The recent years have seen a rising interest in vibroacoustic therapy as new sound therapy that in uses vibration platforms for achieving therapeutic or physical performance goals. Many devices are currently marketed for use in fitness or healthcare environments. Scientific data tend to be sparse on most of them, but many studies are under way.
Vibroacoustic therapy is a new sound technology that uses audible sound vibrations to reduce symptoms, invoke relaxation, and alleviate stress, today It’s used by spas, resorts, and clinics around the world. This technology is developed based on the recognition that external vibration can influence body function and can assist in restoring health and wellbeing.
VAT is a type of sound therapy that involves passing pure low frequency sine wave vibrations into the body via a device with embedded speakers.
Adverse effects of prolonged exposure to low-frequency noise is well studied, prolonged exposure to low-frequency noise from our environment can be damaging. There is significant experimental evidence to support the adverse effects of infrasound on human health, from machinery, large duct systems for ventilation and large construction sites.
Vibroacoustic therapy for sound therapy generally uses low frequency waves, in the range of 30 to 100 Hz, sessions can last from ten to forty-five minutes. 40hz specifically has been widely studied in vibroacoustic therapy as well as in a number of other fields.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved vibroacoustic therapy for increasing circulation, pain relief, and increasing mobility. Vibroacoustic therapy is being evaluated to treat a number of conditions including fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Vibroacoustic devices come in a range of forms including massage tables, chairs, mats, and simple DIY platforms. They generally function by playing sound files through transducers, bass shakers, or exciters which then transfer the vibrations into the body.
Some devices attempt to target very specific parts of the body such as the wrist or the spine.
There are large differences between the types of vibrations that these devices generate. Key descriptors of vibration devices include the frequency (measured in Hz; the number of Hz indicates the number of complete up-and-down movement cycles per second) and amplitude (measured in mm) of the vibration, as well as the direction of the vibration movement. The frequency of vibration devices typically ranges from a few Hz to 50Hz, with amplitudes ranging from a few micrometers to several millimeters. The force produced by the vibrating plate, and thus the ‘intensity’ of the treatment, increases with the frequency and the amplitude of the vibration.
There are many inexpensive DIY kits with instructions and playlist that can be found online. VAT is quickly growing in popularity. If you plan to use a massage table in your practice It is recommended that you install a kit and experiment with this new technology.
Current evidence suggests that vibration is effective in enhancing musculoskeletal strength and power capacity and improving physical conditions in patients with related disorders such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, although the mechanisms mediating these effects are still not well known.
The first use of vibration as an exercise was conducted by Russian scientists, who found that vibration was effective in enhancing strength in athletes. Subsequently, the effects of vibration application have been studied and the ﬁndings suggest that vibration could represent an effective exercise intervention for improving neuromuscular performance in both trained and sedentary people. As vibroacoustic therapy becomes more popular in sound therapy we should see an increase in the use of VAT chairs and tables.