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Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research introduces Canada’s first physioacoustic sound wave therapy chairs

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 16/06| For Immediate Release

Contact:

Dr. Heidi Ahonen-Eerikäinen
Director, Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2431

or 

Lori Chalmers Morrison
Public Affairs
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070

WATERLOO – The Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research (LCMTR) will introduce its low frequency sound wave therapy chairs – the only two in Canada – to medical and health care practitioners at a physioacoustic seminar on November 25, 2006, 9:30 a.m. in the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall.

Used in Europe for several decades, low frequency sound wave therapy has made inroads as an FDA-approved therapy in the United States, and is now arriving in Canada with Laurier’s acquisition of two sound wave therapy chairs. Similar in concept to the high frequency sound waves used in ultrasound treatment, physioacoustic sound wave therapy has been shown to improve blood circulation, reduce pain and relax muscles using low frequencies between 27-113 Hz.

“In addition to introducing the therapy device and learning from its trainer, Marco Kärkkäinen from Finland, this seminar is intended to bring together people with varied research interests,” said Charles Morrison, dean of the faculty of music. “We hope to facilitate discussion of the potential for collaboration and interdisciplinary projects.”

Low frequency sound wave therapy is used in occupational healthcare, sports medicine, bio feedback therapy, geriatric and handicapped rehabilitation, stress relief, pain management and insomnia fields.

“This therapy operates on the theory that each muscle has an ideal frequency,” explained Heidi Ahonen-Eerikäinen, the director of the LCMTR. “It works according to the principle of sympathetic vibration, where the muscle resonates with the sound given at intervals throughout the treatment. It is akin to deep muscle massage from the inside out.”

The chairs are equipped with a computer, which can personalize frequencies according to treatment need, and six speakers that broadcast sound waves for both localized and holistic benefits.

During casual observations, low sound wave therapy has been shown to have a calming effect on Alzheimer’s patients when programmed to 40Hz – the frequency lost during anesthesia and the early stages of Alzheimer’s – but the reasons are unknown. Ahonen-Eerikäinen will explore this benefit as part of her new research project. She will also team up with Laurier’s Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC) to study the brain waves of Parkinson’s patients while undergoing the therapy.

For further information about the seminar, please contact Debra Martz Melanson at dmartzme@wlu.ca or 519-884-0710 ext. 2658.

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