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HEALTH BLOG 

RHYTHMIC SENSORY STIMULATION

If you are a musician, you know the beautiful effects of sound and music. But isn’t it sad that the general public and governments don’t realize its effects on our health? If they would only realize this, then music education and live music in general could be more integrated into everyone's daily living. 

There are many incredible effects of tonal music and other vibrations whether or not it is produced rhythmically, especially the effects of vibration and resonance during singing, both within our own bodies and its vibrational effects on others. But for now, I am going to focus specifically on rhythmic sound stimulation. 

I've been searching for a scientific explanation(s) as to why I have found rhythmic sound stimulation so powerful, (ie scientific explanations including the social elements, but particularly the required focus and concentration, and the impact of rhythmic sound vibrations) whether instrumentally (including through the drum), through movement, and vocally, but especially during my experiences with Samba Squad more recently, as well as my pre Samba Squad experiences with:  Patrick Parson of Ballet Creole (culture, song, dance and drumming of Trinidad and the Ivory Coast),  workshops with David Thiaw (drumming and culture of Senegal), workshop with Kwasi Dunyo (culture, song, drum and dance of Ghana), visiting master Djembe drummers from the Ivory Coast (culture, song, and drumming) hosted by Ballet Creole, workshops with COBA (Collective of Black Artists) (song, drum, dance and culture), and Guiomar Campbell (surdo, culture, and songs from Brazil), Jacky Essombe (dance workshops and culture of Cameroon).  

Sometimes, it is very challenging to explain because there are so many factors involved such as dynamics, the integration of frequencies from a variety of instruments, DNA, and spirituality. But I thought I'd share a tiny bit of what I've located in my search, in the event you didn’t already know about the effects of 40 hz (similar to a low E. See video below (Dr. Bartel's Tedtalk to hear this sound).  It would appear that 40 hz helps all parts of the brain communicate with each other and brings everything into sync (two papers below demonstrate that there may even be benefits for those with Alzheimers). 

As musicians we intuitively know that the interconnectedness of drums and other instruments integrate various frequencies and that complex rhythms can create a tremendously powerful effect on the brain and health in general. But narrowing in on one isolated frequency is so fascinating in and of itself. This might explain a small fraction of my positive experiences with sound in general. 

A great Samba Squad performance at this link (no doubt there are moments of 40 Hz created by the combinations of instruments).  

Science is only a way to prove what we already know from experience. Unfortunately, the general public and policy makers/government want this kind of proof. My understanding is that Indigenous Healers (who use sound) know in intimate detail what science is only now being able to prove through the use of newer technology.  The following is only a glimpse at some of the scientific proof. 

Extract.: 
"There is substantial evidence that coherent 40 Hz  neural oscillation is a fundamental frequency of  healthy brain activity and of intra-brain communication  [8–10]. Further it has been determined that the  40 Hz oscillation is a covariate of cognition and not  simply an induced sensory phenomenon [9]. This is  important for persons diagnosed with AD since they  appear to have lower levels of 40 Hz oscillation than 
persons of the same age with ‘normal’ brains [8].  Important for the premise of the present study is the  finding that auditory stimulation in ‘normal’ persons  can reset the 40 Hz oscillation [9]. More recently, it  has been shown that 40 Hz steady state oscillation can  be stimulated or “driven” with vibration [11]. 

"The quantitative results of the study are encouraging  and suggest that 40 Hz stimulation over time  can lead to increased cognition. Further studies are  needed to confirm this and to assess which if any of  the AD groups (mild, moderate, severe) benefit the most  from this treatment." 

Clements-Cortes, A., Ahonen, H., Freedman, M., & Bartel, L. (2016). Rhythmic sensory stimulation and alzheimer's disease. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 17 

This paper is referenced in this video talk below at around 10:40 minutes

 

Here is a recent study conducted by U of Toronto:  

Mosabbir, A., Almeida, Q. J., & Ahonen, H. (2020). The Effects of Long-Term 40-Hz Physioacoustic Vibrations on Motor Impairments in Parkinson’s Disease: A Double-Blinded Randomized Control Trial. Healthcare, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8020113

Here is another article which talks about an experiment completed by MIT using 40Hz and mice:

https://news.mit.edu/2019/brain-wave-stimulation-improve-alzheimers-0314

And here is what their 40 Hz sounds like (40 Hz = Gamma Wave)

Just to note:  tonal frequencies and a 40hz wave are different. Isochronic beats are beat patterns not tones. This means that beats are pulsing on and off 40 times per second which creates a pulse that our brains respond to. 

 

 

Neural and Behavioral Evidence for Vibrotactile Beat Perception and Bimodal Enhancement | Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | MIT Press   

 by Sean A. Gilmore,  Frank A. Russo 

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2021) 33 (4): 635–650. 

