Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In review--Your brain on audio

Dr. Jeffrey Thompson
Music to Change Your Brain
(Sound Healing/Brain Science)
Sounds True

Doctor of Chiropractics Jeffrey Thompson began experimenting with sound scientifically in the 1980s, according to the press notes that accompanied a media copy of Music to Change Your Brain.  Thompson uses audio to alter brainwaves to create feelings of relaxation or alertness.  His audio CDs which include bi-aural devices, intended tempo, and ambient sounds have helped millions of people relax, fall asleep, meditate, and heighten creativity.  Music to Change Your Brain offers six 10-minute tracks that include, Alpha Relaxation System, Healing Mind System, Creative Mind System, Awakened Mind System, Gamma Meditation System, and Delta Sleep System.  So how do these tracks affect a sensitive person such as me?

I know my readers and colleagues are weary of my aversion to synthesizers, but I wouldn’t practice integrity if I ignore the fact that synthesizers and programmed voices irritate my nerves.  How am I supposed to relax when a synthesizer drones in my ears and in the case of Healing the Mind System, 8-minutes into the track, a high-pitch overtone that reminds me of a table saw appears?

Fortunately, three of the tracks worked for me which include the Creative Mind System, Delta Sleep System (I fell asleep listening to this one), and Gamma Meditation.  The Creative Mind System features synthesizer, but this electronic instrument is balanced with acoustic guitar and a subtle melody that seemed folksy to me.  The Gamma Meditation System provided an audio (I would not call this music), background at the right tempo for going deep with meditation.  Since I prefer to have drone or some type of spiritual music playing in the background when I meditate, I appreciated this track.

However, and this is a big however, many of the people undergoing stress and tension these days are super sensitive to EMFs and electronic sounds. Music with heavy synthesizers in my case comes off as an annoying buzz and the last thing on my mind is relaxation when I hear these sounds.  I prefer the acoustic CDs of the late Marjorie DeMuynck, another sensitive aware of the dangers of EMFs or the psycho-acoustic chamber music of Joshua Leeds and Dr. Andrew Weil.  I also prefer a sound healing duo from Norway (their names escape me at this time), who produced a relaxation CD with acoustic overtones and drones around 10 years ago.  I loaned this CD to someone who never returned it.

For those of you not sensitive to electronic instruments, I recommend Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s CDs, but for super sensitive types, go with Marjorie DeMuynck’s CDs produced with acoustic instruments and sound healing tools. In my humble opinion, with all the knowledge we have on brain science and sound, it’s time to move away from synthesizers and employ acoustic musicians who know how to work with intention and sound healing/ psychoacoustic principles. I would love to see Dr. Thompson move in an acoustic direction, then I could take advantage of his brain-enhancing recordings.

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