Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is rising in popularity with people today. In a post pandemic world, people are giving more serious thought to complementary therapies in effort to manage mental health issues such as anxiety and stress.  The term sound therapy may sound new to many, however, the research invested in the understanding of brain wave entertainment has been going on for years.

Brain wave entertainment is the term used to describe the use of isochronic tones with the intent to stimulate different brain waves. Isochronic tones consist of distinct and repetitive tones that will play at evenly placed intervals giving the impression of a rhythmic beat.  They are often embedded beneath calming music or nature sounds. More commonly known, binaural music makes use of two isochronic tones of similar frequencies through headphones for a more effective neural response in the brain.  There are several different brain waves recognized in the clinical research community, but the five most common are: Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta.

Gamma: >40 Hz- Associated with meditation and deep reflection. Gamma waves are involved in processing information from all areas of the brain.

            Beta: (13-39 Hz)- Related to attention, focus, concentration, and cognition. Ideal for improving some symptoms of ADHD. Some studies suggest improvement in self-confidence and socialization as a result of decreased fatigue and increased optimism.

            Alpha: (8-13 Hz)- Often related to mental relaxation, visualization, and creative processes.  Some studies support that these waves used on the elderly population are excellent to treat memory disorders.

            Theta: (4-8 Hz)- This frequency is often associated with creativity, enhanced intuition, and deeper emotional response, increase sense of tranquility, and reduced anxiety. Theta waves contribute to improved problem-solving skills and retention of larger amounts of information.

            Delta: (<4 Hz)- These are the slowest waves in the brain thereby associating with deepest sleep state and unconscious. These waves are ideal for sleep, physical and mental recovery, and meditation.

The intent of binaural music, using a simpler definition, is to give the mind a gentle and calming reset. The music provokes a biofeedback by tapping into the nervous system by use of isochronic tones. To the listener, this is a pleasant experience. The music is serene and the tones beneath it are subtle yet prompt a profound effect to an individual’s brain. However, where one individual may have a pleasant experience with binaural music, another person may feel underwhelmed. He or she may remove the headphones and not experience a deep state of relaxation or less racing thoughts in the mind. That isn’t to say that the brainwaves did not show any stimulation when measured in a clinical setting. More accurately, the brain waves were not presenting significant increases in specific brainwaves to affect a physiological response.

The inHarmony Sound Therapy bed was designed with this research in mind. The pulsations from the sound therapy bed are designed with the intent to bridge the gap between the mind and the spine. The trunk of the nervous system, after all, resides deep within the vertebrae. The music and the isochronic tones work in tandem with the vibrations to communicate with the nervous system. The sound therapy bed pulses in time with whichever hertz are playing beneath the music. It assists in encouraging the body to release and let go alongside the mind. A ten-minute session is a good start to explore the experience if a person is feeling skeptical of the benefits. An ideal sound therapy session is 20-30 minutes in order to achieve the most benefits of deep, meditative relaxation.

It is most important to note that binaural music should not be used as a replacement therapy for mental health issues. The primary function of isochronic tones is complementary to traditional healthcare and mental wellness. Do not hesitate to confer with your primary care physician if you are ever unsure if binaural music is good choice for you.