Jeffrey D. Thompson, D.C., B.F.A.
Human beings have
been using sound to access deeper states of consciousness,
expanded awareness and heal the body for thousands of years.
Chanting, toning, Tibetan signing bowls, Chinese meditation
gongs and the use of mantras are just a few examples.
highly sophisticated technological equipment, we can observe the
functioning of the body and the brain in unprecedented detail.
in major universities across the country have explored the
neurophysiology of meditation, deep relaxation states and
mind/body interactions during healing. In one study a simple
used for 20 minutes a day caused profound
changes in blood pressure, stress handling ability, immune
response and feelings of well being - never mind using any kind
of high-tech approach which could bring consciousness to very
deep levels of relaxation. Using this technology as a daily tool
for mind/body integration and stress reduction can have many
work on the discovery of the phenomenon of acoustic brainwave
entrainment - the ability to change brainwaves and states of
consciousness with sound - was done by a medical researcher at
Mount Sinai Hospital and published in the Oct 1973 issue of
Scientific American entitled "Auditory Beats in the Brain". In
this article, he outlined the research he had conducted which
showed a brainwave entrainment response to something he called
"Binaural Beats". These beats occurred when two separate tones
were tuned slightly differently from one another - to be
precise: within 18% of one another - a range called the
"Critical Bandwidth". The speed of the beats is governed by the
difference in the frequency of the two notes: a left channel
tone of 100 cycles per second (Hz) and a right channel tone of
105 Hz would cause a 5 Hz pulse to arise as an interference
pattern. The brain would entrain and slow its function to this 5
Hz speed and therefore an altered state of consciousness would
result. He also found, that listening to these two frequencies
through headphones caused not only the brainwave entrainment
phenomenon, but a synchronicity of the electrical activity of
the right/left hemispheres as well.
of hemisphere synchronicity is due to a quirk in how the brain
processes information and the physics phenomenon of the Critical
bandwidth. When two tones are tuned within 18% of one another
(or within the critical bandwidth) the brain cannot distinguish
two separate tones, it hear one single tone with a pulse within
it. The speed of the pulse it hears is the difference between
the two tones. Through headphones, however, the opposite
hemispheres, which process sound information from each opposite
ear, have to compare information in order to hear the pulse.
Actually the brain is manufacturing the pulse out of thin air,
moment by moment. When the hemispheres compare information, they
synchronize their activity: thus hemisphere synchronicity.
We know from
other research efforts that brainwave synchronicity does not
happen often and when it does it is only for an instant. We know
it is associated with the "aha" moment, the moment when the
answer to a problem pops into the mind, in times of great
inspiration, and certain high states of revelry and meditation.
With this new technological method of entraining brainwaves with
binaural beats using headphones, however, it is possible to
float the brain in this hemisphere synchronicity state for
prolonged periods of time. Each time we do this, it is like
exercising a new brain function - which makes the brain more
able to engage this function as its normal repertoire of
behavior. It is like going to a gym on the inside and working
the "muscle" of your brain.
Using sound in
these ways, it is possible to make profound changes in brainwave
patterns and states of consciousness, observable on brainwave
mapping equipment (EEG), as well as positive changes in the
body, measurable with blood tests, bio-feedback equipment and
other sophisticated procedures. We are also able to influence
the core balance and functioning of the brain and central
nervous system as a whole.
In a series of
recordings based on these principles I have used sound frequency
patterns built into the music that have been shown clinically to
cause positive changes in consciousness, brainwave and body
involves the use of digital technology, electronic keyboards and
computer programs which make it possible to take any recorded
sound - instrument sounds, nature sounds, human voice sounds,
etc. - and precisely alter the tuning of the right/left channels
of these sounds (a precision of 100 steps of tuning between two
notes on a piano) which causes an interference pattern of pulses
to arise by the difference of tuning. If the speed of these
pulses is calibrated to a brainwave speed (Beta, Alpha, Theta,
Delta), then the brainwaves will follow the speed of these
pulses and brainwave entrainment will occur.
There are other
methods for building pulse rates into soundtracks that cause
brainwave entrainment, but are not based on the idea of binaural
beats. We can modulate the amplitude, filters and pitch of the
sounds as well. This means we can build a pulsing loudness
level, a pulsing bass/treble level and a pulsing sharp/flat
level in the sounds. All of these systems work to cause the
entrainment response, but only the binaural beat through
headphones technique causes the hemisphere synchronicity
response in the brain.
