The use of sound with intent to influence cortical brainwave frequency is called auditory driving, by which frequency of neural oscillation is ‘driven’ to entrain with that of the rhythm of a sound source. Neuroacoustics derives from this auditory driving and is used to heal a myriad of ailments that affect the human body.
Another factor that affects neuroacoustics is ‘binaural beats’. Sounds of different frequencies register in our ears and each ear has a specific mechanism for processing these sounds. The brain interprets the two tones as a third illusion tone generated by the pulse of the different frequencies in each of your ears. Binaural beats are widely regarded as the desired effect of neuroacoustic sound therapy.
The effects of sound on the human body can be traced as far as back to the womb. At only 16 weeks old, the fetus has a developed eardrum, which interprets vibrations from the mother’s body – especially the heartbeat of the mother. In many respects, it is through sound that a gestating human becomes aware of itself.
Dr. Jeffrey Thompson of the Neuroacoustics research foundation – Scientific Sounds – states, “ In applying sound to healing, I have found certain types of sounds—the heartbeat, respiratory sounds, passage of blood through vessels, organic bodily sounds—register deeply in the human nervous system. These “primordial sounds” are immediately recognizable to any person regardless of gender, culture, race, age, or social status; they are truly universal.”
His work in recognizing any sound as a healing medium rests upon two factors. Firstly, every tissue in our body, which is comprised of water and not unlike any other physical object, will resonate to sounds of specific frequencies. The second basis is that there are mechanisms within the nervous system that synchronize neurophysiologic functions and cycles with coherent rhythmic pulsations from the external world.
Most of us might have witnessed a singer in an opera break a wine glass with his/her voice. The thing of note that we might have overlooked is that certain glasses only break at certain frequencies. This is the same with the tissues in our body. Meaningful change only occurs when certain frequencies of sounds are played and tissues resonate with that particular sound.
Also, all physical objects have innate frequencies at which point they get excited or vibrate excitably. For example, tuning forks are made to resonate at certain frequencies. A tuning fork that oscillates at a frequency of 330Hz can induce vibrations in another tuning fork but only the one which is made to vibrate at the same exact frequency. This is the same for the tissues in our body. When our body encounter sounds from either a gong, a single bowl or any other instrument, tissues that have resonating vibrations similar to the instruments get excited. They vibrate and that is how healing within our body starts.
Neuroacoustic healers have learned to adapt these features of vibrations and the human body into their therapy to help a lot of people ease their ailments.