Ngare Ring lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and practiced for many years as a speech pathologist, before being struck by a mysterious 21st century disease. She says “from one day to the next, my energy disappeared and I was baffled as to the cause of the problem.” But the disease, despite its debilitating effects, has proven to have changed her life for the better.
Ngare’s father, the late Dr. Frank Ellis (1912-1974) used to play Mozart and other composers to his patients during surgery when they were under local anaesthetic. He found that the music soothed and calmed them, making the experience much more comfortable and even pleasant. He adopted this procedure after spending time in the USA with the famous ear, nose and throat surgeon, Dr. Morris Cottle, who loved music and began the practice of using music during surgery. This was in the 1950s and the music he used was on a large reel-to-reel tape player. Many music connoisseurs still claim this is the best sound reproduction system ever invented.
Dr. Frank Ellis was one of Australia’s leading ENT (ear nose and throat) surgeons between the 1950’s and 1970’s and was president of the Otolarygological Society of Australia for a time. He was a pioneer in Australia in the use of microsurgery to remove austic neuromas (benign tumours of the auditory nerve).
Ngare was led to speech pathology due to her father and a lifetime interest in language which, she remembers, began even as a toddler. She believes that she was very fortunate to have been raised on classical music as it has greatly enriched her experience of speech and language. While working in California, she was able to combine her interest in language and learning with her fascination for foreign languages and became fluent enough in Spanish to work as a bilingual Special Education teacher with immigrant children from Mexico.
Ngare worked as a speech pathologist/special educator all her life until 1995 when she found that several amalgam dental fillings were cracked and she was advised by her dentist to have the fillings replaced. Being ill informed, like many dentists, on the dangers of mercury in the amalgam; the dentist removed her fillings without taking precautions to protect her from the toxic effects of gases and particles that were released during the drilling process. He then replaced her fillings with fresh mercury amalgam, which increased the level of toxicity.
That was when Ngare’s energy disappeared and, from one day to the next she, was faced with an enduring and inexplicable illness: including lethargy, migraine headaches and vision problems. Ngare was told by another dentist, who finally diagnosed her problem, that she had a very severe case of mercury poisoning along with gangrenous areas in her jawbone where wisdom teeth had been extracted. Because of all this she was also showing signs of early Multiple Sclerosis.
She sought help from many practitioners, and while pharmaceutical medicine made her condition worse, she received some relief from chiropractic and naturopathic treatment. But the beginning of the real turnaround came when she discovered Sound Therapy. Prior to this, Ngare undertook some rebirthing sessions in the hope of getting to the cause of her problems. One day the therapist asked her “tell me what you love most in the world.” Ngare was surprised to notice that the first three things she mentioned all had to do with music. During the rebirthing session, Ngare had what she describes as an incredible out-of-body experience where she saw herself sliding into a pool, surrounded by beautiful music. It was this experience that renewed her great interest in music and which eventually led to her discovery of Sound Therapy.
It was soon after the rebirthing experience that she came across the book “The Mozart Effect” by Don Campbell and from there was led to Sound Therapy, a portable self help listening program based on the work of the French ENT Specialist, Dr. Alfred Tomatis. Ngare read with fascination of the work of Dr. Tomatis who, using the reel-to-reel tape machines of the 1950s devised a listening program which not only could improve speech and language function and was a highly effective treatment for learning difficulties, but also helped to stimulate brain pathways and replenish energy systems in the body. Plagued as she was by chronic fatigue and constant severe migraine headaches related to heavy metal poisoning, Ngare was eager for anything that could give her back her vitality. She began using the Sound Therapy tapes and very soon her energy started to improve. The filtered music also gave her a feeling of hope and, from this time on, she was led to all the other things she needed. Beginning Sound Therapy was a real turning point for Ngare.
Along with a new sense of positivity, Ngare found she had an incredible new musical awareness. She says “I always loved music, but now I can’t live without it. It opens my heart.”
Dr. Tomatis, who knew of the healing power of Mozart for learning and emotional healing long before it was scientifically tested and proven, said “Mozart is a good mother.”
Given courage to seek further healing, Ngare found a Holistic dentist who replaced her amalgam fillings with the new composite type, but this time used proper protective measures such as rubber dams, oxygen supply, proper sequencing to reduce the battery-like effect of dissimilar metals in the mouth (mercury fillings and gold caps) and, of course, safe disposal of the amalgam material. She experienced immediate improvement in her health once the mercury fillings were removed. She also continued to benefit from Sound Therapy and began introducing the method to her family and clients. Ngare says that all members of her family have seen remarkable improvements from the therapy. Her husband has experienced a lowering of blood pressure and, with the reduced stress, he is like a different man. He no longer gets upset about minor things and sleeps like a baby for the first time in years. He uses the Sound Therapy while working in front of the computer. “One of the great benefits”, explains Ngare “is that you don’t have to concentrate on the therapy as it works on your ear at an unconscious level, so it is very suitable for busy people.”
Ngare’s mother, aged 86, had severe insomnia for many years, but now it is rare for her to have any sleeping problem. Her hearing has also improved; she had a loss of high frequencies in her left ear, which is no longer apparent. She now looks and acts like a woman 20 years younger than her actual age!
Ngare’s sister has been through some very stressful years. Since using Sound Therapy, she has become much more positive and is sleeping a lot better. She says: “I can cope with just about anything these days thanks to Sound Therapy. I keeps me calm and centred.” Ngare’s twin nieces who are typical of identical twins, being very emotionally, close have also been through trying times; so Ngare suggested they try Sound Therapy. One of them took up the listening and, as a result, her grandmother describes her as “a different girl.” She now has a much more positive attitude, is sleeping better and no longer waking every night at 2 am.
Ngare is particularly excited by the possibility of using Sound Therapy in conjunction with speech pathology. Having had to give up her practice due to her illness, she intends to resume it in a new form, combined with Sound Therapy. Ngare loved her work but found there were some clients she simply could not help. Coming from a medical tradition of using Mozart in the surgery, Ngare is undeterred by convention, for she has experienced first hand the remarkable healing power of music and is determined to gain for Sound Therapy the recognition it deserves in her field.
This article was written in 2001. Ngare is now retired and prefers not to take enquiries.
For more information please contact Sound Therapy International on 1300 55 77 96.