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Vibroacoustic Therapy and Development of a New Device: A Pilot Study in the Health Resort Environment

Universal Journal of Public Health 6(5): 240-246, 2018
DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2018.060502
Vibroacoustic Therapy and Development of a New
Device: A Pilot Study in the Health Resort Environment
Eha Rüütel1, Ivar Vinkel2,*, Moonika Laanetu3
1Institute of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University, Estonia
2Vinkelheli Ltd, Estonia
3Värska Health Resort, Estonia
Copyright©2018 by authors, all rights reserved. Authors agree that this article remains permanently open access under
the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License
Abstract This study was motivated by the
development of a new model of vibroacoustic (VA)
therapy device which, in terms of its design and
characteristics, could be used in various health promotion
and treatment environments. In the case of VA therapy, a
bed or lounge chair is used to transmit special low
frequency sounds for the purpose of affecting the whole
body. In the review of previous studies, the results of
applying VA therapy in the case of somatic and functional
disruptions are described. In this study a new VA device
prototype was used. The study was carried out at a health
resort where, over the course of a two month period,
visitors had the opportunity to participate in VA therapy.
Twenty-six volunteers participated in the study. Data was
collected through self-rate scales, which were completed
at the beginning and end of the VA treatment session. The
results of the study indicated an improvement in feeling
a reduction in muscle tension, pain, fatigue, anxiety as
well as the suitability of the device and therapy for health
improvement related purposes, integrated with other
health services.
Keywords Vibroacoustic Therapy, Device for
Vibroacoustic Therapy, Treatment Effect of Vibroacoustic
Therapy, Perceived Health Condition
1. Introduction
1.1. Vibroacoustic Treatment Method
Vibroacoustic (VA) therapy is defined as a treatment
method based on low frequency pulsed, sinusoidal sound
vibrations and music [1-3]. Depending on the choice of
sound vibrations, the effect is either relaxing or
stimulating, which allows for VA therapy to be used for
general relaxation, for the purpose of more specific
physiotherapy and receptive music therapy [2-4]. A
possible interaction with brain activity has been
considered; however, an effect on muscle and tissue has
mainly been assumed [5].
Studies of the VA method have shown a significant
improvement in many somatic and functional disorders,
e.g. reduction in pain, including fibromyalgia [6-8],
decrease in muscle tension and spasms [9-11], and a
reduction in the parameters of blood pressure, pulse rate
and muscle oscillation [12]. Experiments with the method
have produced an improvement in motor function in the
treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease [13]. VA
treatment has also been shown to have the potential to
help maintain cognition and functional ability in patients
with Alzheimer’s disease [14]. Relaxation is often a
side-effect of VA treatment, influencing the overall state
of health. According to the practice-based evidence of VA
treatment, positive changes in indicators of the perceived
health condition and emotional state [8, 15-17], and an
improvement of physical self-awareness [14, 15], can be
expected. The wide range of applications indicates that
VA treatment could be a useful addition to
multidisciplinary healthcare practices, having been used in
rehabilitation programmes for patients with chronic pain,
musculoskeletal problems, spasticity, and sleep
disturbances [11, 17].
VA therapy uses low frequency sound vibration in the
range of 30120 Hz [3]. Throughout the duration of the
procedure, music and/or sounds of nature suitable to the
purpose of the procedure were often introduced in the
therapy room as an auditory influence. The most common
length of sessions is 10 to 45 minutes [18].
Vibroacoustic stimuli can be provided through various
kinds of technical devices. According to Boyd-Brewer and
McCaffrey [18], there have not been any reports of
adverse effects concerning the VA method. Patrick [19]
argues that a condition does not exist in which a single
VA stimulation could give a negative result. Practitioners
have observed that during or after the first sessions of VA
therapy drowsiness, dizziness, and/or nausea may occur.
