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Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy

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“It’s like floating in an ocean of music. Beautiful!”
“I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life. Ever!”
“Like being massaged by the angels.”

Kate Kunkel is one of less than 100 VAHT practitioners in the world, and the only one in the greater Toronto area.

Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy (VAHT) is performed by delivering amplified live harp music through a sound table, chair or pad, the same device as is used for Vibroacoustic Therapy using recorded frequencies.

In what could be described as a musical massage, Kate plays individual notes on the harp, isolating specific tones that resonate in areas of tension and pain in your body. She then emphasizes and integrates those pitches into improvised harp music. Everyone experiences the musical tones in different ways at different times; therefore the therapy is a very dynamic process and is tailored to you during each session.

VAHT can reduce tension and pain and enhance emotional processing and positive imagery. It can stimulate lymphatic circulation, and Kate has had great success treating clients with conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, and even strokes and neurological issues.

But you don’t have to have a serious health condition to experience the bliss of vibroacoustic harp therapy! It is an experience like no other, a beautiful opportunity to truly relax, and connect with your inner self.

vibroacoustic therapy healing treatment

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT with Kate in the Greater Toronto Area by calling 647-963-1957

Benefits of Vibroacousic Harp Therapy

Although VAHT is in its infancy, several pilot studies indicate its efficacy in reducing tension and pain by activating the relaxation response and entraining or synchronizing the diverse oscillatory systems of the body. VAHT also enhances emotional processing and positive imagery and can stimulate lymphatic circulation. Patients with conditions such as arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, insomnia, tinnitus, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy have reported a decrease in symptoms after receiving 20 minutes of VAHT.

Although VAHT is in its infancy, several pilot studies indicate its efficacy in reducing tension and pain by activating the relaxation response and entraining or synchronizing the diverse oscillatory systems of the body. VAHT also enhances emotional processing and positive imagery and can stimulate lymphatic circulation. Patients with conditions such as arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, insomnia, tinnitus, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy have reported a decrease in symptoms after receiving 20 minutes of VAHT.

Kate Kunkel VAHT graduation

Frequently asked questions about Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy

By Sarajane Williams, founder of VAHT

What is Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy?
Often described as a musical massage, Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy involves the live performance of harp music amplified through a vibrotactile chair or pad, directly delivered to a patient’s body in the form of sound vibration. When the patient (or client) senses that specific tones or pitches resonate in areas of the body where s/he experiences pain or tension, the VAHT practitioner plays music that features and emphasizes those pitches. The music may be improvised or selected from existing repertoire.

What can a patient expect during a VAHT session?
A harp, with at least 36 vibrating strings resonates with, relaxes and entrains the patient’s body and mind. While lying or sitting on a vibrotactile pad or chair, a patient experiences musical tones in different areas of the body at different times – so the therapy is a dynamic process, tailored to each patient. Abstract thinking slows and awareness expands. S/he may have increased body awareness and feel like s/he’s dreaming. Occasionally, memories (positive or negative) may be recalled, or re-experienced, or symbolized through imagery. New awareness and insight, positive reframing or integration of previously repressed material may possibly lead to emotional release. In addition to deep relaxation and increased body awareness, most patients report relief of pain or symptoms, positive imagery and a feeling of being nurtured.

What types of patients have benefited from VAHT?
Persons who suffer from conditions such as: chronic pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Sjogren Syndrome, respiratory congestion, lymphedema, headaches, tinnitus, insomnia, anxiety, ‘chemo-brain’ and depression have reported symptom reduction after a 20-minute session of VAHT.

Does VAHT differ from therapeutic harp music? Have controlled studies been performed?
Therapeutic harpists play acoustic music that is intended to entrain the physiological systems of the human body. In a controlled study at Florida’s Orlando Regional Medical Center, a single 20-minute session of live therapeutic harp music was effective in decreasing pain, anxiety and some physiological variable levels in 17, three-day post-operative, cardiac and thoracic patients (Aragon, 2002).

Who provides VAHT?
VAHT Practitioners receive training through The VAHT Training Course (www.vibroacousticharp.com). VAHT is usually provided by or supervised by a licensed professional in private practice or clinical setting.

Aragon, D., Farris, C., & Byers, J. (2002). The effects of harp music in vascular and thoracic surgical patients. Alternative Therapies, 8(5), 52-60.
Dallas-Feeney, S. (2004). Pilot study demonstrates positive effects of vibroacoustic harp therapy on heart rate variability. The Harp Therapy Journal, 9(1), 1, 4, 6-7, 9. SJW/09