Sound Therapy for Migraine
A growing body of researchers and alternative medicine specialists are turning their attention to sound as medicine. Sound therapy has been shown to impact learning capacity, insomnia, fatigue, and even physiological processes like blood pressure and back pain. For migraine sufferers, sound therapy could help you lower or eliminate the medication you use to control the intolerable headaches.
While the healing power of good music and soothing sound is no secret, it’s also not exploited as often as it should be. A visit to a sound therapist is a good place to start, but you can also learn to use sound throughout your daily routine to reduce your pain quickly.
How Sound Can Diminish your Pain
Notice how your troubles seem to melt away when you listen to your favorite song? Well, there’s a biochemical explanation for that. Sound has a huge impact on the physical state of your brain: scans show that certain sounds and types of music can trigger centers and processes in the brain usually involved in happy, calm, and pain-free states.
Change in Frequency
Enjoyable music and more subtle harmonizing vibrations can effectively take your brainwaves from the active beta state to the deeper, relaxed states known as alpha, theta, and delta. Once you’ve entered into these deeper mental states, your body will relax and cells begin to regenerate.
Increase in Neurotransmitters
When you listen to music that lightens your mood and relaxes your mind, your levels of dopamine will begin to rise. Since this neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating pain and increasing euphoric feelings (almost like an opiate), it’s no wonder that you can find relief in a really good song.
Types of Sound Therapy
It is believed that sound can bring together powerful physical and emotional processes for release and healing. Of course, sound is very subjective; everyone processes sound in their own way, and music to the ears of your friend may be grating and unnerving for you. Sound therapy makes use of several types of sound, so there’s a good chance that at least one method will work for you.
- White noise. When all the audible frequencies are combined, you get white noise — a homogenous, static effect that can work wonders on focus and sleep problems. If you have a migraine, white noise can mask loud sounds that make the pain worse, and it can help you get to sleep faster (and sleep is one of the best known natural ways to overcome a migraine).
- Binaural tones. Many alternative health experts believe that sending a different tone (frequency) into each ear at the same time can affect the brainwaves in positive ways. The effect for the listener is a low pulse (or beat) in the brain, and that binaural beat can actually train the brain to follow a more relaxing and less pain-sensitive frequency.
Next page: two more types of sound therapy, and some sound apps to try.