Universal Journal of Public Health 6(5): 240-246, 2018 241
These side effects usually disappear within a short period
of time. Based on their practical experience, Wigram [20]
and Grocke, and Wigram [1:228-229] have listed
contraindications and precautions regarding the use of the
VA method: acute inflammation, pacemakers, psychoses,
pregnancy (for the reason that there is a lack of any
relevant empirical studies), acute physical states (first
require consultation with their doctor), and hypotension
(the method may further reduce blood pressure). There are
also some psychological factors that should be taken into
consideration, e.g. excessive sensitivity to vibration or
subjective aversion or fear of the treatment may block the
positive effect of VA therapy [11]. It must be emphasised
here that VA therapy is a non-invasive, relaxing and
enjoyable treatment, which was never intended to be
administered as an aggressive treatment for any condition
1.2. Development of the New Vibroacoustic Treatment
In Estonia, VA devices that mainly affect the entire
body are used. Tallinn University has contributed to VA
therapy practice, research and development of the
equipment since the 1980s. The first model was produced
as a small series in Estonia from 1990-1991. In addition,
different models have been tested in terms of their design
and sound transmission specifics. The prototype of the
newest device (Figure 1) was developed by the Centre of
Excellence in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation of
Haapsalu College, Tallinn University 1. The prototype
(Figure 1) and the pilot study in which it was used were
introduced at the 1st International VIBRAC Conference in
Lahti, Finland, in 2016, by the authors of the current
Figure 1. The prototype of the VA device 2015.
The goal of developing the device was to prepare an
aesthetic design that was also convenient to use and, in
terms of technical and acoustic indicators, a suitable
device for carrying out vibroacoustic therapy, which can
be fit into various environments and the production of
1 The software for the device was created for VA treatment practitioners
and professionals in cooperation with SMARTdo Ltd, which obtained
the licence to manufacture the new VA lounge chair from the Centre of
Excellence and has named it healBED.
which is possible on an industrial scale. The speakers for
both the vibrational and acoustic stimuli are placed into
the main body of the device. The headphones for the
acoustic stimuli can be plugged into the jack built into the
lounge chair.
The ergonomic design of the lounge chair allows for
improved relaxation as the position of the lower legs is
higher than that of the thighs and back. Based on the
incline of the upper and lower portion of the lounge chair
the upper and lower parts of the body are located at the
site of the corresponding speakers, and when the body is
moved during the procedure it will not shift off of the
speaker. The upper body is raised slightly, which allows
for eye contact with the conductor of VA treatment. The
comfort of moving onto and from the lounge chair was
ensured by the fact that the hands can be placed higher
than the lower back.
In order to minimise the sound transmitted into the
environment from the lounge chair, eight air-filled rubber
spacers are installed as insulation between the bottom of
the lounge chair and the support structure. The lounge
chair’s support structure rests on the floor at the foot end
with a tapered bottom and with little wheels on the end by
the head.
2. Current Study
The purpose of the current study was to test the new
VA device in the environment of a health resort and
measure the effect of short-term VA treatment on
perceived health. Värska Health Resort is located in
southeastern Estonia and offers various treatment and care
procedures, and longer (5-10 day) spa treatment and
relaxation packages, in which mineral water procedures
play an important part. The list of services also includes
VA therapy and music therapy. In this study, VA
treatment was a supplementary procedure for those
visitors who voluntarily wished to participate in the study
and try the new VA device.
Based on previous studies with healthy test subjects [21]
and rehabilitation centre patients [11], and experience
with the application of VA treatment at Värska Health
Resort, improvements were expected in the indicators of
perceived health after the VA treatment session. Since VA
treatment and participation in the study was voluntary for
visitors to the health resort, and the time spent in the
health care institution was minimal, the number of VA
treatment sessions taken by visitors was of interest, along
with the changes in how they felt during the VA treatment
The goal of the study was to determine whether the
changes in the indicators of perceived health indicate that
the new VA treatment device can be used with clients
with various health complaints for general health
promotion purposes in the health resort environment.
242 Vibroacoustic Therapy and Development of a New Device: A Pilot Study in the Health Resort Environment
3. Method
The pilot study was carried out within the framework of
naturalistic outcome research, using repeated measures
design, in which participants served as their own controls.
Pilot studies are not aimed to test hypothesis and therefore
do not require sample size power calculations [22].
The participants were recruited from among the visitors
to the health resort, with some participants being health
resort employees. The study was carried out over a period
of two months. The total number of participants was 26,
aged 13-74; 23 (88%) women and 3 (12%) men. VA
treatment was added to procedures selected beforehand by
visitors (water treatment, mud bath, massage,
physiotherapy, salt chamber or consultation with a
psychologist or social worker) for general relaxation
purposes after the health check during the consultation
with rehabilitation physician. Participants had different
health problems; the indicators for the selection were
muscle pain, headache, fatigue, symptoms of anxiety
and/or depression, heightened blood pressure. In the case
of contraindications for the VA treatment or doubts
thereof, the individual was not incorporated into the study.
