Saturday, August 10, 2013

MedicalConspiracies- SOUND HEALING: Medicine of the Future...or of Now?

Steven Halpern's                                                Sound Matters monthly                                                newsletter

SOUND HEALING:  Medicine of the Future...or of Now?


© 2013 Steven Halpern

Something very interesting and significant is happening in the field of sound healing lately, in terms of its growing awareness and profile in the media.  As I see it, it's a mixed bag of good and not so good news.


As one of the original players in the field, I'd like to share some insights and clarifications that may help you make more sense of what's going on.


I'm uniquely qualified to write about this topic since I was the first person to study music and brainwaves, and then music and healing, as part of my graduate studies beginning in 1970. I have had the honor and privilege of working and studying with the pioneers and giants in the biofeedback world, including Dr. Maxwell Cade, inventor of the Mind Mirror, Dr. Stanley Krippner, Dr. Valerie Hunt and Michael Hutchison.


I've presented information about sound healing and brainwave entrainment on numerous national and regional TV programs, beginning in 1979 on NBC's The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder, and on CBS's 48 HOURS in 1991.


So when my friend sent me link to the July 15 Dr. Oz show on sound healing, I was surprised that he admitted he had never heard of the field. But I was delighted that he was educating himself.


The title of the segment, "Sonic Therapy: The future of medicine?" was borrowed from a prediction by Edgar Cayce, the highly accurate 20th century healer and past life historian, who famously wrote that 'sound and music would be the medicine of the future. ' 


I bet you didn't know that.  I bet you also didn't know why the words "sonic therapy" were used instead of "sound healing". That distinction would not have been apparent to anyone but an insider. But understanding the difference will help you make more informed choices for your own physical and spiritual well-being.


The segment featured oncologist Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, who is one of the only medical doctors who includes the healing power of sound in working with patients. Dr. Gaynor describes his experiences in his first book: Sounds of Healing: A Physician Reveals the therapeutic Power of Sound, Voice and Music. He kindly acknowledged my pioneering contributions to the field on page 78.


Why Every Word Makes a Difference


Why do you think the program was titled Sonic Therapy rather than Sound Healing or Music Therapy?


I would imagine that if the producers had used the term Music Therapy, a representative would have contacted them to cease and desist, since they 'own' the rights to that term, and only 'certified music therapists' are allowed to use it. I recently spoke at a local college, and the instructor told me of his recent problems, because he was not aware of the distinction. He had read my books, and knew that the field of music therapy goes back long before the field became politically and economically organized and vey protective of its territory and market share. He found out firsthand that although the organization is doing many wonderful things, many of their members feel like they are competition with sound healers.


I have spoken at a number of national Music Therapy conferences since the late 1970's, so I have some personal history with this subject, and know whereof I speak.


Sound Therapy or Sound Healing? Sound Healing or Healing Music?


Before we go on, I'd like you to pause a moment:  what do you think is the difference?


All music is sound, but not all sound is music.  Within the field, there has been a long standing schism between those who can play an instrument and those who cannot.   Whether you consider a crystal bowl, a Tibetan metal bowl or a tuning fork to be an instrument or a sound tool, you can learn to play in a few moments without years of practice to master an instrument like piano or flute.


In some cases, there is an obvious case of 'pianist envy' that may explain why some sound healers refuse to mention healing music in their writings and presentations.  On the other hand, I've always promoted inclusivity of all these healing modalities; the more you know, the more options you have to find what works best for you.


There is also an economic and professional jealousy component to this state of affairs. 


I would wager that that's also why Dr. Gaynor chose to use the word 'sonic' rather than sound; it gives him a slightly different branding.


The bottom line is that Sound Healing and the Healing Power of Music are available to YOU right now. All you have to do is listen.


The Credential That Trumps All Others


Although I've appeared on many TV and radio programs, I've also been told many times by program directors and producers, "If you were a doctor, we'd have you on tomorrow." I quickly understood that it wasn't what I knew, what mattered was the credential after my name. And Ph.D. didn't cut it for these folks. MD is the credential that trumps all others.


I would suggest that that's why the subtitle of Dr. Gaynor's books says "A Physician Reveals...." You are most likely well aware of the fraternity among physicians, so it's not surprising that Dr. Oz would have a doctor on to discuss the topic rather than a musician/sound healer who literally wrote the book on "Sound Health" (1985, Harper& Row). To paraphrase the Reba McIntire song, "I was Country before Country was Cool", perhaps my mantra should be "I was promoting Sound Healing and Brainwave Entrainment Long Before it was Cool."


Over the past few years, a number of authors have quoted liberally but failed to credit the source and reference this landmark book and the information I share with you in my newsletters. Let's change that dynamic.


Join me in contacting the Dr. Oz show and recommend that they follow up this program by having me share additional insights on sound healing. If they hear from enough of us, especially if you include some of the testimonials you've shared with me over the years, that might get them to open up to the concept.


After watching the program, I listened to the samples on Dr. Gaynor's playlist. I don't want to spoil the fun. Listen for yourself at the link below, and then let's compare notes, either via my 

Facebook page: or via 



DEEP THETA 2.0: A New Dimension of Entrainment Entertainment


I was planning to introduce my new album in this newsletter, but am running out of room. I'll send out a special update in a week or so. I've been working on this album for almost five years, and I look forward to sharing this exquisite album, which features the ancient Asian acoustic meditation instruments, shakuhachi and bansuri bamboo flute, with you.


Yours for sound health and inner peace,


Steven Halpern


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STEVEN HALPERN is an award-winning composer, GRAMMY® nominated recording artist, producer and author. His latest albums, DEEP ALPHA and DEEP THETA, have both appeared on Billboard's Top Ten New Age chart -- a first for any meditative, brainwave entrainment soundscape!


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