Clippity-clop, clippity-clop. Rumbledeebump! That is the sound of an 18th-century doctor’s prescription for insomnia. Depression, migraines, tremors, and sensory loss could all be ameliorated with a bumpy carriage ride. A century later, the fauteuil de poste (vibrating chair) usurped the carriage. What had not changed was the strange correlation between resonant vibrations and healing responses triggered in the body.
Today, vibroacoustic therapy (VAT) or resonance therapy are variations on this treatment. Over 50 years of data show that some form of hum unleashes a cascade of wellness benefits in a person’s mind, body, and spirit.
Durango plays host to two unique forms of VAT. Caren Truske, owner of Aligned Living, uses a variety of tuning forks to transmit resonant sound frequencies either directly into or around the body. Mona and Calley Hoffman, the mother and daughter duo behind the Harmonic Earth Sanctuary, bathe individuals in light and sound frequencies from inside an acoustic sound chamber.
“Sound is powerful, powerful medicine,” Truske says. “We all sing. We all use songs to lift us up or bring us down.”
“[T]he music and the lights—the frequencies and vibrations can penetrate deeply at the cellular level,” Calley explains. “They get into those tissues where you hold trauma and old stuff that’s sometimes related to an illness that won’t go away. It can help move things and shake it up.”
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Teeemmm. Lummmm. Hoommmm.
The tuning forks sing when tapped. Truske dangles the forks over the client, stretched prone on the padded table. She looks equal parts orchestral conductor and puppeteer. She explains how the atomic building blocks of all things are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which are continuously emitting vibrations. The various tissues, organs, and bones of the body will each have their own frequency. The resonant waves of the tuning forks coordinate all those tiny hums—much as a choirmaster unifies the many voices of a choir.
At Harmonic Earth Sanctuary, the Hoffmans guide a client into a gleaming white oval the size of a space capsule. This trademarked Harmonic Egg is among the newest innovations in resonance therapy. Its shell is not smooth; rather, it is faceted like a diamond.
“It’s a dodecahedron,” Mona states, noting how the shape maximizes acoustics.
The client reclines in a cozy seat as the capsule fills with music and colored light. The music selection includes a wide variety of tones and textures, spanning flutes or drumming, resonant strings, nature sounds, or chanted mantras. The experience is bespoke, with colors and music determined by a person’s unique needs.
Whether it’s the bumpy carriage, an acoustic chamber, or a tuning fork, resonant vibrations penetrate and jostle the body’s cells, causing stimulation. Stimulation triggers an uptick in circulation and blood flow, which the nervous system interprets as a stress response. To quell the stress, the body releases nitric oxide (NO) for a calming effect.
This undulation from stress to serenity triggers bio-electro-chemical reactions all involved in healing. For instance, the boosted circulation sweeps away cellular waste while the nitric oxide ushers in protective antioxidants. Nerves stimulated by VAT function better, resulting in improved mobility. Boosted brain wave activity, cell and bone growth, and dissolved blood clots—all these outcomes have been observed with VAT treatments, suggesting that vibrations interact both powerfully and beneficially with the body.
“The Egg, I find, is very supportive in helping your body come out of flight or fight into a relaxed nervous system,” Calley Hoffman attests.
Truske notes, “Life feels like we’re trying to hold a dozen beach balls below the surface of a pool. If we could only let go and relax, then we could just swim.”
For many people, a non-invasive and drug-free wellness modality likely sounds like music to the ears. At the beginning of a new year, VAT may be the best way to start (and end) 2024 on a high note.
“Sound is powerful, powerful medicine. We all sing. We all use songs to lift us up or bring us down.”