Background data associated with the health of participants
was not collected by the VA treatment specialist.
Questionnaires and Data Collection
Data was collected through self-rate scales, which were
completed at the beginning and end of each session.
The Numerical Rating Scales (NRS) with 11 divisions
(0 10) were used to measure muscle tension, pain,
tiredness, anxiety, physical discomfort, and general
condition of health. Simple numerical rating scales are
increasingly being employed to measure subjectively
assessed health indicators like pain, fatigue, depression,
anxiety, sleep, physical and social functions, irrespective
of health condition, age or gender [23].
Health and Comfort Semantic Differential Scales (SDS)
include six bipolar scales with seven divisions, which are
used to describe changes taking place during the therapy
session [21, 24]. Scales were completed at the beginning
and end of each session.
Participants were asked to provide brief written
feedback on the VA treatment after the last treatment
session. The feedback questionnaire assessing the comfort
of the lounge chair included five 7-point scales (sitting on
the chair, rising from the chair, chair stability, comfort of
the mattress, body position on the chair).
Equipment and Procedure
The VA treatment device was used at 40 Hz, which was
recommended in previous research for general relaxation
and pain reduction [2, 4, 6, 8], and improvement of
cognitive function [5, 25]. Based on the request of the
client, relaxing music or a nature soundscape [26, 27] was
added as an auditory sound. The treatment lasted 23
minutes, 3 times per week.
Data Analysis
Data was analysed using Wicoxon matched pairs test.
NRS-s was turned in such a way that greater numbers
expressed a better health conditions; the aggregate
indicator of six scales was found by totalling indicators of
the scales. SDS-s were entered as 7 point numerical scales,
with the greater number indicating a better state of health
and comfort, e.g. the endpoints of the scale 1 =
uncomfortable ... 7 = comfortable.
Ethical Considerations
Participants were recruited from visitors to the health
resort, where the visitors had the opportunity to also select
VA, among other treatments. A new VA prototype device
model was used during the study, which was tested during
the course of development and no harmful effects were
found. Participation in the VA treatment was voluntary.
The contraindications to VA treatment were taken into
account in recruitment and in the event of the occurrence
of contraindications or the suspicion thereof, the volunteer
was not included in the study. All participants gave their
informed consent to participate in the study. Participants
were informed about the treatment method and that the
objective of the study was to test the suitability of the
device for use in a health resort environment for the
purposes of health promotion. In the research data, each
participant was assigned a code and data analysis was
conducted using coded data.
4. Results
Changes in perceived physical condition
The changes during the first VA treatment session are
shown in Table 1. Muscle tension, pain, fatigue and
anxiety diminished and a general condition of health
increased significantly.
Table 1. Wicoxon matched pairs test of pre- and post-measurements of
the 1st VA treatment session (N = 26)
Muscle tension 3.88/ 2.82 2.08/ 2.54 3.55***
Pain 2.04/ 2.76 1.11/ 2.25 2.80**
Fatigue 4.20/ 2.82 2.60/ 2.73 2.56*
Anxiety 2.58/ 2.76 1.35/ 2.13 2.47*
2.83/ 2.71 1.67/ 3.00 1.85
condition of
6.16/ 2.48 7.88/ 1.99 2.98**
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
Universal Journal of Public Health 6(5): 240-246, 2018 243
Number of Therapy Sessions and Treatment Effect
Table 2 presents the number of participants in VA treatment and NRS aggregate indicators separately for those
continuing and terminating VA treatment. The NRS aggregate indicator was calculated from the first to the fourth
session, since in connection with being present for a short period of time in the health care institution most participants
(77%) took part in 1-4 sessions. The table presents the average of the aggregate indicator of NRS for the number of
completed sessions, comparing the pre- and post-measurements of sessions. For comparison, Wilcoxon matched pairs
test was used.
