PISTA Therapy: Working with Sound Through the Mind
An excerpt from the eBook of To Mind and Mend by Françoise Béguin, Selina Chan, and Dr. André Stang
One of the most successful methods that utilize sound and vibration for improving the quality of life today is Processing Inner Strength Towards Actualization (PISTA), an approach that helps individuals understand personal situations and rebuild their lives according to their own values and choices. PISTA Therapy uses different stimuli to regulate and optimize brain processes and consequently alleviate stress, relieve pain, and pacify fears. Harmful habits, improper behavior, and unhealthy thought patterns are also altered.
The PISTA method harnesses the power of the mind to teach a renewed understanding and acceptance of situations. The mind is trained to identify and correct unsafe thought patterns. Individuals can independently find life direction and attain greater psychological well-being in the process. Because this method strengthens one’s capacity to have an accurate self-concept and higher self-esteem, individuals develop better relationships and are able to think clearly about their emotional hurdles.
The PISTA Stimuli and Tools
One of the key factors to the success of PISTA Therapy is the stimuli it uses to enhance mental processes and sharpen the mind. These stimuli optimize brain functioning and create favorable mental states that help in the daily management of emotions and the treatment of several disorders in a safe and non-invasive way.
The different stimuli used in the PISTA method include Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, the PISTA device, rhythm, play, and art. These incite specific regions of the brain, which are responsible for the condition experienced by the client. Stimulation fires up these regions to send signals to the nervous system. This rippling effect creates a relaxed state of mind and paves the way for positive psychological, physical, and emotional changes.
Rhythm and Music
Rhythm exists everywhere, even in the brain where conscious and un- conscious processes are carried out in complex patterns. The more people listen to music and complex rhythms, the more efficient brain processes become. At some point, rhythm recognition and processing become autonomous so that the brain more freely and efficiently devotes effort to important, complex and conscious thoughts.
PISTA modalities also employ rhythm with a biological stimulus like walking. When the legs are moved alternately, the left and right synchronization is created, stimulating the both hemispheres of the brain. Similarly, tapping on both legs alternately has the same effect.
Magnetic Pulses Target Areas of the Brain
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a procedure that uses magnetic field pulses to influence brain activity, is another tool used in PISTA Therapy. This technology emerged when Faraday discovered the principle of mutual induction, which states that electric energy converts to magnetic fields and magnetic fields convert to electric energy. This led to the use of electromagnetic coils to send vibrations to the brain. TMS is called rTMS when it is repetitive and when magnetic stimulation is delivered at regular intervals.
The PISTA Device
According to various studies, the PISTA device is the stimulus that brings the most positive results. This tool is intrinsic to PISTA Therapy and is the product of 4 decades of in-depth research by the PISTA research team of experts. It incorporates binaural beats and allows individuals to reprogram their minds to help alleviate emotional, psychological, and physiological pain and stress.
Discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove in 1839, a binaural beat is the third beat or signal that is detected by the brain when two tones of different frequencies are presented to the left and right ears. This discovery was followed by Gerald Oster’s extensive research on bin- aural beats, which led to the idea that when the brain starts to follow or resonate with this third beat, the effect called the Frequency Following Response is created. Oster’s research paved the way for more developments in using auditory simulation to enhance brain functioning.
PISTA employed Oster’s research into the PISTA device to generate two tones, which the brain combines and alters into a single tone in the auditory process called brain entrainment. The frequency of this single tone may vary according to the state an individual wants his or her brain to achieve. For example, if a patient is hooked to an Electro- encephalograph (EEG) during deep sleep, the EEG graph would display a frequency pattern in conformity with a brain in the act of sleep (delta wave). Since this pattern is conducive to the state of sleep, the brain of a patient suffering from insomnia will absorb this frequency. Unconstructive attributes are eliminated and a gateway to undiscovered depths of the mind is opened.