A good part of
the stress we all experience in the twentieth century is due to
the advancements of our own technology. This same technology,
combined with our traditional techniques for healing and
achieving balance, may help neutralize the stress we created.
In the recordings
I have produced, I have used three coordinated methods for
bringing the mind/body into a state of deep relaxation and
balance; "Primordial Sounds," "Brainwave Entrainment" and
"Multi-layered music" all recorded in 3D.
Many of the
sounds you hear on these recordings are sounds you do not even
notice. Certain sounds have the power to awaken deep levels of
recognition in the subconscious mind. I call these sounds
"Primordial Sounds," sound primordially recognizable to the
subconscious mind regardless of race, sex or language.
Our first sensory
experience in life as a fetus in the womb is of sound and
vibration. We float in body temperature amniotic fluid -
weight-less. We have fluid in our nose and mouth, which
eliminates the senses of smell and taste. We have our eyes
closed and are in the dark-no sense of sight. We have fluid in
our ears pressed right up against the eardrum - but sound
travels through water fives times more effectively than through
air, therefore our sense of hearing is actually amplified. The
symphony of sound patterns we experience at this time will be
deeply imbedded in our subconscious mind for the rest of our
lives - water swishing sounds, arterial pulse sounds and voice
sounds. These are our first experiences of "Primordial Sounds."
these types of sounds form some of the "primordial sounds" you
hear on this recording. Each of these sounds is intentionally
altered and disguised by slowing them down and speeding them up.
By changing the speed of these sounds we can side step the
rational/thinking mind, which will no longer recognize the
sounds, and tap into the subconscious directly, with sounds it
deeply recognize and respond to. In one sense, the
organic/biological intelligence, the same intelligence that grew
our entire body out of two cells, will certainly be awakened
with recognition of sounds recorded from this body.
thing happens when recordings of people speaking are speeded up
and slowed down. If these recordings are doubled in speed three
times (raising the pitch by three octaves), human speech sounds
remarkably like birds chirping, When raised in speed by eight
octaves, these recordings sound just like crickets. Slowed down
from normal speed by three octaves they sound like dolphins and
at eight octaves slowed down, like the ebb and flow of the
It is interesting
that recordings from the human voice should sound like nature
sounds. What happens if we take cricket sounds and slow them
down? They sound like nature sounds. What happens if we take
cricket sounds and slow them down? They sound like birds
chirping. Bird sounds slowed down sound like dolphins and
dolphin sounds slowed down sound like people speaking!
Psychiatrist, Carl Jung would have been pleased-this seems to
fall directly in line with his theory of the "collective
unconscious." A level of the unconscious mind deeper than our
personal unconscious shared by us all, populated with universal
archetypal images ("primordially recognizable" images) just as
these sounds seem to be "primordially recognizable" sounds. It
is almost as if the whole universe is one organic being with
many parts all designed from variations of the same blueprint.
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In 1989 contact
was made with an aerospace engineer with sound recordings from
the Voyager spacecraft. These recordings were taken as Voyager
passed by the outer planets of our Solar System - Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
recordings of charged electromagnetic particles (ions) in the
magnetic fields of these planets vibrating within the range of
human hearing. What did they sound like? They sound like
dolphins, choirs of voices singing, crickets, birds, Tibetan
bowls, and ocean sounds, plus other sounds too strange to
identify, but which seem very familiar. Could these sounds be
deeply recognizable at a deeper level of the "collective
It is these three
classes of sound ("Primordial Sounds", "Brainwave Entrainment"
and "multi-layered mystical music") that are embedded in all the
soundtracks and recordings to awaken the various levels of the
It is at this
inner level of ourselves that our bodies are self-organized from
two cells by the same inner system from which daily functions of
this body are coordinated and directed. It is from here that the
knowledge of our problems and the answers and solutions to them
This is what I
mean by the use of "Primordial Sounds" to access a deep level of
ourselves for healing, relaxation and balance. These sounds are
mixed into the soundtrack in a way that they can be heard but
not necessarily recognized for what they are by the
rational-thinking mind. Some of the nature sounds you hear are
actually space sound recordings or human body sounds.