Table 2. Number of clients and means/standard deviations of the aggregate indicator of the NRSs
sessions N
Continued Terminated
M/ SD / Z
M/ SD/ Z
1 27 21 15.6/ 10.0 7.3/ 7.4/ 3.1** 6 16.3/ 17.1 11.3/ 17.3/ns
1-2 21 16 14.7/ 9.6 7.7/ 8.1/ 3.6*** 5 9.0/ 7.5 4.6/ 4.5/ 2.2*
1-3 16 11 15.9/ 9.4 9.7/ 9.1/ 3.4*** 5 8.5/ 8.6 3.7/ 3.1/ 2.2*
1-4 11 6 16.4/ 9.7 11.9/ 10.5/ 2.6** 5 13.0/ 8.9 7.0/ 7.3/2.3*
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
The data presented in Table 2 show that those who continued VA treatment felt the significant impact of the VA
therapy session on their physical health. There was no statistical difference in the before and after session aggregate
NRS for those who quit VA treatment after the first session and the effect was lower for those who withdrew after the
second, third and fourth session.
Changes in the state of health and comfort
The direction of statistically significant change in the state of health and comfort measured by SDS are shown in
Table 3. The significant change was towards comfortable, calm and loose (p < .001, N = 25). Measurements from the
first session are presented in order to present the effect of the new therapy method on participants. The minimum and
maximum value of the scale corresponding to the polarities is indicated in the table header.
Table 3. Changes in perceived state of health and comfort during the first therapy session
min = 1
M/ SD/ Z
max = 7
uncomfortable 4.44/ 1.04 5.96/ 1.31/ 3.54*** comfortable
restless 5.04/ 1.72 6.40/ 0.76/ 3.07** calm
tense 4.28/ 1.72 5.88/ 1.36/ 3.12** loose
sad 5.44/ 1.66 6.00/ 1.44/ 1.65 joyous
fearful 5.40/ 1.71 5.92/ 1.19/ 1.60 courageous
sluggish 4.64/ 1.60 5.32/ 1.77/ 1.63 alert
** p < .01; *** p < .001
In addition to the results measured with scales, it became clear from the feedback of participants that they were
satisfied with the shape and inclines of the lounge chair, the mattress and the chair’s stability. Sitting on and rising from
the lounge chair were both suitable and acceptable. Feedback questionnaire was filled in by 24 participants (Table 4), 2
participants gave an oral positive feedback.
It was noted in the comments that the lounge chair is sufficiently comfortable, of appropriate height, and has a
pleasant shape. Proposals were also made regarding the softness of the mattress and the height of the head support. It
was difficult for participants in VA therapy to compare it with other treatments. It was claimed that it was so different.
One participant described the experience as follows: ‘I believe that it really can’t be compared with other procedures.
You don’t feel any warmth or direct physical effect. The vibration is only slightly perceptible. The therapy has a
different kind of effect, through the body and the spirit. It is very difficult to describe what it is. It’s kind of like a
process.’ Based on the feedback of participants as well as the observations of the specialist, carrying out the procedure,
most of the participants fell asleep during the procedure. The comment was made that after the end of the affect, it
would be nice to rest in the lounge chair for a while longer.
244 Vibroacoustic Therapy and Development of a New Device: A Pilot Study in the Health Resort Environment
Table 4. Participants’ feedback of the comfort of the lounge chair
Valid N
Sitting on the chair
Rising from the
chair 24 6.7 7.0 5 7 .6
Chair’s stability
Body position on
the chair 24 6.5 7.0 5 7 .7
5. Discussion
VA devices have a broad spectrum of use, having a
therapeutic effect on physical health problems, such as
pain and muscle tension and spasms, as well as cognitive
decline and mood disorders. This creates the possibility to
add the treatment method to various treatment and health
programmes. This pilot study focused specifically on the
application of the VA treatment on purposes of health
promotion. The general relaxing effect of VA therapy is
known to the practitioners of VA procedures. Campbell,
Hynynen and Ala-Ruona [8] have pointed out that
increased relaxation may help to reset the learnt response
of dysfunctional pain processing associated with the
cumulative negative effects of chronic pain, anxiety, and
depression. They underline the relationship between
increased relaxation, decreased stress, and regulation and
resetting of learnt pain responses.
Despite the limitations of the pilot study (small sample
size, different health problems of those participating in the
study, lack of a control group) the pre-post session
measurements showed promising changes in the perceived
health indicators. The study design left health resort
visitors with the freedom to decide whether they wished to
try VA treatment and how many sessions they wanted to
take. Typically, the required frequency and number of
sessions that are necessary to achieve the goal of VA
treatment and results is specified. An interesting result
that was encountered was the clear distribution of
participants into those who immediately felt a benefit
from VA treatment, and continued with treatment; and
those who cancelled the treatment, and in regards to
whom, on the basis of the data, the claim can be made that
they didn’t feel a significant effect from VA therapy on
their well-being.
