Can sound heal?

Can sound heal?

How can sound improve health?  Sound is a vibration and is produced by continuous and regular vibrations.  We can use these vibrations in different ways.  Firstly, ultrasound, commonly used to assist doctors with diagnosis it is also now being used to treat cancer. High intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU is used to kill cancer cells. Doctors give the treatment using a machine that gives off high frequency sound waves. These waves deliver a strong beam to a specific part of a cancer. Some cells die when this high intensity ultrasound beam is focused directly onto them.
Other procedures such as Lithotripsy use shock waves to break up stones in the kidney, bladder, or ureter (tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder) saving thousands of people a year from the scalpel by pulverizing  the stones with the high-intensity sound. 
Sound healing is a wonderful modality. It’s has been around for thousands of years.  Modern science is adding to and developing new ways of using sound to increase wellbeing and to reduce symptoms of many conditions.  We now know that a very low frequency (40Hz) sound delivered through speakers to people with dementia improves their state and we also see temporary improvements in memory.  Music therapy has also been shown to improve engagement, memory and wellbeing in patients with Dementia and Alzheimers.   And music, of course. Just listening to music is good for you, music that’s made with good intention, made with love increases feelings of wellbeing and connectivity, reducing depression .  Playing music is even better.  We know that musicians have bigger brains and one of the best ways to prevent onset of memory problems like dementia and Alzheimers is to learn how to play a musical instrument. 

Author

Alison Chiam is an Audiologist, Artist and Educator.  She is an Independent Audiologist in Private Practice and is Principal Audiologist at Jervis Bay Hearing Centre (NSW).  Her speciality areas include Hearing rehabilitation, Tinnitus and Sound Intolerance.  At the International Tinnitus Seminar in Brazil 2011 she was part of a team who was won the Ted Vernon prize for their ground-breaking work on Tinnitus and Hypercusis.

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