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Vibroacoustic Therapy – Published Research

LATEST RESEARCH PUBLISHED

Fibromyalgia

Hope for Fibromyalgia Patients Comes from VAT. Read the PDF: VAT and Fibromyalgia.

In this recent study from Canada, low frequency sound therapy (also known as VAT) showed no adverse effects and patients receiving the LFSS treatment showed statistically and clinically relevant improvement. Further phase 2 and 3 trials are warranted.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Low Frequency Vibratory Sounds Spark Neurite Outgrowth.
Dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), involve a progressive deterioration of
memory functioning mood disorders. Although the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration in AD are not clear, several investigators have reported an increase in AD patients’ self-expression following music therapy. This study examined the effect of low-frequency vibratory sound on neurite outgrowth and showed that low-frequency vibratory sounds of 20-100 Hz enhanced neurite outgrowth. Read the PDF: VAT and Alzheimer’s.


Decades ago, Dr. Tony Wigram published one of the first studies of the effects of vibroacoustic therapy on patients with many conditions for his Ph.D. thesis. It is still considered one of the most comprehensive reports on the subject and is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the topic.
Reference: Wigram PhD Thesis

There are also numerous studies reported by Olav Skille, the Norwegian credited with being the grandfather of modern vibroacoustics.

Arthritis

Vibroacoustic Therapy and arthritis

Juvenile: A study was conducted on children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a chronic autoimmune disease that affects up to 1 in 1,000 children worldwide. The study concluded that vibroacoustic therapy is a revolutionary tool in the field of multidisciplinary management of chronic pain in JIA and triggered a noticeable diminution of the SDAI score, decreasing the disease activity from severe to moderate and resulted in a huge decrease in anxiety, chronic fatigability and depressive tendency compared to the control group.
Reference: Juvenile Arthritis Study Romania

Polyarthritis: Physiotherapists using vibroacoustic equipment have reported some relief of symptoms in patients suffering from polyarthritis, especially in smaller joints of the hands and chest.
Reference: Skille, O. (1989) Conditions responding well to treatment, cited in Skille, O. and Wigram, A. (1995) The effects of music, vocalization and vibrations on brain and muscle tissue: Studies in Vibroacoustic Therapy. In Wigram, A., Saperston, B. and West, R. (Eds) The Art and Science of Music Therapy: a Handbook. London: Harwood Academic.

Rheumatoid: A study by Chesky and Michel in Texas, USA found that stimulation of the Pacinian corpuscles initiated a physiological process resulting in significant pain relief of 64%. Persons with rheumatoid arthritis pain were provided music only, music and music vibration, or a placebo. The perception of pain reduction indicated greater changes in the music with music vibration condition. The total percentage reduction for music and vibration was 64%, music alone 24%, and placebo 2%.
Reference: Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy Improves Pain Management and More

Depression

Vibroacoustic Therapy and depression

Because vibroacoustic therapy and especially vibroacoustic therapy with music have such an enormous beneficial impact on the emotional state of the client receiving it, VAT can help alleviate depression and reduce the need for pharmaceuticals.
Reference:VibroAcoustic-Therapy-in-Treatment-of-Psychosomatic-Disorders-and-Depression

Heel Spurs

January 2013

Evaluation of the effectiveness of vibroacoustic therapy treatment of patients with so-called “heel spur”. A preliminary report.

Łukasiak A, Krystosiak M, Widłak P, Woldańska-Okońska M.
Source: Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Military Medical University Hospital, Łódź, Poland. solaar@poczta.fm

Background:
The so-called “heel spur” is a radiological term referring to adaptive bone growth as a result of chronic overload enthesopathy of the proximal attachment of the plantar fascia. The main cause of the pain is continued localised pressure on the surrounding soft tissues. Vibroacoustic wave therapy is a relatively new method gaining popularity among doctors, physiotherapists and patients. The aim of this study was to confirm the clinical efficacy of vibroacoustic therapy compared to laser and ultrasound therapy.

Material and Methods:
The study enrolled 60 patients treated for plantar heel spurs who were divided into a study group of 40 patients who underwent vibroacoustic therapy and a control group of 20 patients treated with ultrasound and laser therapy. The outcome measure for evaluating the effectiveness of physiotherapy was a subjective assessment of pain intensity by VAS and the modified short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire.