In a previous study [11] the measurements of spasticity
showed that the biggest decline in the indicator took place
during the first three VA treatment days and the results of
the study showed that the effect of the number of
treatment days (four treatment days compared with five
treatment days) on self-rated spasticity, fatigue, anxiety,
and physical discomfort was not statistically significant.
However, the number of treatment days had a significant
effect on the general perceived health condition and pain.
Data from this study and the previous study permit the
conclusion to be made that the addition of VA treatment,
for example, weeklong rehabilitation, spa treatment and
relaxation packages, is appropriate. Without a doubt, the
effect of VA treatment in these packages must be more
precisely determined. Certain assumptions may, however,
be made based on a previous qualitative intervention study
[28] conducted on teenage girls suffering from heightened
anxiety, in which VA treatment was used as one
influencer. The research provided essential information
about the processes taking place during VA treatment.
Participants emphasised the novel bodily sensation, which
also appeared in the feedback of the participants in this
study, and the importance of the physical component of
VA treatment. In this previous research, participants
emphasised the positive bodily experience that can be
expressed through two categories: a) physical
self-awareness discovering the significance of bodily
needs (rest, relaxation, care); and b) physical comfort
fulfilling bodily needs.
Campbell, Hynynen & Ala-Ruona [8] point out that the
use of VA treatment is growing, but the evidence
supporting its efficacy is somewhat lacking. However,
they admit that even though non-controlled studies are
unable to report on the efficacy of a treatment, reporting
protocols followed in a naturalistic setting provide
information on how a treatment may function within a
larger context. Thus, even though the design weakness of
the study must be taken into consideration when drawing
conclusions about this study, it can still be admitted that
the prototype of the new VA device felt comfortable to the
user and the changes in the indicators of perceived health
indicate that the procedure did not have a negative effect
and can be used for general health purposes in the health
resort environment. It also seems appropriate to combine
VA treatment with other treatments and health procedures.
In subsequent studies attention should be focused on the
more specific role of VA treatment and the synergies in
various integrated treatment programmes.
Conflicts of Interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
Universal Journal of Public Health 6(5): 240-246, 2018 245
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of
the Värska Health Resort.
The study was carried out within the framework of the
Tallinn University Haapsalu College TA/112 project
Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Centre
(15.09.2011−31.08.2015) funded by the European
Regional Development Fund.
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... Different models of VAT technology could be administered in nursing care for treatment of physical and mental disorders [2]. For instance, another study supports the efficacy of VAT to reduce chronic pain, muscle tension, anxiety and sleep disorders [3]. Additionally, in a pilot study, conducted in subjects with autism, the results revealed that VAT reduced self-injurious, stereotypic movements, and aggressive-destructive behaviors in the participants [4]. ...
Conference Paper
Over the last decade Vibro-Acoustic Therapy (VAT) was used for several clinical applications. This paper investigates the use of AcusticA ® , an innovative VAT solution represented by a wooden chaise longue that follows the construction principles of a "musical instrument that stimulates the whole body" in relation to the sound frequencies produced by the music tracks. Ten healthy young subjects were enrolled for this study. Wearable sensors were used to monitor the human physiological response during the VAT session but also during a traditional acoustic therapy (AT) to highlight similarity and differences of those stimulations. Signals from heart activity, brain activity and electrodermal activity were analyzed to investigate the response during the non-stimulated and the stimulated phases. Additionally, two supervised classification algorithms were used to investigate whether the extracted instances could be grouped into two different groups. The results identify a trend of the attention and meditation features extracted from brain activity, which pointed out the relax efficacy of the VAT. Clinical Relevance-There are not significant differences (p<0.05) in the physiological response between the VAT and the AT stimulation, but during the VAT the alpha coefficients were significant different during the stimulated phase. Finally, the classification algorithms were able to classify the groups with an accuracy equal to 100% in the best case.
