An article on Sound Therapy was published in the autumn 2000 issue of Probus magazine. Due to the huge response we received from that article we thought that some follow-up information would be appreciated by our readers.
Over the last few months Rafaele Joudry, author and Director of Sound Therapy International Pty Ltd. has been invited to speak to many Probus groups around Sydney and in other parts of Australia. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to her talks as Sound Therapy is very relevant to people of a mature age and has proved to be of great interest to Probus members. Rafaele is an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker with over 25 years of experience in the Sound Therapy field.
We were asked some valid questions by the people who responded, and we have printed the answers to these questions. We thank the many hundreds of people who showed interest and hope that the following information is useful for you.
The previous article explored the use of Sound Therapy to rehabilitate the ear and stimulate the brain using scientifically enhanced classical music. It has been useful in treating cases of: Hearing loss – degenerative loss due to aging or nerve damage, caused by viruses, noise, surgery, ear infections.
Tinnitus – noise such as ringing or buzzing heard inside the ear, due to inner ear damage caused by industrial, loud or sudden noise, viral damage, surgery, stress or a build up of certain drugs or toxins.
Cocktail Party Syndrome – An inability to differentiate sounds, e.g. difficulty following a conversation in a noisy room. Caused by various forms of ear damage.
Hyperacusis – Hypersensitivity to sound – loud, shrill sounds etc.
Pressure problems –popping in the ears or difficulty equalising the pressure when flying.
Meniere’s Syndrome – dizziness/vertigo/loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, hearing loss – caused by too much fluid pressure in the inner ear resulting form twitches or spasms in the stirrup muscle.
Other areas that Sound Therapy has been useful in treating are ‘particular’ hearing, short attention span, memory loss, lack of vitality and energy, learning difficulties, insomnia, and stress.
Commonly asked questions
Q. What does ‘scientifically enhanced’ classical music mean?
A. Sound Therapy uses music from composers such as Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach and Hayden. The music is recorded through a device called the ‘Electronic Ear’ which was developed by Dr Alfred Tomatis, a leading ear nose and throat specialist. This device filters the music, enhancing the high frequencies, diminishing the lows and constantly altering the pitch. The music is recorded so that it is louder in the right ear than the left in order to correct imbalances between the two sides of the brain.
Q. Why enhance the high frequencies?
A. In nature, the most common sounds that you hear are things such as running water, wind in the trees, birds singing, frogs croaking; all high frequency sounds which naturally occur in abundance. Low frequency sounds include waves crashing, thunderstorms or large waterfalls. These sounds are a minor component of the hearing ‘diet’. If we relate this natural balance to the sounds that surround us today, there is a frightening discrepancy. Lets simply look at our homes: refrigerators, computers, air conditioners, exhaust fans, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, washing machines… the list goes on. These machines all produce low frequency sound. Dr Tomatis believes that low frequency sound drains our energy and you may have noticed a sense of relief when the refrigerator motor turns off, or the next door neighbor’s lawn mower stops.
The human body has wonderful survival mechanisms. With an onslaught of low frequency sound, the ears simply shut down. Therefore the ear is not even receptive to the high frequencies it may be exposed to. Sound Therapy restored the ear’s sensitivity to high frequencies so that the ear allows them in to its inner chambers. This then rebalances the ‘hearing diet’.
Q. How do high frequency sounds affect the ear?
A. High frequency sound has many physical effects in the rehabilitation of the ear. Firstly it stimulates damaged cilia [the hearing hairs in the inner ear] to an erect position after they have been flattened by damaging noise. In the case of tinnitus, the flattened cilia may be touching each other, causing a short circuit and therefore, noise.
Hearing loss generally occurs in the higher frequency range first. Dr Tomatis found that 60% of the 30,000 hearing receptor cells are intended to hear high frequency sounds. When this stimulus is missing the result is feelings of weariness and lethargy.
Secondly the stimulation introduced by Sound Therapy improves the overall vitality and flexibility of the ear mechanism. This sometimes assists in clearing mucous build up which is causing infection or sinus conditions.
Thirdly, the tiny, but important muscles in the middle ear, are exercised by the changes in pitch occurring in the music. These muscles mobilise the bones which, in turn regulate tension on the middle ear hearing apparatus. They also regulate fluid balance within the inner ear. When the fluid is imbalanced in the inner ear, it can lead to dizziness, vertigo, nausea and travel sickness.
Last, but not least, high frequency sound stimulates, energises and recharges the cortex of the brain, resulting in increased energy, greater learning capabilities, better memory, creativity, and a feeling of connection with others and the world around you. The nervous system responds positively to high frequency sounds because ten of the twelve cranial nerves are connected in some way to the ears. Therefore what we hear has an immediate impact on our nervous system and stress is usually significantly decreased by Sound Therapy.
Q. What does the treatment entail?
A. Sound Therapy is a self help, portable listening program consisting of specially filtered and engineered music. It is listened to in a prescribed order through a personal media device, usually an mp3 player, with a specific high frequency response. It is easy, enjoyable and takes no time out of your day. It requires no clinical visits and is available at a minimal cost. Usual treatment consists of a minimum of 3 months listening, depending on the severity of the condition. It is very successful for preventing damage or further damage to the ears.
Comments from listeners
Many of our listeners report that their health practitioners have told them there is no treatment available for hearing loss or tinnitus. Surgery is occasionally recommended, if there is an obvious cause but in most cases there is no obvious cause for tinnitus. Sound Therapy obtains good results in most cases and is entirely safe. Most listeners experience secondary benefits such as better sleep, less stress and greater vitality.
Elaine Sax says of her tinnitus:
“I was told ‘yes it is tinnitus, and there is nothing much you can do about it’. It was just continual. I would get a break of maybe a minute or two, and it would take off again’.
She reports that her tinnitus ‘was debilitating’, and goes on to say “Initially there was a very very positive result within 3 months. I was noise free, and at that point, my hearing had definitely improved.”
Elaine is now generally free of tinnitus, although a lower gradient noise reoccurs occasionally. She says “At least I’ve got the means of helping control it if, and when it does comes back”.
Elaine also says that she enjoys the extra energy that Sound Therapy has provided.
Lee Heffelle is 74 and has experienced bouts of Meniere’s Syndrome which she describes as “horrific, and terrifying; to the point where I was almost suicidal at one stage”
Her episodes occurred weekly, and took a week to get over, by which time the next one would hit. Lee used mineral chelation therapy in conjunction with Sound Therapy. Now several years later, Lee reports that when she used Sound therapy, her Meniere’s attacks stopped entirely.
Lloyd Evans is 81 and still works as an historian. He has suffered from tinnitus ‘for as long as I can remember, and that’s a long time!” He says his tinnitus hadn’t affected him greatly “it was just a nuisance”, that he had learned to put up with it, although in the last few years it had “become a bit of a problem”.
After using Sound Therapy, he says “I have noticed that since using the program, at first it made quite a dent in the incidence of the tinnitus, and then it settled down to a very low level, and it just hasn’t returned. Over the last 4 weeks or so, it just virtually disappeared”. Lloyd adds how calming Sound Therapy is at moments of what he calls ‘intellectual agitation’.
The excerpts above are taken form interviews with listeners recorded by Rafaele Joudry for her best selling book ‘Triumph over Tinnitus’.
For further information, please contact the trained consultants at Sound Therapy International Pty. Ltd on 1300 55 77 96.