Results:
The mean pain intensity score in patients undergoing vibroacoustic therapy decreased by about 2.6 points according to the VAS scale and 17 points according to the McGill questionnaire, compared to reductions of 0.6 and 6 points, respectively, in the ultrasound and laser therapy group. The correlation between subjective assessment of pain according to the VAS scale and palpation-based assessment of pain was significantly positive between the two groups, demonstrating similarity of the two scales, with a slight dominance of the group undergoing laser and ultrasound therapy.

Conclusions:
These results represent a tentative confirmation of analgesic effectiveness of the vibro-acoustic method in musculoskeletal overload conditions. 2. In order to confirm its effectiveness, it is necessary to conduct further prospective randomized studies with blinding and evaluate the long-term results.

Recovery from Surgery or Trauma

Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery: Patients who underwent knee replacements or revisions produced a 21-percent reduction of tension after receiving VAT treatment post-surgically. Subjects in the experimental group went home an average of one half-day earlier, used fewer mg of pain medication, and expressed more satisfaction with the care they received than did control group subjects.

Physical Therapy: Vibroacoustics has a long history of experimentation in physical therapy. Treatment benefits include reduction of muscle tones, increased ROM, reduction of muscle spasticity, and sensory stimulation for patients with severe disabilities. Research at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA, showed that patients who were treated with VAT during physical therapy following total knee replacements showed greater passive range of motion. 66% of patients who were given the experimental treatment were able to achieve a 90-degree bend compared to 44 percent of the control subjects.

Vibroacoustic Therapy and heart conditions

Cardiac Surgery: Heart surgeon Charles Butler, MD, PhD, and Penelope Johnson Butler, MD found in a New Jersey, USA study that there are significant benefits using physioacoustic vibrations during recovery from cardiovascular surgery. VAT intervention promoted the use of shorter-acting anesthetics and resulted in a decrease in the use of sedative and pain medications on these patients. The average ventilator-dependent time was reduced from 17 hours to 7 hours, time spent in the ICU was reduced from 36 hours to 18 hours, and the overall hospital stay was reduced from 9 days to an average of 5 days.
Reference: Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy Improves Pain Management and More

Sports Injuries:Therapists treating sports injuries have found vibroacoustic therapy a useful method of relieving pain. In over-use syndromes low frequency sound waves are reported to relieve pain and to reduce the length of the rehabilitation period. When treating injuries, it is advised that vibroacoustic therapy should not be used where there is any internal or external bleeding.
Reference: Skille, O., Wigram, A. and Weekes, L. (1989) Vibroacoustic Therapy: The Therapeutic Effect of Low Frequency Sound on Specific Physical Disorders and Disabilities. Journal of British Music Therapy. 3, 6-10.

Pain and Anxiety Reduction

The non-pharmacologic nature of vibroacoustics makes it an important pain management tool. While it may not work in every instance, it may reduce the need for pain medication and provide a pleasant alternative to medication. Its ease of use makes it a promising therapy for pain from any source including surgery, cancer, arthritis and trauma.

National Institutes of Health Study and Ongoing Treatment Program: In a program at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers attained more than 50% reduction of pain and other symptoms using VibroAcoustic technology. A program evaluation study, published in 1999, revealed a reduction of pain and other symptoms between 49% and 59% at the NIH. Because of this success, the VibroAcoustic program has been an ongoing patient and family treatment offering at the NIH for over eight years and continues to obtain these effective results. The facility has included vibroacoustic therapy as an integral part of its treatment for several years.
Reference: NIH Research Paper – NIH Website: Vibroacoustics at NIH

rainbow

End of Life: Research with 25 patients in a hospice indicated that those who received vibroacoustic treatment used significantly less medication in 48 hours, experienced less discomfort, and reported lower pain intensity than those who did not receive the treatment.

Cancer Treatment: Nurses at the Ella Milbanks Foshay Cancer Center in Jupiter, Florida did a test program using vibroacoustics for cancer patients, many of whom indicated they appreciated the physical and mental relief experienced in the vibroacoustic music session and left feeling significantly better than when they arrived. In addition, the center’s nurses reported feeling a sense of satisfaction at having improved their patients’ treatment experience. Using the equipment proved to be easy and required little additional time.
Reference: Nurses Ease Pain in Cancer Center with Music

Cancer Treatment including Chemotherapy: Twenty women at Duke University Medical Center who had surgery for ovarian, endometrial, or cervical cancer experienced significant pain reduction with treatment. This and other studies were used as the basis for more research examining the effectiveness of vibroacoustic music for pain and symptom management in outpatient chemotherapy treatment.
Reference: Music and Learning

