Vibroacoustic therapy

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Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Clinically unproven
Not the harpist you were expecting, perhaps?

Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) is a form of alternative medicine in which patients are "treated" by either resting on a mattress, bed, or chair embedded with bass speakers that emit pulsed sound at frequencies between 30 Hz and 120 Hz, by using portable gadgets that emit 20 Hz to 18,000 Hz sound waves, or by getting a "musical massage" while listening to someone playing a harp.[1][2]


Sound waves vibrate the patient and supposedly give organs, tissues and cells an "inner body massage." Such vibrations are claimed to assist in "cellular cleansing mechanisms" and have positive effects on health and illness. They are often combined with recorded music alleged to have some critical effect depending on what kind of music is played.[3] According to self-proclaimed "pioneer" of VAT, Dr. Olav Skille, everything from multiple sclerosis to constipation to cystic fibrosis can be alleviated by administering the "optimal frequency" to a patient. Naturally, Skille peddles training courses, custom made digital sound files, and for a little extra, he'll cut you in for a piece of the action as an authorized "regional business associate."[4]


‪VAT practitioners have targeted the often desperate and vulnerable parents of autistic‬ children, and many exploit the confusion between VAT and VAS (VibroAcoustic Stimulation, a widely-accepted obstetrical test for fetal well-being) to lend an air of medical legitimacy to what is essentially the effect one could obtain from visiting a motel with vibrating waterbeds. Some VAT hucksters make a big show of pointing out that the FDA has classified vibroacoustic-related equipment as a Class One Medical Device (a category that includes stuff like elastic bandages, exam gloves, tongue depressors, etc.) hoping it will be misperceived as government approval of their therapy.

Lacking actual peer reviewed studies indicating that it's any better than a conventional deep tissue massage, VAT remains outside the medical mainstream, but is a popular fixture in places like Canada[5], Russia[6] and Slovenia. And if you dig through the layers of pseudoscientific techno-babble published by "The International Society for VibroAcoustics", you'll find their proudest achievement is "not having received any reports concerning harmful effects of VibroAcoustic Therapy."[7]

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