https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01673

 Abstract  

The ability to synchronize movements to a rhythmic stimulus, referred to as sensorimotor synchronization (SMS), is a behavioral measure of beat perception. Although SMS is generally superior when rhythms are presented in the auditory modality, recent research has demonstrated near-equivalent SMS for vibrotactile presentations of isochronous rhythms [Ammirante, P., Patel, A. D., & Russo, F. A. Synchronizing to auditory and tactile metronomes: A test of the auditory–motor enhancement hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1882–1890, 2016]. The current study aimed to replicate and extend this study by incorporating a neural measure of beat perception. Nonmusicians were asked to tap to rhythms or to listen passively while EEG data were collected. Rhythmic complexity (isochronous, nonisochronous) and presentation modality (auditory, vibrotactile, bimodal) were fully crossed. Tapping data were consistent with those observed by Ammirante et al. (2016), revealing near-equivalent SMS for isochronous rhythms across modality conditions and a drop-off in SMS for nonisochronous rhythms, especially in the vibrotactile condition. EEG data revealed a greater degree of neural entrainment for isochronous compared to nonisochronous trials as well as for auditory and bimodal compared to vibrotactile trials. These findings led us to three main conclusions. First, isochronous rhythms lead to higher levels of beat perception than nonisochronous rhythms across modalities. Second, beat perception is generally enhanced for auditory presentations of rhythm but still possible under vibrotactile presentation conditions. Finally, exploratory analysis of neural entrainment at harmonic frequencies suggests that beat perception may be enhanced for bimodal presentations of rhythm. 

added to website Nov 5, 2021

 

 

 

How Dancing Helps Parkinson's patients

Katayoun Ghanai, Rebecca E. Barnstaple & Joseph FX DeSouza (2021): Virtually in synch: a pilot study on affective dimensions of dancing with Parkinson’s during COVID-19, Research in Dance Education, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2021.2005560

Fontanesi C, DeSouza JFX. Beauty That Moves: Dance for Parkinson's Effects on Affect, Self-Efficacy, Gait Symmetry, and Dual Task Performance. Front Psychol. 2021 Feb 5;11:600440. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.600440. PMID: 33613357; PMCID: PMC7892443.

Débora B. Rabinovich, Nélida S. Garretto, Tomoko Arakaki, Joseph FX DeSouza, 
A high dose tango intervention for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD), 
Advances in Integrative Medicine, 
Volume 8, Issue 4, 2021, Pages 272-277, 
ISSN 2212-9588, 
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2021.07.005.

 

BONEHEALTH  AND MOVING SAFELY 

Disclaimer:  The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in a public group(s).   

Exercise is a highly recommended part of addressing the factors that can lead to fracture such as  balance competency, frailty, decreased strength, etc.  

 At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime.  

Exercise can modify some fall risk factors and thus reduce falls in older adults.    

2/3 vertebral fractures do not come to clinical attention because they aren’t felt at the time; however over time, through repetitive loading from activities of daily living, jobs, sports etc. one can develop a curved spine (hyperkyphosis).  

Vertebral fractures can occur from bone loss whether at the level of Osteoporosis or Osteopenia (lower levels of bone loss).  

Using the term Low Bone Mass is sometimes preferred over using the term Osteopenia.  

Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms unless one has fractured.  Tiny fractures of the spine which aren’t felt when they occur or even evident until years have passed can occur with Osteopenia.  

Fractures from Osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.  

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians needlessly fracture each year because their osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated.   

Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis.   

The most common sites of osteoporotic fracture are the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip.   

No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified.   

Risk factors include age, sex, vertebral compression fracture, fragility fracture after age 40, either parent has had a hip fracture, >3 months use of glucocorticoid drugs, medical conditions that inhibit absorption of nutrients and other medical conditions or medications that contribute to bone loss.   

For older adults, studies have shown that adequate calcium intake can slow bone loss and lower the risk of fracture. Protein is another important nutrient for building and repairing bones.   

If you think of bone mineral density as a slope, normal would be at the top and osteoporosis at the bottom. Osteopenia, which affects about half of Americans over age 50, would fall somewhere in between.  

There are many determinants of bone strength such as size, shape, architecture and composition which are each determined by many factors such as genetics, age, diameter, collagen density, sex steroids and others.   

Move safely if you’re at risk of spine fracture due to osteoporosis, or due to another condition:  twisting and bending - for example, holding a twisting or bending pose or bending all the way forward or twisting all the way around.  

Cues for safety:  keep the neck in line with your spine; hinge at the hips; use your quads to lift  

See page 28 onward for more details of risks at this link (Osteoporosis Canada – Too Fit To Fracture). https://osteoporosis.ca/wp-content/uploads/OC-Too-Fit-To-Fracture-Osteo-Exercise-Book.pdf 

It is important to realize that the relationship between Bone Mass Density (BMD) and fracture risk is continuous, that is, there is no fracture threshold.  This means that the cut off points are arbitrary.  But generally speaking, most people who have fragility fractures have T scores above – 2.5  

The “10-Year Fracture Risk for Community-Dwelling Adults” works as follows:   

1) BMD: T score     PLUS   

2) CAROC: in addition to the T score, it takes into consideration age, sex, fracture history and steroid use.  For example, the presence of both having had a fragility fracture and steroid use puts the patient at high fracture risk regardless of BMD T score results   

OR   

FRAX:  some factors involved in the FRAX assessment include weight to height ratio calculation, parental hip fracture history, presence of rheumatoid arthritis, current corticosteroid use, whether currently smoking, alcohol intake (3 or more glasses per day of beer (285ml), wine (120ml), spirits (30ml) or aperitifs (60ml).   

PLUS  

Adding in analysis of physical capacity.  

this website has been updated January 8, 2022 

SOURCES:  

www.bonefit.ca   

https://osteoporosis.ca/fast-facts/   

https://osteoporosis.ca/nutrition   

https://clindiabetesendo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40842-018-0062-7   

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX/tool.aspx?country=19   

https://clindiabetesendo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40842-018-0062-7   

www.bcwomens.ca/our-services/population-health-promotion/osteofit/