Healing with sound: Transformative aspects of music

February 27, 2012

Anti-aging, Energy healing, Healing

An important technique in sound healing is the intricate combination and interplay of numerous musical effects.

by Jill Mattson — 

The field of sound healing is a rapidly growing discipline attracting great interest. Many of its techniques stem from ancient traditions. Cutting-edge research is also underway, which is expanding the understanding and promise of this field.

An important technique in sound healing is the intricate combination and interplay of numerous musical effects. It is the magical and complex interaction of special sounds with the human body and mind that makes for impressive results.

Following is an introduction to the transformative aspects of music.

Aspect #1: Intervals — An intervallic composite sound occurs when two different notes are sounded at the same time. The individual notes combine to produce a new sound, different than either of the two originals. This phenomenon is due to the interaction of the sound waves comprising each note.

Remember, sound waves are like waves on the ocean — only they travel through air. When two waves interfere constructively, you get a higher wave — a higher pitch. When two sound waves interfere destructively, you get a lower note. Simply put, sound waves are energy, and when two or more interact, they change each other.

When the brain receives tones that are presented extremely close to the ears (as when you wear headphones), the brain can normally only “hear” one tone at a time. If you play a different tone into each ear (with headphones), the brain combines and averages both tones, and you hear a pulsing sound that is the average of the two tones.

What is thrilling about this is that you have just introduced “whole brain” functioning — both your right and left brain hemispheres are working together, processing this information. Regular use of whole brain functioning has been shown to enhance intelligence. Studies also suggest that this phenomenon makes your brain more nimble and flexible, reducing mental decline.

Certain intervals impact our states of consciousness and produce different feelings. For example, a major fifth interval produces a harmonious, spiritual feeling, while a major seventh interval produces a moody emotion, and a minor third creates a feeling of melancholy.

Amazingly, different sound intervals create unique feelings and moods. Techniques employing sound intervals have shown impressive results, relieving depression and other negative emotions such as loneliness, pity and anger.

Aspect #2: Pitch — The pitch of a note is how high or low it sounds. Higher frequency is higher pitch, corresponding to faster vibrations or tighter waves and higher energy. Lower pitch is due to slower vibrations.

French physicist, Joel Sternheimer, discovered that “while a protein is being assembled from its 20 constituent amino acids in the ‘cell factory’ called the ribosome, the amino acid’s (movements) are considerably slowed down … so a vibration or a frequency can be calculated … and transcribed into acoustical bandwidth, as a note …” (Jean–Pierre Lentin, Keelynet.com)

Sternheimer’s point is that the vibration of each amino acid corresponds to a note. If you play the notes corresponding to the amino acids back in the order in which they are combined in a protein, a melody results. When the melody of the amino acids is played back to the same plant, its growth is increased by up to 250 percent, and resilience to drought and disease is enhanced.

Just as plants have shown to be positively affected by Sternheimer’s melodies, there are many researchers studying the effects of pitches and melodies on human health, brain waves and states of consciousness. Specifically, Annette Kearl, M.A., MT-BC, has said that within Beethoven’s music are melodies of ACTH (kidney molecule), alpha 1-antitrypsin (lung molecule) and cytochrome (liver molecule).

Robert Monroe, who founded the Monroe Institute, discovered that listening to specific pitches produced psychic phenomena in listeners. The French ear, nose and throat doctor, Alfred Tomatis, demonstrated that higher pitches charge the neocortex of the brain, giving people energy.

Scientists have documented that certain brainwaves correspond to a physiological state in which beneficial chemicals are produced in our bodies. Manufacturers of sound and light machines tout that special sounds can induce delta and theta brain waves. Chemicals produced while in delta and theta brain states are: endorphins (for feeling good), catecholamines (vital for memory and learning), DHEA (increases resistance to disease), lowered cortisol (slows the aging process), vasopressin (boosts serotonin to ease pain) and melatonin (aids sleep).

Other documented benefits accompanying delta and theta brain wave states include the experience of tranquility, pain control, creativity, euphoria, excitement, focused attention, enhanced problem-solving, increased memory, accelerated healing, behavior modification, and improvements in mental and emotional health.

Aspect #3: Rhythm — It has often been said that the human body is an orchestra, with the heart drumming out the constant beat. In the womb, we hear our first communication in the rhythm of our mother’s heartbeat. We receive reassurance through a steady rhythm.

Rhythm can affect the pulse and heart rate, breath, stress response and the pace of our voice, walking and activities. A healing rhythm increases or slows our energy, strengthening the elasticity of our pulse, helping us gain vitality.

Our own rhythms can be a more complete expression of who we are than we realize. On a busy street, watch the variations of walking. Some people bounce, others shuffle and a few march. Some are rigid, others flexible. Other variations include jerkiness versus regularity of rhythm, or a calm rhythm versus a rushed one. Our personality and emotions can be revealed in the rhythm of our walk.

Words have rhythm. Our rate of speaking and associated movements are expressions of individualism; in fact, they often show unspoken communication — the underlining meaning beneath our words. While our words may say one thing, our rhythm of words and body language can say another, revealing a deeper truth.

Reinhard Flatischler, who developed a revolutionary approach to rhythm by combining pulse, breath, voice and rhythm, said in his book, The Forgotten Power of Rhythm, “The drum returns my energy by translating it into audible rhythm and thus completes a circuit of energy that allows me to connect with my own power.” Rhythm expresses our own energy and power.

American Indians used drum rhythms to induce trance, in which they experienced “out-of-the-body” travel, similar to the effects of hallucinatory drugs. These journeys were used to glean information from the future or to receive wisdom about their decisions and purposes in life.

African witch doctors have utilized drumbeats to work dancers into frenzies, citing that these experiences cause one to shed negative energy, which can be the underlying cause of illness.

Rhythm is an important contribution in the many-faceted art of sound healing. Impressive results can be obtained when rhythm is properly combined with other powerful sound healing techniques.

It is encouraging to see science beginning to embrace many sound healing techniques — some originating from antiquity. Sound and music can profoundly impact and change our health, intelligence and energy.


Jill Mattson is a healing arts musician and composer, author and artist who draws on her extensive research of modern sound healing, and 17-year study of antiquities and secret societies in her lectures, workshops and writings. www.jillswingsoflight.com jillimattson@yahoo.com or 814-657-0134.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 6, Dec 2009/Jan 2010.

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