... In the 1990s, the physioacoustic method based on scanning the body with sinusoidal sound between 27-113 Hz and specially selected music listening was developed by Lehikoinen [19]. Other examples of vibroacoustic devices include Eakin's multiple designs of Somatron Corporation first released in 1985 (Tampa, Florida, USA), the music vibration table (MVT) designed by Chesky in the late 1980s (there is no indication that MVT is in manufacture) [20], the HealBED first released in 1990-1991 (HealBED, Haapsalu, Estonia) [21], Multivib products (that use a mattress or a cushion with embedded vibration speakers, Multivib as, Trondheim, Norway) [22], Vibrobed developed in 2018 by Vilímek and Švarc (Vibroacoustic Brothers, Olomouc, Czech Republic) [23], the Relaxation Lounge V1 and V2 of Nex Neuro Vibro-Acoustic Therapy [24], Sonobed ™ from Heritage Medical Associates, P.C., Nashville, Tennessee, developed in 1993, and the Vibroacoustic Therapy System VTS1000 of Sound Oasis Company (Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA) [25] or Subpac (Subpac Inc, Toronto, Canada) [26]. ...
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Vibroacoustic therapy (VAT) is a treatment method that uses sinusoidal low-frequency sound and music. The purpose of this narrative review is to describe the effects of VAT on motor function in people with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) according to study design as well as providing information about the age of the participants, measurement tools, and sound frequencies that were used. The systematic search strategy based on the first two steps of a standard evidence-based approach were used: (1) formulation of a search question and (2) structured documented search including assessment of the relevance of abstracts and full texts to the search question and inclusion criteria. Out of 823 results of the search in 13 scholarly databases and 2 grey literature sources, 7 papers were relevant. Most of the relevant studies in children and adults presented significant improvement of motor function. According to the study design, only five experimental studies and two randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies were available. In the discussion, findings of this review are compared to other related methods that use mechanical vibrations without music. The authors recommend continuing to research the effects of VAT on motor function and spasticity in adolescents and young adults with spastic CP.
This chapter introduces two case studies that exemplify how interactive visualisations were introduced to supplement an interactive vibroacoustic therapeutic intervention setup for adolescents diagnosed as profoundly disabled each having individual dysfunctional conditions. The hypothesis behind the research of multisensory stimuli intervention aligns with how humans can differ in needs, desires, and preferences and it is posited toward optimising selectable feedback stimuli within intervention targeting inclusive well-being. The studies were associated to a European funded research project ( (with end-users overall being handicapped and/or elderly and/or undertaking rehabilitation) where the author coordinated Sweden partner research and user studies due to his research being catalyst and responsible for gaining the project. Both case studies took place in a school for special needs in Landskrona municipality, Sweden—they were conducted applied as a part of the day-to-day activities of the school rather than being laboratory-based.
In literature the therapeutic efficacy of vibrations applied to the human body is well known. Even music has recently been the subject of scientific researches. This single-blind randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out within the “Gabriele d'Annunzio” University, Chieti-Pescara. The objective was to verify whether the immediate effects on the body of combined acoustic and vibrational stimulations are more effective than simple musical listening. A vibro-acoustic platform was used, a tool that allows the patient to listen to sounds while perceiving the vibration caused by the music itself thanks to speakers placed under the whole body. One hundred healthy subjects were randomly divided into two groups: the experimental group underwent a single session of a vibro-acoustic stimulation, while the control group underwent a single session with non-functioning vibration platform and acoustic stimulation. Vital parameters, mean body temperature variations, distribution of body fluids, muscular rheological parameters, appreciation of the therapy and subjective perceptions were evaluated. Positive but mixed improvement were obtained for the whole sample, making it difficult to determine whether the vibro-acoustic stimulation is better than simple acoustic stimulation for the considered parameters improvement. Further studies are needed to clarify which kind of stimulation leads to the best result.