Insomnia

Patients easily fall asleep during treatment and they have reported that after treatment they have less difficulty in falling asleep at their normal time for retiring and the duration of sleep is longer than they normally experience. This led to specific use as therapy for insomnia. Treatment for insomnia has best effects when it is carried out in the late afternoon.
Reference: Skille, O. (1989) Conditions responding well to treatment, cited in Skille, O. and Wigram, A. (1995) The effects of music, vocalization and vibrations on brain and muscle tissue: Studies in Vibroacoustic Therapy. In Wigram, A., Saperston, B. and West, R. (Eds) The Art and Science of Music Therapy: a Handbook. London: Harwood Academic.

Circulation and Blood Pressure

Vibroacoustic Therapy and circulation

There is often a significant result in the reduction of systolic blood pressure after vibroacoustic therapy and patients suffering from severe circulatory deficiency in the extremities may find effective relief of this condition. These observations relate to polyclinical patients as well as to institutionalized patients with edema.
Reference: Skille, O. and Wigram, A. (1995) The effects of music, vocalization and vibrations on brain and muscle tissue. Studies in vibroacoustic therapy. In Wigram, A., Saperston, B. and West, R. (Eds.) The Art and Science of MusicTherapy: a Handbook. London: Harwood Academic.

Parkinson’s Disease

Results have found vibroacoustic treatments to be extremely effective for reducing symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Generally the effects of the treatment last 24 -48 hours.

For documentation on the earliest “vibration therapy” see this article about Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his vibratory chair which he used for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Reference: Scribd.com JeanMartin Charcot-vibratory chair for Parkinson disease

In 2009, a study by King, Lauren K., Almeida, Quincy J., Ahonen, H in Canada showed that
no major symptom category is left untouched by vibroacoustic therapy. UPDRS scores for tremor and rigidity both improved.
Reference: Parkinson’s Article Abstract

Vibroacoustic Therapy and good health

More Vibroacoustic Music References

1. Barlett, D. Physiological responses to music and sound stimuli. In D. Hodges (Ed.), Handbook of music psychology (2nd ed.) San Antonio: Institute for Music Research Press, 1996; 343-386.

2. Benson, H., & Klipper, M. Z. The relaxation response. New York: Avon Books, 1976.

3. Brewer, C. Boyd. The Somatron pain and anxiety management program. Tampa, FL: Somatron Corporation, 2000.

4. Brewer, C. Boyd, & Coope, V. Effectiveness of vibroacoustic music for pain and symptom management in outpatient chemotherapy treatment. In Proceedings of the First International Institute on the Arts in Healing, May 16-17, 2003, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 2000.

5. Wigram, T. & Cass, H. The role of music therapy in a clinic for children and adults with Rett Syndrome. Paper presented to the BSMT Conference, London, 1995. 6. Brodsky, W, Sloboda, J A. Clinical trial of a music generated vibrotactile therapeutic environment for musicians: main effects and outcome differences between therapy subgroups. Journal of Music Therapy¸1997:34(1):2-32.

7. Burke M, Walsh J, Oehler J, Gingras J: Music therapy following suctioning: Four case studies. Neonatal Network ,1995;14(7):41-49.

8. Burke, M. Effects of physioacoustic intervention on pain management of postoperative gynecological patients. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health, Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997.

9. Burke, M., Phillips-Bute, B, & Vail, T. P. Positive effects of music therapy and vibration on satisfaction in TKA patients. Paper presented at the Department. of Veteran Affairs Second Annual Leadership Conference, 2001: Pain Management and End of Life Care, Alexandria, VA.

10. Burke, M., & Thomas, K. Use of physioacoustic therapy to reduce pain during physical therapy for total knee replacement patients over age 55. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health (pp. 99-106). Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997, 99-106.

11. Burke, M. A. Feasibility of physioacoustic therapy in cancer care. Unpublished report NIH Grant #1 R43 CA 75899 – 01 A1, 1996.

12. Butler, C., & Butler, P. Physioacoustic therapy with cardiac surgery patients. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997; 197-204.

13. Cass, H., Slonims, V., Weekes, L., Wigram, T. & Wisbeach, A. Therapy services for Rett Syndrome: how well does provision match specific needs? Paper presented to the Royal Society of Medicine, London, 1993.

