Gordon Dalgarno, ETSAM's Founder

 

Attune To Health

Part of ETSAM a charitably supported voluntary organisation.

 

What we do:

  • Attune to Health exists to help people cope with emotional stress, disability or illness using a range of musical and acoustic therapies.

  • When appropriate we can combine acoustic therapy with Kinesiology or Reiki.

  • In addition to our helping work with individuals and groups we carry out scientific research and development to improve on current methods and to find better means to help people.

  • We use an holistic approach that combines high technology sound and music with sophisticated vibroacoustics (not simplistic "Music Therapy" or "Sound Therapy").

  • The two special features to our work, after having chosen the appropriate sounds and music according to the client at the time, are:-

    (a)   Playing the music through the whole body, not just through the ears.

    (b)  Adjusting the sounds or music so that it contains the client’s own personal frequencies.

 

What we can offer.

  1. Hourly sessions with hi-tech sound and music therapy - location Morecambe.
    (These may be combined with Kinesiology or Reiki if one wishes.)
  2. Kinesiology and Reiki on their own
  3. Hire of vibroacoustic equipment.
  4. Sale of vibroacoustic equipment, both our own and that of Somatron Inc.

We charge no fees for our music therapy but we do rely on donations from clients and others to supplement our grant income, which is insufficient to cover costs. To raise funds we also offer Kinesiology and Reiki treatments, for which we are fully qualified and insured. We ask you to donate what would be the usual fee for these. Any profits from 3. and 4. are used for our research and to develop and refine our methods

About Acoustic Therapy

Our own electrically operated reclining vibroacoustic chair.

The therapeutic benefit of music is well recognised [1]. We are learning how to enhance this benefit through hearing being experienced simultaneously with structured vibrotactile stimulation.

From our own work and that of others we believe that when sounds or music are applied through vibroacoustics the effect can be enhanced. [2], [3], [4].

Vibroacoustics systems are used in some NHS hospitals, and widely used in some other institutions.

Others have had encouraging results with vibroacoustics but often with equipment which is either simple wooden boxes containing loudspeakers or loudspeakers inserted into the upholstery of chairs, without a scientifically based design, either in this or in the signals sent to the loudspeakers.

Our Vibroacoustic Chair for young children

We believe that a scientific approach in this area is appropriate and indeed overdue, and this forms a large part of our research work. Through this research, we have made advances both in the acoustical design of the chairs and couches and in the conditioning (signal processing) of the music or other sounds which are used. Further developments have resulted in the spatial separation of musical parts and in an improved vibratory sensation so that it is closer to the sensation of hearing the sound.

A Somatron Vibroacoustic chair

The combination of all of these advances substantially improves perception and therefore effectiveness. [5]

While the therapeutic benefit of music is widely accepted, less well recognised at present is the benefit that can occur from exposure to very specific sounds and music, and this forms part of our current research.

We are incorporating some of these specifically chosen sounds into a musical context, as we believe we can show that their effectiveness will be increased over hearing the sounds in isolation.

We believe that this therapy can very often be enhanced by being combined with Kinesiology, and sometimes with Reiki, if the client wishes. We are qualified to offer both of these therapies.

As well as using and developing our own vibroacoustic equipment, we also use Somatron equipment - each type has its advantages . We have worked with Somatron to improve the design of vibroacoustic units. We are agents for Somatron equipment as well as supplying our own equipment to order.

One of our early prototype chairs in use with a brain damaged lady in a specialised nursing home where we work.

Background

Attune to Health (originally known as Whole Body Sound) arose from our work on vibroacoustic devices, chairs and couches to enable profoundly deaf people to perceive music. [6], [7] We were pioneers in this field at the same time (late 80's, early 90's) as Wigram, Skille and Edwards were developing vibroacoustics for therapeutic use. Our work on the therapy side began in 1991 on a small scale and became a major activity by 1996. Hence our contribution has been not to prove the usefulness of vibroacoustics for therapy, but to greatly improve upon the existing equipment.

Connections with ancient methods

From conversations with people who have studied sound and music healing in Indian and Tibetan monasteries, it seems that we are re-discovering, not inventing in this area. We were both amazed and delighted when we discovered just how similar the basis of our methods were to some ancient traditions. We had no idea that this was the case until we had produced our methods and it heartened us in our work to further develop these ideas. While we would certainly not make an claims for our high tech methods producing better results than these ancient methods, they have the merit that they do not require the special gifts followed by long years of study demanded by traditional methods.

Research

We are also researching a possible relationship between a person's voice at the time, as analysed by advanced computer methods, and the most appropriate choice of music or sounds for therapeutic purposes. If such a relationship can successfully be established it would give a well-founded method for the matter widely recognised as the most difficult choice; that of determining the appropriate music for the client at that time.

 Hopefully to improve further on that by selecting the most appropriate musical key, detailed tuning used and overall pitch.

Achieving this would enable the effectiveness and reliability of the therapeutic process with sound and music to be substantially increased. It would help to place it on a much more scientific basis.

 The main focus of our current research and development is in studying means of analysing the client's voice to determine the most appropriate sounds and pitches when music is used.

 


Attune to Health is a branch of ETSAM. Our other branch is Enabling for Music, which enables hard of hearing and deaf people to hear music more clearly and enjoyably through hi-tech means. And enables people who cannot use their hand properly, or even at all, to nevertheless create their own expressive interpretations (as recorded performances) of pieces of music.

3 Thornton Grove, Morecambe LA4 5PU E-mail: info@etsam.org.uk

Web  chris@kit-woods.co.uk