lower stress hormones, stronger immune systems, and better tools to cope with the psychological and physical effects of their disease and treatment.
Sound healing adherents say that listening to percussive instruments like gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, and tuning forks reduces stress and can place the listener in a meditative state. Practitioners offer their services as an alternative treatment for problems like anxiety, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and PTSD.
The binaural beats in the ear work as the trigger responses through which you entertain the brain. The binaural beats change the wave patterns in the brain temporarily. Thereby, it induces the brain to get relaxed and calm. The binaural beats tend to reduce stress, induce good sleep, keep the mind calm and free from anxiety. Hence, it is extremely helpful to your mind when it needs relaxation. The symptoms of anxiety are solely related to the nervous system. Thus, the sound therapy helps in reducing the anxiety symptoms by acting as a remedy for it.
Sound therapy uses low frequencies that fall in the alpha-theta-gamma-delta range, which corresponds to the brainwave frequencies that vibrate in the lower range. To put this into perspective, let’s think for a moment about the sleep cycle. When we’re awake and fully conscious and alert, the frequency of our brain waves is between 14-30 Hz, which are called beta waves. When we begin to fall asleep and dissociate ourselves from the external environment, our brain starts to drift into a calm state, characteristic of alpha waves, which range from about 8 to 12 Hz. Waves in this frequency range can stimulate production of serotonin, the chemical that anti-depressants like SSRIs are responsible for increasing.
Binaural beat sound healing can bring brainwave activity into balance, and the symptoms of depression can be reduced. Binaural beats are particularly effective in this situation alongside the use of brainwave entrainment and vibrational therapy. When the brainwaves start to resonate at the same frequency as the binaural sound being heard, this can temporarily change a brainwave pattern from a psychotic pattern into a healthy pattern and there for reduce symptoms of psychosis, depression and anxiety leaving you feeling refreshed, calm and relaxed.
Allen and Fischer (1978) found that the retention of paired learning was decreased under temperature of 820F and 920F. These results of suggestive of the fact that temperature as an environmental variable does play an important role in learning and memory.
Thermal comfort describes the human satisfactory perception of the thermal environment. It refers to a number of conditions in which the majority of people feel comfortable. Thermal comfort is rated amongst the most important conditions for improving comfort and satisfaction of occupants with their indoor environment, based on a review of various studies.
M. Frontczak, P. Wargocki, Literature survey on how different factors influence human comfort in indoor environments. Build. Environ. 46, pp. 922-937, 2011.
It turns out that the “comfort” is a whole science full of studies, research, formulas and other complex things which are beyond the grasp of an average homeowner. To make things simple, it is first essential to understand how the thermal exchanger in the human body works.
Heat doesn’t just provide comfort and have a placebo effect—it actually deactivates the pain at a molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work.
I often have clients ask me how they can overcome anxiety and stress that feels overwhelming. One thing I teach to them is the practice of mindfulness with the five senses. This helps a person slow down and notice what is around them using sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. When you do this, your mind gets a break from the stressors of life and allows you to slow things down.
By keeping the hands engaged in simple, repetitive motor movements, the user is able to “tune out” what would otherwise be distracting — lights, sounds, smells, movement, close proximity to other people. Sometimes, these distractions become too overwhelming.
Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (visual, auditory or tactile) which occur in a rhythmic left-right pattern.
Katherine Isbister, a game- and human-computer-interaction researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says there’s a reason we fidget: It’s a “kinesthetic, tactile” activity that can help us think.