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History of sound therapy

Sound throughout history to today

Sound is present in the world since the early creations of life on planet Earth and man has recognised that it has a powerful value in the very beginnings of its intellectual revolution. It has been used by primitive tribes, by using drums and singing, since the beginning of time and further on most of the spiritual traditions share a common understanding of the usage of sound.

Till this day many of them share a belief that the world has come to creation through the usage of sound and vibration. Here are some examples; The Aztec legends have a story of the creator, who ‘sang the world into creation.’ The Egyptians believed that the god “Thot” created the world by only using his voice. In the Vedas of the Hindu tradition there is a writing that says “In the beginning was Brahman with whom was the Word. And the Word is Braham.” The ancient mystery schools in Egypt, Athens, Rome, China, India and Tibet that existed thousands of years ago had profound knowledge of the healing power of sound.

The use of sound as a therapeutic tool, was found in many texts that indicate that they had a highly developed spiritual science, based upon an understanding that vibration was the fundamental creative force of the universe. More recently like for example in the Old Testament (Genesis), there is a statement like this “And the Lord said, ‘Let there be light!’ indicating that the Lord created mater from sound. Further more in the Bible in St. John, from the New Testament, there is a writing “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Again here we see the importance of the spoken word, and what is the spoken word - it is a creation of sound. We can find this in Japan, Africa, Indian tribes Polynesia, Mayan tradition etc, etc…

Here it is important to point out, that the power of sound to create form and shape matter has been scientifically proven. In fact, an article by Malcolm W. Browne called “Sound Is Shaped into a dazzling Tool with Many Uses,” published in the New York Times, states that sound can “make, break or rearrange molecular structure, control the crystalline structure of matter and even and levitate objects.” There is a whole field proving that sound can move matter and it is called Cymatics —a field that was coined by Hans Jenny, who continued the work of of an l8thcentury German physicist named Ernst Chladni. Jenny spent many years observing the effects of sound on organic matter.

He used various liquids, pastes, plastics, and dust, along with a sound generator coupled to a crystal oscillator, which created pure vibrational tones. This ability of sound to affect physical matter is called “vibro-acoustics.” Going further in time we have to mention the amazing work of a Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, is who has conducted extensive research on how water behaves when exposed to external influences such as words, music, thoughts or prayer. He has made amazing discoveries that truly change the usual picture we have of sound and water (The human body is 70% water). With the technique of freezing water in one thousandth of a second, Emoto stunned the world. Not because of the method itself, but because the realization that the crystals formed are proof that water understands what is being projected to it. A big role in this experiment was the usage of sound, again showing how sound affects water.

The base of sound and frequency can be found in the field of simple physics Among the discoveries and theories of the legendary physicist Albert Einstein, what is had the greatest impact, was the discovery that all matter can be divided into smaller components. By separating matter, we learned that - from a certain point onwards - every matter is actually a vibration or energy. This basic law of nature says not only that nothing is at rest, but that everything is "moves" and everything vibrates within itself. Vibration is directly related to the term “frequency” which describes the rate of periodic oscillation. The side effect of this vibration is sound. Another legendary physics Nikola Tesla said : "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Till this day sound and its influence on the human mind and body is being investigated and researched. Every day new scientific proof emerges from many independent and official researches using the advantage of todays technology to show how sound can bring many benefits to improve the wellbeing of humans in everyday life.

Perhaps the best known and most widely employed use of sound in conventional medicine is the use of ultrasound. Most people are familiar with its use as a diagnostic technology, as in the use of sonograms for viewing of fetuses. The sound waves bounce off the bones and fluid and return the information to a transducer which translates it into a visual image. Medical sonography is also used diagnostically to discover pathologies within the body. Ultrasound is also used therapeutically. Ultrasound therapy has been shown to cause increases in tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown. The effect of the increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation, reduce pain and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing (Hadjiargyrou et al., 1998). It is regularly employed by physical therapists and chiropractors.

Sound Medicine is Used in Both Alternative and Conventional Settings Music therapy, vibroacoustic therapy, and the Tomatis Method are three techniques that are used both conventionally and alternatively. All three fall into the category of sound therapy. Music has been used clinically in the United States since WWII, when it was used to treat returning soldiers for what is now known at post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Since then it has become more widely employed, and is now used in hospitals, nursing homes, institutions, and other rehabilitative settings. Music therapists work to help clients improve their level of functioning and quality of life by using music experiences such as singing, songwriting, listening to and discussing music, and moving to music, to achieve measurable treatment goals and objectives. Music therapy has been shown to be particularly effective with some of the more challenging members of the population, especially those with Alzheimer's and dementia, autistic spectral disorders, stroke victims, and even prisoners.