Brainwaves can be
controlled with sound waves using a technique called "Brainwave
Entrainment." This involves creating special pulse rates in the
recording that cause a sympathetic response in the brain - as
Psychoacoustic Processing and Acoustic Pacing
entrainment is part of a larger biological function called
"Biological Sympathetic Oscillation". Our biological "clock"
sets itself to external cosmic events; day length cycles, full
moon cycles and seasonal cycles to name a few. The body will set
itself to the most powerful external pulse cycle it is exposed
to. In this case we can create powerful sound frequencies
pulsing at exact brainwave speeds and cause the brainwaves to
alter themselves to match the sound frequencies - that is
entrain themselves to the sound pulses.
This has formed
the basis for another method I developed for entraining the
entire biological network in the body, which I call "Acoustic
Pacing". In Acoustic Pacing I am taking nature sound recordings
- recorded with special Psychoacoustic 3-D microphones - and
slowing these recordings down over time in the soundtrack. Since
all the audio memories stored in the brain from past experiences
are 3-D sound memories, a 3-D soundtrack fools the brain into
assuming these nature sounds are real. Since, as part of the
larger world phenomenon of "Biological Sympathetic Oscillation",
mentioned before, our bodies time themselves to larger nature
cycles, when 3-D recordings of nature sounds are slowed down
over time, the body automatically adjusts its internal timings
accordingly and a global body-based entrainment of slowing down
occurs. Brainwaves slow in response to the whole system slowing
in this method.
elements are combined together - relaxing music, nature sounds
in 3-D slowing down over time, brainwave entrainment pulses
built into the harmonics of the music and nature sounds - a more
all inclusive and powerful relaxation response takes place in
the whole organism.
We know from many
research endeavors that certain deeply relaxed states of
consciousness are associated with specific brainwave patterns on
an EEG brain monitor. We also know that with brainwave
entrainment we cause brainwaves to sympathetically "lock on" to
an external sound-pulse at a brainwave speed. This gives us the
tools to gently guide brainwave function and states of
consciousness into deeply relaxed and balanced states.
On all of the
soundtracks these pulse frequencies are built into every sound
you hear, including each instrument sound, voice sound, nature
sound and NASA space sound on the recording.
Certain types of
sounds and music have a proven effect in creating states of
relaxation, balance, healing and visualization. Generally these
include certain types of lyrical, flowing melodies and chord
arrangements. Certain chord arrangements can create an
atmosphere of peace, mystery, awe and openness.
It is best to
listen when with headphones on and lights out with eyes closed
to get the full effects of the 3-D sound and brainwave
pulse-wave information that requires the right/left sound images
to be completely separated from one another. You will hear the
sounds moving around you in three-dimensional space. You can get
a more powerful effect using Vibro-Tactile Therapy sound
delivery systems, such as specially designed sound chairs and
sound tables. This way you will also feel certain parts of your
body resonating with certain sound tones in the music.
Physiologic Response to Vibro-Tactile Induction Technology
stress reduction benefits of listening to relaxing music have
been proven through numerous research projects in hospitals,
universities and private clinical practices over the course of
many years. Normally, hearing involves sound waves pushing air
pulses against the ear drum, moving the mechanical joints of the
middle ear bones which amplify these vibrations to the inner
ear, which pushes fluids into wave pulses, which move tiny nerve
endings, which fire signals through the 8th cranial nerve
directly into the Temporal lobe of the brain, which interprets
these impulses as "sound".
these sound frequencies through the body directly, an entirely
different system of the body - spinal cord and areas of the
brainstem and brain - are brought into play, with the
possibility of a much deeper whole-body response. With this
delivery system we have the possibility of direct cellular
stimulation. Direct stimulation of living cellular tissue using
sound frequency vibration has shown marked cellular organelle
response with a corresponding measurable increase of cellular
metabolism and therefore a possible mobilization of a cellular
healing response. Since the human body is over 70% water and
since sound travels 5 times more efficiently through water than
through air, sound frequency stimulation directly into the body
is a highly efficient means for total body stimulation,
especially at a cellular level.
pulse waves played directly into the body also has a profound
effect on the nervous system. The entire posterior 1/3 of the
spinal cord consists of nerve tract bundles whose sole purpose
is the transmission of vibration sense data to the Brain Stem,
Cerebellum, Pons, Medulla, Hippocampus/Limbic System (emotional
processing areas) and various areas of the Cerebral Cortex.
possibilities are inherent in using this type of vibrational
technology in the areas of massage, energy work, physical
healing, emotional release work, hypnosis, stress reduction,
relaxation and meditation.