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Research background. The causes of fibromyalgia (FM) are unclear and diagnosing FM is complicated, which limits treatment options, and no treatment to date has proven fully effective in alleviating its symptoms. In current studies, where art therapy has been applied in the case of FM, art therapy has been part of a multidisciplinary intervention. The authors were unable to find any published data on the effects of art therapy on FM. The aim of the research was to determine the effect of group art therapy on pain, emotional state, and feeling of health and comfort of FM patients. Research methods. Intervention included ten structured art therapy sessions. The participants were 20 women between the ages of 39–64 years. In order to assess the results of therapy, a self-rate questionnaire was used. Therapy session changes were registered using pain and fatigue NRS and semantic differential scales of feeling of health and comfort. The outcome of group art therapy was assessed with a pain and fatigue NRS, and an Emotional State Questionnaire (EST-Q2). An open question was used to study the expectations of participants at the beginning of therapy and the main result of the therapy upon its conclusion. Research results. During the group art therapy session, pain and fatigue decreased and the feeling of health and comfort improved. This was confirmed by the content analysis of open questions. Following therapy, a significant decrease had taken place in the subscales of the Emotional State Questionnaire in depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia-panic; a substantial decrease in pain and fatigue took place in patients with heightened baseline measures. Conclusion. The changes following the therapy session confirm the results of earlier studies on the positive effects of psychotherapy and art therapy sessions on pain. The pilot study provided promising results for the application of structured short-term group art therapy with FM patients. Keywords: group art therapy, fibromyalgia, pain, fatigue, emotional state. Keywords: group art therapy, fbromyalgia, pain, fatigue, emotional state.
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Much of what we know about vibroacoustic (VA) treatment and its efficacy has been published in case reports. Recent clinical trials have increased awareness of this treatment for target groups such as those with Parkinson’s Disease and Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Protocols for using VA treatment have not been concreticized although there has been a focus on using 40Hz. Seinäjoki Central Hospital has used VA treatment for more than two decades, with patient reports on Visual Analogue Scales being systematically recorded and showing positive outcomes on several measures including pain and mood. This treatment is offered on the rehabilitation unit as part of specialized heathcare in the South Ostrobothnia healthcare district in Finland. This paper describes VA treatment utilized within this unit, with a focus on pain and mood outcomes as reported by subjective patient reports, and practitioner and patient comments.
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Low frequency sound has many applications to medicine but the efficacy and effectiveness of low frequency sound treatment in health prevention remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives and potentials of physioacoustic chair's low frequency sound treatment when applied to daily activities among a sample of music students, faculty and/or staff, and to examine how participants view the benefits of the intervention for their well-being, health and health-related activities. The results show that the physioacoustic low frequency treatment added to participants' subjective well-being by increasing their physical and emotional relaxation level, decreasing pain and stress, and increasing emotional enrichment and concentration. The study served as a pilot, to confirm stakeholder interest and to inform the feasibility of a larger study.
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Researchers have hypothesized that thalamocortical dysfunction plays a role in fibromyalgia. The use of low-frequency sound stimulation to ameliorate thalamocortical dysfunction has also been investigated, and has shown promise in treating certain pain conditions. Accordingly, the authors of this study aimed to assess the effects of treatment with low-frequency sound stimulation among patients with fibromyalgia. BACKGROUND: The search for effective treatments for fibromyalgia (FM) has continued for years. The present study premises that thalamocortical dysrhythmia is implicated in fibromyalgia and that low-frequency sound stimulation (LFSS) can play a regulatory function by driving neural rhythmic oscillatory activity. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of LFSS on FM. METHOD: The present open-label study with no control group used a repeated-measures design with no noncompleters. Nineteen female volunteers (median age 51 years; median duration of FM 5.76 years) were administered 10 treatments (twice per week for five weeks). Treatments involved 23 min of LFSS at 40 Hz, delivered using transducers in a supine position. Measures (repeated before and after treatment) included the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Jenkins Sleep Scale, Pain Disability Index, sitting and standing without pain (in minutes), cervical muscle range of motion and muscle tone. Mean percentages were calculated on end of treatment self-reports of improvement on pain, mood, insomnia and activities of daily living. RESULTS: Significant improvements were observed with median scores: Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, 81% (P
Vibroacoustic (VA) treatment is offered at the Department of Rehabilitation as part of specialized healthcare in the South Ostrobothnia healthcare district. This clinical report describes VA protocol used at Seinäjoki Central Hospital, where VA has been used since 1992, and the protocol is based on the extensive development project on VA from 1996-1999 [1]. According to our clinical experience, the results are encouraging when VA is used as an additional treatment for patients with chronic pain, musculoskeletal problems, specific neurological problems such as spasticity, and sleep disturbances. Also, comorbidity with depression and anxiety is an additional indication for VA to be used with the patients. Systematic collection of clinical data and continuous development of clinical practice have been essential in establishing and maintaining the high-quality services [2]. Still, no randomized controlled trials have been conducted at this facility. Keywords: vibroacoustics treatment, specialized healthcare, rehabilitation
This paper addresses the importance of steady state brain oscillation for brain connectivity and cognition. Given that a healthy brain maintains particular levels of oscillatory activity, it argues that disturbances or dysrhythmias of this oscillatory activity can be implicated in common health conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, pain, and depression. Literature is reviewed that shows that electric stimulation of the brain can contribute to regulation of neural oscillatory activity and the alleviation of related health conditions. It is then argued that specific frequencies of sound in their vibratory nature can serve as a means to brain stimulation through auditory and vibrotactile means and as such can contribute to regulation of oscillatory activity. The frequencies employed and found effective in electric stimulation are reviewed with the intent of guiding the selection of sound frequencies for vibroacoustic stimulation in the treatment of AD, PD, Pain, and depression.
