A form of sound therapy that is not applied through hearing, but by instruments that send audible sound waves directly into the body through the skin.
Sound, particularly in the form of music, drumbeats, or chanting, was used for healing purposes in numerous ancient traditions. The physiological effects of different types of music on blood pressure and other bodily indicators were first noticed during the late 1800s. The term "cymatics" was coined by Hans Jenny, a Swiss scientist who derived it from the Greek word kyma (a great wave). Jenny published a book about the structure, dynamics, and effects of sound vibrations in 1967. Present-day cymatic therapy was largely developed by Sir Peter Guy Manners, an English medical doctor and osteopath, starting in the 1960s.
Practitioners of cymatic therapy believe that sound is capable of rearranging the structure of molecules, and therefore has unlimited potential as a tool for healing. They claim to have successfully treated otherwise incurable and terminal diseases. At the same time, they acknowledge that some patients seem to be unaffected by sound therapy. The treatment has been used on patients with tumors, internal bruises, calcified joints, bacterial or viral infections, blood diseases, and other problems.
Sound consists of mechanical vibrations that travel through a medium such as air, water, or in the case of cymatic therapy, the body. Sound healers believe that all parts of the body vibrate and therefore produce sound, either at a healthy, "harmonious" frequency, or at an inharmonious, unhealthy frequency. Using a computerized instrument, cymatic therapists direct healing frequencies into the body to restore resonance and harmony. The healing frequencies are related to those emitted by a healthy organ or body part. In this way, cymatic healers say, the immune system and other natural regulatory functions are stimulated. Frequencies may be applied directly, or transmitted along acupuncture meridians.
Cymatic therapy does not directly heal, practitioners say. Rather, it creates a near-optimal environment for organs or cells. In such an environment, they say, the body can heal itself without drugs or surgical intervention. The instrument produces as many as 800 controlled audible frequencies. The therapy may also be delivered without such equipment, with the use of instruments such as tuning forks.
Patients with cardiac pacemakers are advised to avoid this therapy. Because of the controversial nature of cymatic treatment, a medical doctor should be consulted in all cases of serious illness.
Cymatic therapy is thought to be generally free of adverse side effects.
Research & general acceptance
The variability with which different body tissues absorb and reflect sound is universally acknowledged. It is this variability that makes ultrasound scanning a useful form of medical imaging. However, few physicians are convinced that healing can be facilitated by "tuning" a sound device to a patient's cellular vibrations. Hence, medical doctors tend to be highly skeptical about cymatic therapy.
Training & certification
Cymatic devices are used by a variety of alternative practitioners, including osteopaths, acupuncturists, and chiropractors. Specific training is needed to operate the machines. This can be obtained through books, tapes, seminars, and correspondence courses. In most jurisdictions, the field is unregulated and patients must therefore take care to ensure the competence of their healer.
Brentforton Scientific and Medical Trust. Brentforton Hall, Vale of Evesharm, Worcs., WR11 5JH England. Telephone: 01386-830537.
Sound Healers Association. P.O. Box 2240 Boulder, CO 80306. (303) 443-8181. http://www.healingsounds.com.