Vibroacoustic Therapy

In 1982, Olav Skille defined vibroacoustic therapy (VAT) as the use of sinusoidal, low-frequency (30-120Hz), rhythmical sound-pressure waves mixed with music for therapeutic purposes. Skille noted that VAT’s “low-frequency sound massage” would assist in the reduction of pain and other stress-related symptoms.

Today, low frequency sound vibration therapy is one application of music therapy practiced worldwide, although only a minority of music therapists are trained in and apply this method. Vibroacoustic therapy intersects the fields of music therapy and music medicine, with numerous applications within multidisciplinary arenas and for many symptoms and conditions.

Vibration. Music. Interaction.

What is Vibroacoustic Therapy?

Skille refined the concept of VAT to the use of one, amplitude modulated, sinusoidal sound. In best clinical practice, VAT is a combination of low frequency sound vibration and music listening supported by therapeutic alliance and interaction. With this combination, it is possible to address a client’s emotional, cognitive, and social problems, supporting the exploration of one’s own body and sensations.

Other pioneers in the field of VAT are Tony Wigram, Petri Lehikoinen, Saima Tamm, Riina Raudsik, and Eha Rüütel. Tony Wigram’s first VAT programs were a mixture of music and low-frequency sound, which he named ”vibroacoustic music” (VAM).

VIBRAC’s two main trainers, Dr. Marko Punkanen and Dr. Esa Ala-Ruona, have been developing the practice and research of vibroacoustic therapy for decades, systematically building up training and practice models based on clinical experience and expertise in areas such as addiction, trauma psychotherapy, and music psychotherapy among others.

Our advisory board member Dr. Bartel has talked about vibration and sound at the cellular level. See his Tedx talk here.