The Healing Sound
My focus for this April’s 2017 blog is based on observations obtained over my 48 years as a practicing psychologist specializing in trauma therapy. Within this context, I have heard from both professional colleagues as well as traumatized patients that the residual effects of emotional trauma cannot be remediated. Unfortunately, this has led to a loss of hope among those who experience impairment after experiencing trauma. The existing perception is that one must adjust to the negative changes as best as one can. This may require ongoing medications, therapy or a combination of both.
If you are among those who hold this belief, I must simply and directly inform you here and now, based on neuroscientic evidence, that this opinion is wrong. In fact, PTSD can be remediated rapidly as well as permanently based on our new understanding of memory reconsolidation. As an example, this has been accomplished through chemical means such as through the use of Propranolol. (Lavine, 2012)
If you are unfamiliar with the term reconsolidation, it is the action of neuronal memory circuits reforming after they have been recalled or activated. Through the use of a special sound, we are now able to disrupt the reconsolidation process thereby enhancing the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Specifically, we can cause the emotional aspects of traumatic memories to ‘drop out’ during the memory reconsolidation phase. This results in immediate, permanent and significant relief. Here’s what we know about memory at the present time as opposed to what we knew twenty years ago: it’s not permanent; it’s not hard-wired; it can be changed; it is updated and most importantly, it can be disrupted during the restoring (reconsolidation) process.
My colleague, L Richard Bruursema (BAUDtherapy.com) and I, in our paper, Resetting the Fear Switch in PTSD: A Novel Treatment Using Acoustical Neuromodulation to Modify Memory Reconsolidation, postulated that through the acoustical pathway, we are able to directly modulate neural activity during memory retrieval and reconsolidation. (Lindenfeld, Bruursema)
Although there are numerous therapies emerging that claim to alter the restoration of emotional memory, one of the least known is that of using sound for neuromodulation purposes. Clinically, I have found this intervention to directly and rapidly disrupt the trauma memory circuits. To be clear, each and every time, whenever a trauma memory is triggered intentionally or unintentionally, a reconsolidation process takes place. Unfortunately, in those with PTSD, this is the generator for the following symptom picture: insomnia; flashbacks; nightmares; hyperarousal; social withdrawal and isolation.
The apparent resolution to this dilemma is the introduction of binaural beats. These are tuned to vibrate at the same frequency as that produced by the trauma neuronal network. There are a number of aspects required for this type of intervention to be successful. 1) The patient must be able to activate the target (trauma) in a sensory rather than cognitive thought processing manner. 2) If the patient is unable to activate the target because of dissociative factors, the therapist must have alternative means to identify the neuronal frequency. 3) The therapist must be able to successfully ‘tune in’ to the targeted trauma frequency.
The unique sound utilized in this therapeutic intervention is composed of binaural beats that are created by sounds of slightly differing frequencies. The brain in processing this novel material perceives of the sounds as one. The following illustration takes you through the process beginning with consolidation of new material that becomes stored in the long-term memory network. When retrieved, it is vulnerable to modification by our special neuromodulated sound. The result is the dropping out of the emotional component of the trauma memory. I refer to the process as RESET Therapy (Reconsolidation Enhancement by Stimulation of Emotional Triggers). Note the change in the wave form during the modification by RESET phase as well as the reconsolidation of the permanently altered frequency.
When the frequency is properly tuned in to resonate with the selected target and the sound coming into one ear is offset from the other by 1 Hz. to 20 Hz, amazing changes begin to occur. It is my perception that the convergence of two sounds into one creates an opportunistic (magic moment). When this occurs, the emotional components associated with traumatic events drop out permanently and completely. Simultaneously, synaptic function is reset back to normal. A number of researchers postulate that the change actually takes place at the cellular level by altering gene expression which basically has a go/no go function. The field of epigenetics is based upon these elucidated principles. Stay tuned to my webpage for further updates and announcements such as future webinars which will be offering training opportuni