Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sound Therapy: Ear Exercises on the Go

"Sacred sound-whether a prayer, music, song, incantation or chants-is a vital force which permeates every aspect of creation."

-Sacred Sound: Magic & Healing Through Words & Music by Ted Andrews
According to Rafaele Joudry, director of Sound Therapy International, listening to Sound Therapy CDs offers a variety of benefits, from reducing stress to acquiring vigor for getting through the day. Benefits other listeners have noticed are improved rest with sleep, relief from tinnitus, clearer communication, and a willingness to socialize. But what exactly is Sound Therapy? At first glance the CDs appear to be a variety of classical music. However, each musical selection has passed through the Electronic Ear, which is a machine that alters the frequency levels and adjusts the sounds therapeutically, so during listening, the ear and brain receive a workout. Many people have experienced harm to their high-frequency hearing through loud noises at concerts or from the industrial environment of today. The damage to high-frequency hearing was noticed during some of the earlier work done with Sound Therapy’s predecessor, the huge, non-portable Electronic Ear in the office of ear specialist, Dr. Tomatis. At that time, singers noticed an improvement with their singing: they were able to sing higher as their ears were learning to hear higher frequencies. Sound Therapy will not interfere with daily activities. During work, travel, sleep and some play, the CD player may be worn in a hip or neck bag, and the headphone cord may run down the back beneath clothing. In addition, because the volume is set low, working an eight-hour shift and choosing to have the sound therapy will not interfere with hearing. A greater calmness and increased vitality may eventually accompany the listener as they complete tasks. What if the constant music is too harsh on the ears? If the experience of listening to Sound Therapy is uncomfortable, then the volume is most likely set too high. Conversations, a person’s own voice, and the TV, for example, should all be heard over the hisses and music of the program. Prior to entering a noisy theatre, for instance, set the music to a low but audible volume, then do not give it another thought. Is it painful? Subtle pain in the ears may occur at first, just as in any exercise program. The muscles in the middle ear may be functioning more fully than they ever have before, and the nervous system and ears will adjust accordingly with continued use. Momentary discomfort and tiredness may be initial signs that the program is working. A minimum of three hours a day, not necessarily in a consecutive manner, is required to set the ear and brain on a course toward change. Provided that the CDs can be heard even a little without hearing aids, it is recommended that at least some of the daily listening occur without hearing aids. It is suggested that the ears not be shocked with the therapy being too loud. Rather, set the volume so as some parts of the music are heard comfortably, and others are not heard at all. Intermittent sounds are sufficient for the Sound Therapy to work. The music is not as important as the therapy behind it. The Sound Therapy instructional manual informs users that, “Individuals vary greatly in the length of time required for the auditory opening, and that effects, while sometimes dramatic, can be subtle.” The “opening” is a near magical moment when a shifting seems to occur within the ear and brain: symptoms may suddenly vanish, a voice may spontaneously sound softer or sing higher, hearing may all at once become more acute, and energy levels may surprisingly improve. Some may require months of dedicated listening before changes are noticed. A desired outcome may seem never to arrive, but if analyzed, life improvements overall are bound to be noticed. After the desired change has occurred, continuing to listen to the CDs, even in a haphazard way, is recommended. Sound Therapy is a continual protection against intrusive noise, a concentration tool and an aid to help the brain retain what has been studied. As long as the CDs are from Sound Therapy International and not burned from iPods or otherwise copied, they are therapeutic. Copying the CDs renders them ineffective because specific recording equipment using original analogue recordings from the Electronic Ear have been carefully transferred to the Sound Therapy CDs. For more information e-mail Debbie Allsup (see Contact Us page), or go to www.soundtherapyinternational.com.

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