History of Sound Therapy
Sound healing is one of the oldest and most natural forms of healing known to man throughout the eons. Some cultures have long realised the beneficial effect of hearing harmonious sounds goes far deeper than just a mere sense of emotional enjoyment. It can produce cellular level healing for our physical and emotional well-being.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks also realised the power of harmonious sound had a healing purpose and they often composed and performed music to accomodate this natural phenomena .
The Aboriginal people of Autralia are the first known culture to heal with sound. For at least 40,000 years the didgeridoo has been used as a healing tool. The Aboriginals healed broken bones, muscle tears and other kinds of illnesses using this most mysterious musical instrument. The sounds emitted by the yidaki, another similar Aboriginal instrument are very much in alignment with some modern sound healing technologies.
The Egyptian and Babylonian cultures are known to use drums and rattles as their earliest musical instruments. Low frequency sounds from drums and the ultra sound created by rattles are now both known to accelerate healing. Vocalising vowel sounds with the voice were also incorporated in the Egyptian culture to be used in their rituals.
Pythagoras, circa 500 BC used music as medicine, utilising the flute and the lyre as the two of primary instruments used for healing purposes. He is also credited with being the first to understand musical intervals from his work with the monochord, a single-stringed instrument in which the string tension was established by a fixed weight.
The magical power of sound to heal seems to have been used by most ancient cultures. But it had almost disappeared in many Western cultures until the 1930s where acoustic researchers have since re-discovered ultrasound and its medical properties. With this discovery the ancient art of sound healing is rapidly developing into new science. There is now a mass of research into the healing benefits of ultrasound, also including its use in breaking up kidney stones and shrinking tumours. Infrasound and audible sound have now been recognised as having immense healing properties.
Hans Jenny and Cymatics
Cymatics is a term derived from the pioneering work of Swiss scientist Dr. Hans Jenny, who in the 1960s coined the term Cymatics from the Greek word for ‘wave’. Dr Jenny spent over 14 years documenting his experiments in great detail, publishing books and films showing many intricate and elaborate forms which sound produced in various powders, pastes and liquids. Makes you wonder why many people know nothing about his work.
Although Jenny was a medical doctor, his primary interest was studying the way inanimate matter responded to sound from a physical perspective rather than directly exploring the therapeutic effects of sound. Despite this, his extensive body of work in many ways layed the foundation for much of today’s expolding field of sound healing by vividly showing how sound can restructure matter into a more coherent form.