14. Chesky, K.S., & Michel, K.E. The music vibration table (MVT): developing a technology and conceptual model for pain relief. Music Therapy Perspectives, 1991;9 32-37.

15. Chesky, K.S. The effects of music and music vibration using the MVT ä on the relief of rheumatoid arthritis pain. Dissertation Abstracts International, 53(8), 2725B. UMI No. AAC9300593), 1992.

16. Chesky, K.S., Michel, D.E., & Kondraske, G. Developing methods and techniques for scientific and medical application of music vibration. In R. Spintge & R. Dron (Eds.), Music medicine: Vol 2. St. Louis: MMB Music, 1996;227-241.

17. Chesky, K S, Russell I J, Lopes Y, Kondraske G. Fibromyalgia tender point pain: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of music vibration using the Music Vibration Table. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. 1997;(5)2:22-52.

18. Clair, A A, Bernstein B. The preference for vibrotactile versus auditory stimuli in severely regressed persons with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type compared to those with dementia due to alcohol abuse. Music Therapy Perspectives, 1993;11:24-7.

19. Curtis, S.L. The effect of music on pain relief and relaxation of the terminally ill. Journal of Music Therapy, 1986;23(1), 10-24.

20.Darrow, A A. The effect of vibrotactile stimuli via the Somatron on the identification of rhythmic concepts by hearing impaired children. Journal of Music Therapy, 1992; 26(3):115-24.

21. Hooper, J., Lindsay, B. The use of the Somatron in the treatment of anxiety problems with clients who have learning disabilities. (1997). In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997; 169-176.

22. Hooper, J. An introduction to vibroacoustic therapy and an examination of its place in music therapy practice. British Journal of Music Therapy, 2001;5:69-77.

23. Lehikoinen, P. The physioacoustic method. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997;206-216.

24. Llina, R., & Ribari, U. Coherent 40-Hz oscillation characterizes dreamlike states in humans. Neurobiology, 1985;90, 2078-2081.

25. Lundeberg, T. Vibratory stimulation for the alleviation of chronic pain. Acra Physiologie Scandinavia, 1983;523 (Suppl.),1-5.

26. Lundeberg, T. Long-term results of vibratory stimulation as a relieving measure for chronic pain. Pain, 1984a;20,13-23.

27. Lundeberg, T. The pain suppressive effect of vibratory stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as compared to aspirin. Brain Research,1984b;294, 201-209.
Michel, D. E. & Chesky, K. Music and music vibration for pain relief: standards in research. In R. Spintge & R. Dron (Eds.), Music medicine (Vol. 2), St. Louis: MMB Music, 1996; 218-226.
Ottoson, S., Ekblom, A., & Hansson, P. Vibratory stimulation for the relief of pain of dental origin. Pain, 1981:10, 37-45.

30. Patrick, G. The effects of vibroacoustic music on symptom reduction: inducing the relaxation response through good vibrations. IEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. March/April, 1999;97-100.
Patrick, G., Burke, M. & Lipe, A. A systematic review of recent vibroacoustic therapy research. Unpublished manuscript in review, 2003

32. Standley, J. M. The effect of vibrotactile and auditory stimuli on perception of comfort, heart rate and peripheral finger temperature. Journal of Music Therapy, 1991;28 (3), 120-34.

33. Vincente, P., Manchola, F., and Serna, E. The use of vibroacoustics in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. In T. Wigram, B. Saperston, & R. West (Eds.), The art and science of music therapy: a handbook. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Press, 1997.

34. Walters, C. The psychological and physiological effects of vibrotactile stimulation via a Somatron on patients awaiting scheduled gynecological surgery. Journal of Music Therapy, 1996;33(4), 261-287.

35. Wigram, T. The feeling of sound-the effect of music and low frequency sound in reducing anxiety in challenging behaviour in clients with learning difficulties. In H. Payne (Ed.), Handbook of enquiry in the arts therapies. London: Jessica Kingsley Publications, 1993;177-197.

36. Wigram, T. The effects of vibroacoustic therapy on clinical and non-clinical populations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, St. George’s Medical School, London University, 1996: http://quadrillo.tripod.com/~quadrillo/index-4.html

37. Wigram, T. The effect of VA therapy on multiple handicapped adults with high muscle tone and spasticity. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health, 143-148. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997;143-148.

38. Wigram, T. Vibroacoustic therapy in the treament of Rett Syndrome. In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health). Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books, 1997;149-155.