Soothing Bell

PISTA: Self-Empowerment Through the Mind

An excerpt from the eBook of To Mind and Mend by Françoise Béguin, Selina Chan, and Dr. André Stang

In his book, The Power of Sound: How to Be Healthy and Productive Using Music and Sound, Joshua Leeds described the year 2010 as the beginning of the decade of sound. After many years wherein sound and music have been used differently in health and wellbeing across cultures, the birth of high technology images produced by advanced technologies, like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), paved the way for scientists to study the brain and its functions in ground- breaking ways. Perception started to change as more of these ma- chines became available.

Now, there are new ways for researchers to explore and study the effects of sound and music to human functions. Studies discovered that cognitive interpretation of music is so complex and uses many various parts of the brain. The effectiveness of stimulating the mind and harnessing its powers to facilitate learning and to take control of everyday life through sound now has supporting data to validate sup- positions and findings.

Effects and Aspects of Sound

Psychoacoustics is the study of the effect of music and sound on the nervous system, including psychological responses and physiological impact. Traditional psychoacoustics generally pertains to the perception of sound and the production of speech. 

There are two perceptions of sound: psychological and neurological. The psychological perception is the memory-based reaction triggered when a song or melody from childhood is heard. This also involves physiological reactions such as the acceleration or delay of brain waves in response to detuned tones, for example. The soundtracks create a random, sonic effect and trigger an active listening response that tones the auditory system including the tiny muscles in the ear. As a result, sounds are heard more accurately, and speech and communication skills are improved.

 

The neurological perception of sound, on the other hand, is what draws many to psychoacoustics, especially after Alfred Tomatis established a school of thought that values the examination of both the psychological and neurological effects of resonance and frequencies to the human body (Leeds, 2010).

Tomatis asserts the extraordinary power of the ear by saying that other than the critical function to aid in communication and balance, the ear’s primary purpose is to recycle sound and recharge people’s inner batteries. According to Tomatis, the first function of the ears in utero is to govern the growth of the rest of the physical organism. After birth, sound nourishes the nervous system just as how food provides for our physical bodies.

Leeds also explained that the human auditory mechanism serves as a barometer of physiological status as well as of the emotional state of mind. The effects of a malfunctioning auditory system may result in more than a diminishing state of hearing.

Image by Jackson Simmer

Sound, a Tool to Uplift Human Experiences

Because of its power to control the human body, new methods lever- age sound for healing as it can be used as a tool to de-stress, improve mental productivity, accelerate learning, minimize pain, and facilitate healing.

PISTA Sound Therapy is one of these contemporary methods that leverage the human auditory function to heal and improve wellbeing. Developed by a group of psychotherapy practitioners in 1980, PISTA Sound Therapy is the product of years of research on sound and issues arising from various neurological disorders.

When the Ecole Natio- nale de Ski et d’Alpinisme joined the research team in 1997, Dr. Siu Chung Wong and his team used PISTA frequency and research in healing sound to develop PISTA ski techniques that which applied their research in energy disruption on the body energy systems. The technique addressed energy imbalance among ski athletes and studied how the method can be integrated with mainstream medicine.

Since 1969, PISTA has been conducting research on sound, light, and frequency to discover new ways of applying these to neurological disorders. New methodologies in structuring the treatment with sound, light, and vibration have also been developed and carried out by practitioners for behavior modification.

PISTA incorporates these techniques to create new neural pathways that will facilitate resolutions to emotional pains and overcome thoughts that trigger fear. The mind is calmed and trained to maintain clarity during confusing and painful situations wherein strong emotions are felt. With the guidance of licensed coached who are trained in the PISTA method, the mind is retrained for optimal functioning. A buddy system of support provides personal and continuous guidance as patients learn to manage daily encounters throughout their process of recovery.

All cases that were analyzed under this research initiative prove that PISTA Therapy is extremely productive and effective. Patients who have fluctuating symptoms were able to surmount their challenges. Their programs employ a process that involves close communication and weekly progress monitoring using online tools. Now, PISTA Therapy is the method that equips individuals to live confident, well- managed lives.