Brain Music Therapy
ThePowerofSound.com/Brain Music Therapy
The following information is in reference to Chapter 17, page 227 of The Power Of Sound.
In 1996, a European patent was filed by Yakov Iosifovich Levin, M.D., D.Sc. Dr. Levin is Chairman and Professor of Medicine in the department of Neurology at I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, and Member of the European Sleep Research Society. His patent title is Method for Influencing the Organism.
Upon reading Abstract EP0966919, we discover…“The essence of the method is that external sound effect is implemented in the form of generation of musical sounds by parametric variation of their tone, volume, and duration in criterial relation to variation of discrete current values of characteristic generalized parameter of transformed biosignal frequency spectrum, a bioelectric potential. From the recorded graphic data on bioelectric activity time intervals of identical duration are isolated and transformed, using the Fourier method, into frequency spectrum; for each spectral interval, generalized dimensionless parameter is determined, in the numerical interval between minimum and maximum values of this parameter a proportional range of musical sound parameters is formed; for each spectral interval, by its generalized parameter numeric values, appropriate parameters of musical sound are determined and transformed, by means of a sound card, to sound signals generated in sequence appropriate to originally recorded alternation of time intervals. The generalized dimensionless parameter may be determined by ratio of power spectral densities of at least two characteristic frequency bands isolated in each spectral interval.”44
In the September 2002 issue of Neuropsychiatry Reviews (a peer-reviewed journal for neuropsychiatry and neuroscience), a featured article entitled Brain Music Therapy for the Treatment of Insomnia and Anxiety was published.45 By Leonid Kayumov, PhD, Director of the Sleep Research Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Kayumov and colleagues reported their evaluation of the safety and efficacy of brain music therapy in anxious insomniacs: “The recent development of “brain music therapy” offers hope for an effective non-pharmacological therapy for insomniacs. Brain music therapy establishes “the most effective rhythmic and tonal parameters, creating meditative conditions in patients by influencing brain neurophysiology.”
The Brain-Music Compiler
Dr. Levin and his Moscow team created a “brain-sound compiler” that transformed 16-channel EEG46 traces into music. Equipped with 18 different transformation logarithms and capable of creating changes in tempo, varying the volume of each channel, transposing the music of each channel to different octaves, changing musical parameters (eg, legato or staccato), adding major and minor chords, and analyzing the note patterns of each channel, the brain-sound compiler sounds like just another sequencing synthesizer. What makes it totally unique is that the sound source and sequence are EEG-recorded brainwave patterns. Why go to all this trouble for a musical composition? Apparently for the non-pharmalogical treatment of insomnia, anxiety (i.e., panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or migraine and tension headaches.
The NYC/Moscow Connection
A Russian psychiatrist in NYC measures your brainwaves, emails them to her old professor in Moscow where they are put through a brain-sound compiler. Two compositions (relaxation and energizing) are created and digitally sent back to NY. For about $500 you now have a CD with the musical correspondences of your unique brainwave pattern.
This author has not heard BMT or spoken directly with any of the principles. But what I surmise is that what we have in this invention is a synthesized soundtrack with all parameters triggered by an individual’s previously recorded brainwaves. These questions come to mind: Are these soundtracks safe, what’s the benefit to the listener, and how does it create this effect?
According to Dr. Levin, “In order to prove efficiency and safety of the method “Music of the Brain” and to meet the requirements, we performed a double blind research with placebo. We used “music of the brain” of different patients as a placebo. The results of this research confirmed high efficiency of the method and showed that it is also absolutely safe, as there were no indications of side effects or complications.” The method “Music of the Brain” is officially recognized and has been awarded with a certificate of Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.47
Dr. Levin’s website states: It is still not completely clear how Music of the Brain works, but it is safe to say that it is a combination of biofeedback, music therapy, and resonance therapy, which is the process when brain “recognizes” its own oscillations and as a result, the functional state of the brain improves.48
An (jl: find date) article in Psychiatry Weekly looks into NYC-based Galina Mindlin,49 a 20+ year veteran of psychiatry with a medical degree and two doctorate degrees (neurophysiology and neuropsychology). Dr. Mindlin “…offers a unique and effective treatment for patients with insomnia, anxiety, and attention deficit and mood disorders. The treatment she uses is called Brain Music Therapy (BMT) and was developed at the Moscow Medical Academy by Professor Yakov Levine. Dr. Mindlin studied neurobiology and the psychophysiology of sleep, anxiety, and personality disorders with Dr. Levine in Russia.50
Dr. Mindlin is the chief proponent of BMT in America. When patients arrive in her office, a brief evaluation is taken. Dr. Mindlin uses guided imagery to facilitate the patient into a relaxed state, and then performs an EEG recording. This becomes the source material sent to Moscow. Within three weeks patients are sent a CD based on their unique brainwave combinations.
Each CD includes two separate recordings that resemble classical piano music. One is relaxing and about 10–12 minutes in length dependent on their EEG architecture. According to Dr. Mindlin, listening to these recordings eases the patient into sleep, promotes good uninterrupted night time rest, decreases their level of anxiety, and helps them cope with everyday stress. The second recording is activating, reflecting on the ratio of fast brain waves, and is 2–3 minutes in length. This recording helps the patient ‘to wake up in the morning,’ or can be used throughout the day for an extra boost of energy and mood elevation. It also allows the individual to maintain a certain level of focus, concentration, and improve their peak performance.
Per Psychiatry Weekly, BMT is a form of neurofeedback that can be used on its own or as a compliment to other treatment modalities. Dr. Mindlin’s teams effectiveness rate is 82–85 per- cent, which matches that found by Dr. Levine.
Unique one-of-a-kind music that resonates and/or entrains the brain? BMT presents an auditory mirror image of brainwaves. It works but nobody seems to know how or why. Here is Dr. Levin’s best shot: “The main idea of this method is to change a current functional stage of the brain by listening to music that has been recorded after transforming the patient’s brain waves into the sound tracks by using specially designed computer software.”
Dr. Mindlin’s take: “Brain music therapy is a form of neuro-feedback, which is based on a variable ratio of fast and slow rhythms. The predominance of individual’s slow rhythms corresponds to the relaxing, soothing mindset. Just as our brain is capable of recognizing a familiar sound, like your own voice, it is capable of recognizing a deeply imbedded sound of its own brain waves.”51
Brain Music Therapy Center
330 West 58th Street, Suite 202
New York, NY 10019