VibroAcoustic Therapy–The Healing Power of Low Frequency Sound
Have you ever been in a club and felt the vibrations of a bass guitar or drum that was so deep and low it vibrated your body? Most likely, your chest and stomach? This is an example of VibroAcoustics—sound resonating our body. You’ve also likely experienced this phenomenon when a truck goes rumbling by and you feel the vibrations in the floor. Such sounds can sometimes be annoying and unpleasant, but they can also be very therapeutic when used with a different environment, understanding, and intention.
VibroAcoustics is the science of using low frequency sounds ranging between 25 Hz to 120 Hz. The therapeutic use of these frequencies is using LFS (low frequency sound) to create resonant vibrations in the human body, thus creating a healing effect down to a cellular level. The use of VibroAcoustics has been around us since ancient times when the low pulse of a large drum or a deep bass instrument was used to create entraining vibrations in people and influence heart beats.
The man credited with Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) was a scientist from Norway named Olav Skille. I first met Olav back in the 1986 in Ludenscheid Germany, at one of the first International Society for Music in Medicine Conferences. He was doing a presentation on VAT and I was doing one on the therapeutic benefits of vocal harmonics. We both presented again at another conference at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California where I did a presented on “Sonic Entrainment”—how binaural beat frequencies could affect brainwaves. Both of these presentations were published in the book from “MUSICMEDICINE”.
Skille presented information on using low sound frequencies, including 40 Hz, 44 Hz and 55 Hz to lower blood pressure, reduce pain, increase mobility and reduce heart rate. He called this VibroAcoustic Therapy (VAT). These frequencies were also used to assist asthma and fibromyalgia. Essentially a deep tissue, low frequency internal sound massage, VibroAcoustic therapy (VAT) uses audio waves in the range of 25 Hz to 120 Hz and transmits sound to the body.
Skille demonstrated the positive healing effects for an extensive range of physical and mental health issues including depression, asthma, and fibromyalgia. Utilizing sound to produce vibrations that flow directly through the body, VibroAcoustic therapy (VAT) offers a non-invasive and drug free approach to health and wellness. Since sound vibrations travel five times more efficiently through water than air and since the human body is made up of over 70% water, VAT has been proven to provide a highly efficient method for the deepest cellular level body stimulation.
There have been many who have continued with VibroAcoustic Therapy—particularly with the development of sound chairs and bed. Dr. Lee Bartel has picked up a lot of Olav Skille’s work and in his research which he presents in this TedX talk, discusses the potential use of LFS (low frequency sound) for conditions that will enhance blood flow and increase bone density. He has found these LFS are therapeutic for pain, depression, insomnia, stress, and Alzheimer’s. Some other conditions that may benefit are Parkinson’s and stroke as well as for cardiac treatment. Most of these frequencies are utilized through chairs, beds and loungers that promote low frequency sounds.
While Lee Bartel focuses on 40 Hz for the frequency that he uses and expresses this frequency as a metaphor (he calls the entrainment from this frequency, the “Cricket Principle”), I would suggest that 40 Hz is simply one of the frequencies that Dr. Skille used in his research. There are many many more frequencies that fall within the bandwidth of 25 – 120 Hz that affect us. Olav Skille was still searching for the ideal one when last we spoke, but I know he agreed that there were many different frequencies that had positive therapeutic psycho-acoustic effects. I’m sure you will find Dr. Bartel’s talk to be quite encouraging. We are really hopeful that more research in low frequencies will occur.