Study Shows Innovative Use of Sound has Potential to Relieve Back Pain

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Research reveals frequency biomarkers to support the relief of back discomfort for persons reporting back pain due to trauma and fatigue.

Hundreds of trials conducted over the last four years have culminated in the discovery of two sets of sequenced frequencies that support the ability to significantly decrease, and in a number of cases, completely alleviate pain for research subjects reporting various degrees of back pain.

The idea of frequency oscillation is not a new concept of pain relief as evidenced by devices such as the TENS unit which attaches to the body and was designed to block pain signals. What is different about this research is the fact that the frequencies are delivered ambiently (through the air) via a speaker as a form of entrainment to engage the brain to create the signals required for the pain relief. Headphones can be used but subjects reported pain relief to be five times more effective and faster if the frequencies are provided through a speaker.

"It is exciting to find that the brain can be entrained to provide signals to muscles in such a way that the body can relieve its own pain - not only back pain but other muscles as well can be influenced. I've experienced the pain relief for myself," states Barbara McNeil, a Marietta, Ohio Chiropractor. Although these results may not be representative for everyone they certainly seem to be consistent if the appropriate frequencies can be identified and applied.

During tone trials, the experimental frequency sequences were delivered via a tone box and speaker for a time period of three to five minutes. Subjects quickly began referring to the tone box as “The Little Back Box” and the name has stuck. Many of the participants were confounded, yet pleased, by the fact that listening to a sound could provide pain relief that felt so natural that many of them did not attribute the relief to the Back Box. Pain measurements included trauma as well as those reporting discomfort from everyday muscle stress.

Attempts were made to include a set of control frequencies during the double blind phase of the project but it was not hard to ascertain which subjects had the valid sounds because a subject would often be reluctant to give up the tone box even though they had only experienced the sounds, sometimes, for only a few minutes. “I’ve had people threaten me if I took the tone box away,” one of the lab assistants laughingly added when she was asked about the controls that were built into the research protocols.

It has been shown that the two sets of sequenced tones have the ability to entrain the heart and brain rhythms to work in synchronization with one other. The Heart/Math Institute in Colorado has demonstrated that when the heart and brain work in synchronization, healing is often the result.

As testing continues a specialized computer program is being developed that may be able to predict back stress before actual pain manifests. There is potential to relieve not only back stress but economic stress due to loss wages, rehabilitation payments and medical costs associated with back pain.

This biofeedback method, which may soon be available to the public, would fall under the category of integrative and complementary medicine. The Journal of Manipulative Physiology Therapy reported in February, 1999 that experts favor alternative modalities of treatment for uncomplicated acute and chronic back pain.

The Yale Medical Group specializing in back pain estimates that 70-85% of all people have had back pain at some time in their lifetime. Often experts do not agree concerning the exact cause and diagnosis of back pain. Dr. James Weinstein, head of orthopedics at Dartmouth Medical School and Dr. Richard Deyo, professor of medicine at the University of Washington state that 85% of patients with lower back pain often cannot be given a precise diagnosis. Non specific terms such as strain, sprain or degenerative processes are commonly used to describe back pain.

Pain experts and economists do agree that back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation and lost work hours. Various sources estimate as many as 100 million working days are lost each year due to back pain. Direct medical costs to treat individuals with back pain accounts for $26 billion a year or 2.5% of the total health care bill in America.

As the study longitudinally unfolds, the implications of biofrequency markers continue to expand into unpredicted venues. “We were astonished when degenerated discs began to restructure themselves after a patient started using the tones,” declared Liz Lonergan, RN and founder of the Body and Soul Health Clinic in Chicago. “What this one case revealed is the ability of the frequencies to assist the body to restructure discs that had been previously fused and were irreparably degenerating now, five years later. Investigating these biomarkers for back pain will expand the options that medical professionals have to offer to those who present with complaints of unremitting back pain. In some cases, I’ve begun to use the frequencies as a preventive measure when back pain seems to be on the horizon for any of my patients. Indications are that generic frequencies exist but for someone with a specific or surgery related issue, a set of unambiguous tones can be created. We use frequency oscillations with patients with respiratory failure, kidney stones, heel spurs and the clearance of mucous: It is only logical that these “Designer Frequency” options will be incorporated as part of the growing field of frequency based medicine,” concludes Lonergan.

“The body’s mechanism for the relief of back pain through the use of sequenced oscillating frequencies is not yet fully understood” states Sharry Edwards, M.Ed., long term director of the project, “but people who are no longer in pain don’t care how or why the technique works. They only care that it works.”

Difficulties with the way the experiments were originally designed surfaced when there was an attempt made to include subjects who were receiving disability payments due to back pain. One such study was conducted by Kathleen Nagy in cooperation with a State of Massachusetts insurance company that was interested in getting people back to work and off the disability payroll. “A participant in the study was adamant that nothing would help her pain,” reported Nagy. Even though it was obvious to Nagy that mobility had increased and the pain had significantly subsided, the subject insisted that no pain relief had occurred. The only conclusion that could be drawn was the secondary monetary gain that was involved with reporting no pain relief.

After test marketing, The Little Back Box will join other products being developed for public release by Sound Health Inc, a research facility located in southern Ohio.

About Sound Health: Employing fundamental mathematical concepts, uniquely expressed, Sound Health Inc. uses biological pathways expressed as frequency relationships to distinguish novel biometric associations. The facility is dedicated to the study of low frequency sound and its influence on biological function and terrain.


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J Robert Bethel, JD
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