Understanding Sound: Part 1

Rustic SpeakerFor most of us, sound is a constant part of our lives. Sounds may vary in terms of length, frequency, and intensity, and each quality affects us. Some sounds inspire or uplift us, such as listening to a great symphony, a powerful gospel hymn, or the sound of your favorite contemporary musician. Other sounds may create anxiety or discomfort, such as the sound of someone yelling in anger or the squeaks of chalk on a black board.

Sound also stimulates memory. Hearing a significant song from our past can bring back events and experiences with clarity that verbal reminiscing cannot touch. Sound can be used to change moods or foreshadow events. For example, the musical score of a play or a film usually sets the tone for the story. The background music lets the audience know whether something frightening or exciting is about to happen. Similarly, many people find that playing certain kinds of music when they feel depressed or lazy can help motivate them or lift their spirit.

These examples show the tremendous power of sound and its extensive use in our personal lives and collectively in our culture.

Sound: Vibratory Wave Patterns of Energy

So what is sound? Why does sound affect us so profoundly? According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication disorders, “Sound is a form of energy, just like electricity and light. Sound is made when air molecules vibrate and move in a pattern called waves, or sound waves. Think of when you clap your hands, or when you slam the car door shut. That action produces sound waves, which travel to your ears and then to your brain, which says, ‘I recognize that sound.’”[1]

In his paper What Is Sound, technical writer and blogger John Carl Villanueva describes sound as a pressure wave coming from a vibrating source. “When an object vibrates, it creates a mechanical disturbance in the medium in which it is directly adjacent to. Usually, the medium is air. The medium then carries the disturbance in the form of oscillating and propagating pressure waves,” he writes. “The frequency of the waves are dependent [sic] on the frequency of the vibrating source. If the frequency of the vibrating source is high, then the sound wave will also have a high frequency. The sounds that we hear, from the voice of the person right next to you, to the music coming from your iPod earphones, to the crashing noise of shattered glass, all come from a vibrating source.”[2]

HeadphonesBased on that knowledge, let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of sound and its relationship to healing and the human body.

Physics tells us that everything is made up of energy. Each atom is an electromagnetic unit of vibratory energy. As such we see that the electromagnetic field draws to itself or “magnetizes” energy that is in the same vibratory pattern of the atom that is creating the electromagnetic field.

These waves, patterns, and energy, create situations in our lives based on their residence frequencies. Low vibrational frequencies vibrate at a slower rate, therefore creating conditions in the mind, body, and psyche that resonate at a slower pace. A higher vibrational frequency resonates at a faster pace and, therefore, creates a faster vibration in the field in which it exists.

If we look at the body as a unit of energy that has various vibrations, we can see how the power of sound can be a very potent medicine. According to the previously established laws of Newtonian physics, this is a new way of looking at the body. This new perspective of human physiology is based on an understanding that the atomic structure of the body, at the quantum level, is actually made up of pure energy. This rethinking the body in terms of interactive energy structures, as opposed to Newton’s metaphor of moving cogs in a machine, holds the beginnings of Einsteinian medicine.

Energy PatternAn article titled Newtonian vs. Einsteinian Medicine: The Evolution of the Science of Life-Energy, republished on the online newsgroup Derkeiler, “The Einsteinian model of medicine sees human beings as molecular, cellular systems which are in dynamic interplay with a variety of organizing, information-bearing energy fields. It is through an understanding of these organizing energy fields, the so-called ‘ghosts in the machine,’ which are superimposed over the ‘physical’ structure of the body, that we may begin to consider the important influence of subtle life-energies upon the bio-cellular matrix of the human system. By extending our model of human physiology to incorporate the interactions of subtle life-fields that orchestrate the patterns of cellular and organismic behavior, in concert with molecular biologic mechanisms, we open the door to new realms of diagnosis, as well as unique energetic approaches to therapy.”[3]

This is good news, supported by the law of conservation of energy, which states, “The total amount of energy in a system remains constant over time (is said to be conserved over time). A consequence of this law is that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to energy in a system is that it can change form.”[4]

Science also makes it clear that all life emerges out of this ongoing energetic exchange. Humans—and all matter on this planet (and presumably the universe)—are composed of atoms. Atoms collect to form molecules, which gather together into cells, which unite into organ systems and body parts. Physical matter is simply energy taking form.

Many scientists proclaim that all matter is really another form of energy, and this is the essence of the Einsteinian worldview. They are, in effect, saying that the creation of physical matter is a resonance of the vibratory frequency of atoms and molecules coming together to form matter.

Close Up of ChimesDr. Mary Courtis, who at that time was Professor of Anthropology at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon, made an interesting observation during one of our conversations as I was investigating the power of sound as viable “energy Medicine.” She said, “Although we are still not certain about the exact moment when life first appeared on this planet, we do know that it had to do with chemical reactions, which led to the development of prokaryotic cells 3.7 billion years ago. More structurally complex cells called eukaryotic cells evolved by 1.2 million years ago and the next step was the appearance of multicellular organisms. From there, adaptation to different environments and econiches produced the myriad of different species. Despite their differences, however, all these species still share a deep, biological continuity with one another based on the fact that they are all made up of eukaryotic cells. In this sense, all life is one because it is rooted in this cellular unity supported by an interactive energy continuum.”

It is the very essence of this statement that supports sound as a medicine and that sound can induce healing by changing the vibration of this interactive energy continuum.

Stay tuned for Understanding Sound: Part 2. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me here.

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