No one would dispute that many sounds bring pleasure. There’s nothing quite so soothing as harmonious music: the trill of the flute in Mozart’s Flute Concerto maybe, or the soulful singing of Aretha Franklin. Bird song and the lapping of waves on the shore bring a smile to the face. But did you know that sound can also be a natural painkiller? It’s lovely to have what our sound therapist Sonja Gundry keeps telling us endorsed in a clinical study: that sound therapy dramatically reduces pain.
In a study in Ontario 19 women suffering from fibromyalgia, a crippling condition that causes excruciating pain, volunteered to have sound therapy. The condition, which causes pain throughout the body with muscle stiffness, fatigue and difficulty sleeping, is notoriously difficult to treat. So sufferers are constantly on the lookout for ways to manage and ease their pain.
The volunteers (aged 51 on average) reported dramatic improvements in their fibromyalgia symptoms after 10 sessions of half an hour’s sound therapy twice a week over five weeks. Questioned before and after each treatment by doctors using clinically recognised testing methods (the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Jenkins Sleep Scale and the Pain Disability Index), the women reported some compelling proof that sound is a natural painkiller:
- 81% reduction in their pain
- 90% improvement in their sleep
- a significant increase in the time they were able to sit and stand without pain
- improvement in their mobility from 25% to 75%, plus better muscle
So dramatic were the benefits of the sound therapy (published in Pain Research Management, Jan-Feb issue 2015), that 73% of the patients were able to reduce their medication. 26% even discontinued it completely. And the average number of days they took off work from four days per week to just one day per week after the treatment.
So it looks as if the NHS could save itself a shedload of money if they could only use sound instead of drugs as a natural painkiller.
Sonja’s next sound bath is on 11 September, 7.30-8.30pm, £12. For details click here, or simply click on the button below to book your place.
Or for details of Sonja’s 121 sound treatments visit our sound therapy page