Archive for the 'Musical vibrations make gains as healing therapy' Category

Sep 29 2011

Musical vibrations make gains as healing therapy

When I saw the following article I wished I could get one of these set-ups to use in my office. And not just for patients/clients but for family and friends, too. I hope the prices drop soon.

Musical vibrations make gains as healing therapy


Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas – Stretched out on a recliner, Sandra McLellan could feel her pain fade as the rhythmic beat of drums pulsated across her back, around her arms and down her legs.

“I hear the music on the speakers,” said McLellan, whose severe anemia is being treated with chemotherapy. “But I feel the instruments throughout my body.”

These good vibrations are taking some of the nausea, anxiety and fatigue out of chemotherapy and other procedures for patients at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital’s Klabzuba Cancer Center in Texas.

Vibroacoustic therapy is a marriage of music and vibrations that is moving into hospitals, psychiatric facilities and geriatric settings nationwide. It is being used to relax adults with Alzheimer’s disease, distract children during difficult procedures and reduce patients’ anxiety before surgery.

Like yoga, tai chi and meditation, vibroacoustic therapy is part of a growing trend toward natural healing or complementary therapy in medicine.

“It plays into the whole mind-body connection,” said Corrine Anderson, a pain and palliative care nurse at Harris hospital. “When you change someone’s state of mind, it allows chemical changes to take place, and that makes relaxation possible.”

Vibroacoustic therapy is more than a mechanical massage set to sound. The recliners, which are made by Florida-based Somatron and cost about $2,800, produce a rippling sensation throughout the body. It’s this complex pattern of pulses rather than a single vibration that seems to make all the difference.

“Music by itself has the ability to relax, but when you add vibration it seems to heighten the experience and stimulate the relaxation response,” said Chris Brewer, a North Carolina-based music and education consultant. “The body relaxes, the heartbeat slows, and it creates a state of relaxation.”

In a National Institutes of Health study, 272 patients who used vibroacoustic therapy reported more than a 50 percent reduction in pain, headaches, nausea and tension. The patients, who had cancer, heart disease and mood disorders, also felt less depressed and fatigued.

The evidence indicates that vibroacoustic therapy reduces pain and anxiety, but it’s less clear why it works.

One theory is that the sounds vibrate cells, organs and tissue, like an internal massage.

As the vibrations press on sensors close to the skin’s surface, they activate a natural pain suppressant, said Dr. George Patrick, chief of recreation therapy at the National Institutes of Health, where the therapy has been studied.

“If you vibrate them, they seem to send messages to the spinal cord that confuse pain messages,” he said. “It has the effect of white noise.”

The music’s pitch and beat also play a part. At Harris, patients can chose from the slow and steady beat of Native American drums or the sound of ocean waves splashing.

“It’s not a symphony; it’s more a new age soothing sound,” Anderson said. “It’s also music that is not associative.”

After one session, McLellan said her constant pain, triggered by colitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the colon and small intestine, and numerous surgeries, decreased dramatically. The relief lasted for several days.

“It seems to relax my mind and muscles,” she said. “And I know I don’t have to take as much pain medication after it.”


Research and clinical programs show a variety of mental and physical benefits. Vibroacoustics has been found to:

Reduce stress
Reduce nausea, headache, anxiety, fatigue and depression
Calm and soothe restless behavior
Improve range of motion
Promote muscle tone
Develop sensory awareness
Source: Musicinhealth.Com

Posted by Ralph at 04:00 PM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute.

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