The following information is in reference to Chapter 17, page 228 of The Power Of Sound.
SNTs, Thompson interview/2010.
Sound researcher and chiropractor Jeffrey Thompson was so impressed with the effects of vibroacoustics that he created his own sound tables and the music to go with them. In 2000, he explained why sound tables have such a powerful effect: “A huge section of the brain stem and nervous system is devoted to sensing and processing vibration. The spinal cord is composed of nerve bundles carrying different kinds of sensation such as heat and cold, pain, pressure, vibration, ….” According to Thompson, two entire columns sense vibration and take up almost the whole posterior half of the spinal cord. In the primitive portions of the brain near the stem, large areas are devoted to the processing of vibration. “When you are lying on a sound table, powerful emotional information, in the form of musical vibrations, gets processed right in the part of the brain where our most deep-seated emotional programs reside.”58
When I spoke with Jeffrey Thompson again in 2010, his understanding of vibroacoustics had evolved over the last ten years.
JT: I’m working with an engineer to design and manufacture transducers and amplifiers to drive my line of sound chairs and tables because I have found that what’s on the markets is sub-standard. Sound generating units made for a healing effect have to be medical grade. These sound tables and chairs are not simply for the delivery of music. Sound therapists are using specific sounds to have an effect on brain, nervous system, and body. I’ve been working toward getting vibroacoustic devices into mainstream medical units for various medical conditions for the past few years.
JL: Give me an example of where they would be used?
JT: Currently, we are testing 15 chairs in an oncology clinic on the East Coast. We are seeing people in sound chairs undergoing chemotherapy with no pain. I’ve created new sound protocols, “prescription-only” soundtracks, designed specifically to de-stress the body, open the nervous system, and increase chemotherapy uptake in tissues. We are seeing people complete their sessions in 90 minutes instead of the normal three hours.
JL: How does sound do that?
JT: As a pain control feature, sound is good. The nerve tracks in the spinal cord for vibration sense are being overloaded with vibration sense signals and the pain signals essentially can’t get through because of a neurological traffic jam. Vibration sense tracks use “A” fibers, the fastest nerve transmission fibers in the body. Pain fibers are “C” fibers, the slowest transmission fibers in the body. Vibration disrupts the pain fibers so they can’t transmit. This is based on the Melzak-Wall Gate Theory of Pain. Essentially, by flooding the system vibroacoustically, you’ve closed the gate on pain fibers. We are creating soundtracks specifically for pain control centers, cancer centers, dental offices, ICU’s, trauma centers and the like.
JL: What kind of frequencies are you using?
JT: Low frequencies cause relaxation of the tissues and a dilation of blood vessels and lymph channels. It is also putting the tissues in a state of vibratory flux where the tissues themselves are more open and therefore the fluids are being absorbed much more effectively. Sound moves through water five times better than through air. The sound is causing amplified fluid motion in the tissues. The chemicals from the chemotherapy move faster through tissues that are more relaxed and open.
JL: Jeffrey, talk to me about your recent work.
JT: In addition to designing transducers and amplifiers for sound chairs and tables, I’m focusing my work on hospice and assisted living care. I’m creating soundtracks for specific medical conditions. Also pre- and post-surgery, better healing times, moving people out of the hospital faster, and so forth.
There is also the sports world. I’m looking to use sound frequencies to orchestrate the nervous system into the “Flow” state. Here you have all these Olympic hopefuls with their physical bodies all tuned to the max. Yet nobody is tuning the brain/body interface. Tuning the nervous system within itself and tuning the nervous system in relationship to brain/body integration. This kind of tuning gives athletes an extra edge. I started this work with racehorses over ten years ago.
JL: Does specialized music risk becoming a new form of doping?
JT: Not in my opinion. I’m using music and sound to retrain the nervous system. Similar to going to a gym, the results are accumulated over time. We are refining and bringing back to center a system that has drifted out of tune over time, which nobody has ever addressed. A sonic training process. A gym on the inside. We’re training the nervous system to be more in tune. Drugging, on the other hand, causes an abnormal response. Using steroids create an abnormal amount of muscle mass, which the body could never create on its own. We are reminding the body of its own natural balance. Maximizing the athlete’s brain-body connections from the inside.
Along similar lines, I’ve been working with combat stress. I was recently invited by the head of a military conference interested in my work for post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). With PTSD, all the stress-handling fuses are blown, so to speak. People suffering from this condition don’t have a stress handling facility anymore. They are up against the wall with no armor and no protection. I can fix that by using sound frequencies to tune the autonomic nervous system (ANS) back to homeostasis. We can visualize the ANS with a medical imaging device called Heart-Rate Variability (HRV). I use a special version of this system that functions in real-time. With these tools and others like it, we can precisely visualize the imbalances in the brain and nervous system and use this information to show us, which sound frequencies to use to rebalance these systems.
JL: What was the reaction at this military conference?
JT: There was a colonel in fatigues who stood up during my presentation and asked me if I could pre-emptively prevent PTSD by training soldier’s nervous systems before they go into combat.
I told him I could take boot camp new recruits and use a sound process to strengthen and buff up the nervous system stress handling centers. Make them into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s on the inside, because their nervous systems will have been trained to handle high level of stress beforehand. Right now, they create tough soldiers on the outside but they are 90 lb. weaklings on the inside.
JL: Was there sufficient acceptance of this for you to begin working with soldiers?
JT: It was a mixed response, many heads were shaking “no” and many were nodding “yes.”
JL: Jeffrey, how would you sum up your current professional trajectory?
JT: I’m thinking about what are the professions that expose people to abnormally high levels of stress. I’m looking to create a pre-emptive strike to train the internal mechanism for extremely high levels of stress. I think about the first responders, police, emergency room personnel, air-traffic controllers. They need a specially trained nervous system to do their job. I know how to do that with sound.
JL: If I understand correctly, you are using sound to reconfigure. Similar to the Tomatis work, which can re-focus the auditory mechanism for a specific frequency spectrum, you’re saying that you can retrain the nervous system to handle inordinate amounts of stress. This may not be fair, but in a paragraph, tell us how you would use sound to create a specially trained nervous system, be it for a soldier or athlete?
JT: Tomatis used ear training as a means for healing. I’m influencing the nervous system and the brain directly through vibration sense (via a specially designed sound table) and influencing the brain function (through acoustic brainwave entrainment techniques) and coordinating these together. To accomplish this, I’m using advanced medical monitoring systems that can show me how the master control systems in the nervous system and the brain are functioning–or malfunctioning. Then I can use these monitoring systems to see which precisely tuned frequencies affect the brain back to a coherent state of balance. Then we can institute a series of sessions using this frequency, combined with brainwave entrainment and other sounds, to synchronize, coordinate and exercise the brain/nervous system/body matrix to higher levels of ability and function. A nervous system that has had its stress handling centers exercised in this way over time has a higher level of tolerance to high stress situations and is less likely to be overcome by these stresses to produce conditions like PTSD. Similarly, an athlete that has had his/her brain/nervous system/body fine-tuned like an expensive racecar has an increased reaction time, greater endurance, and a better chance to perform at maximum levels of output and efficiency. This usually means they win.