Vibroacoustic (VA) treatment was applied to patients with chronic spinal cord and brain injuries during rehabilitation. The study aimed to ascertain the suitability of short-term VA treatment for supporting a decrease in spasticity and pain and an improvement in health condition in the rehabilitation programme for patients with spinal cord and brain injuries. Hypotheses: 1) indicators of self-perceived spasticity and pain measured after VA treatment are lower than measurement results before treatment; 2) VA treatment can be used in rehabilitation programmes to support the improvement of self-perceived health condition. 53 patients aged 20-72 participated in the study. VA treatment of 40 Hz was conducted once a day for 23 minutes over four or five days. Self-report numerical rating scales were used to measure patients’ condition before and after VA treatment sessions. Research findings revealed significant change in the levels of spasticity, pain, physical discomfort, general health condition, fatigue and anxiety after VA treatment sessions compared to the measurements before the sessions. Reduction in spasticity and physical discomfort was not statistically significantly different after four- or five-day treatment, a decrease in pain and an improvement in perceived health condition were significantly higher after five days than after four days treatment.
Background: Rhythmic Sensory Stimulation (RSS) is a treatment being implemented for persons diagnosed with a variety of disorders such as fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This paper provides qualitative results of observations and interactions of AD study participants who received both RSS and visual stimulation sessions for 6 weeks. A case vignette is also provided. Objective: The study proposed that RSS could stimulate the auditory and somatosensory system at 40Hz with the potential for improvements in cognition for persons with AD. Method: 18 participants at three stages of AD participated: mild, moderate and severe. Participants received a total of 13 sessions in this AB cross-over design study. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Results: Qualitative findings from the study support RSS as a potential treatment for persons with AD to increase alertness, stimulate discussion, and increase interaction and awareness of surroundings. Conclusion: Further research is needed to explore the effect of the frequency within the sessions provided, the duration of effects, and whether AD severity interacts with the RSS treatment. Further investigations could also study the effect of auditory 40Hz stimulation alone, as well as the inclusion of music listening during the RSS sessions.
This article presents the field of VibroAcoustic therapy as a form of treatment that uses patented equipment and music software devised by Olay Skille in 1968. Out of his extensive investigation of human musical behavior, Skille designed and tested a Musical Behavior Scale (MUBS)—a nonverbal screening test for observing signs of language difficulties, personality disorders, motor functions, and learning capacity in children and adults. He sub-sequently conceived of VibroAcoustic (VA) therapy as a means of using the energy of musical sound waves applied directly to the body to produce relaxing physiological as well as psychological effects. Skille suggests that, in addition to its potential for music therapists, VA therapy has possibilities for use by other professionals, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, chemotherapists, and chiropractors. Since its inception in Norway, this therapy has been conducted in Finland and Germany, expanding to England, Denmark, and Estonia. Skille's initial paper on this subject, submitted in 1987, gave information about and descriptions of the application and results of VA therapy from its earliest stages of development. In an updated paper submitted, Skille added an overall view of the ongoing practice in the above-mentioned European countries. At the request of the author, the Editor has assembled the following article which combines the two papers, thus giving a portrait—in broad strokes—of a facet of therapy that may be of interest and practical use for the music therapy practitioner and educator. This article represents the Editor's intention to bring a cohesive account of the material to a wider readership, and she invites queries about areas that may need clarification or more informative details, such queries to be communicated to Mr. Skille in Norway.