Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How Sound Therapy Influences the Social Nervous System

On Monday, May 16th the Westchester sub-chapter of the NAA NY Metro chapter was delighted to have Sarah Gayle Schoenbaum present. Sarah an very experienced Occupational Therapist (OT) presented information on the therapeautic program, Solisten®, which is the portable application of the Tomatis® Method. She described how Solisten's revolutionary sound training program strengthens the ear and energizes the brain, improves many areas including auditory and sensory processing, stress, speech and balance. Furthermore, Sarah discussed how hearing is composed of both air and bone conduction . Solisten stimulates both of these as well as the vestibular receptors in the ear. The result is a nervous system that is more efficient including speed and accuracy. With this efficiency the body trusts its own resourses to keep it safe. This may include safety in a complex social environment and safety in a physically challenging environment.

Solisten particularly addresses the social nervous system which is the part of the nervous system that helps us to efficiently respond to complex social situations by stimulating the cranial nerves that help our mouth move and our eyes move and our eardrum hear. This is why solisten is so helpful in reducing the anxiety in children on the spectrum because their social nervous system is brought on line.

The social nervous system is part of the polyvagal system. It is the part of the nervous system that is on line when one feels safe. When one does not feel safe one looses the efficient use of this system and has to rely on the sympathetic or dorsal vegal system which causes fight, flight or freeze. We have all seen this response in our kids. Besides supporting the social nervous system Solisten can positively effect balance, motor planning, auditory processing, and visual spatial awareness. Sarah recommended Stephen Porges' new book The Polyvagal Nervous System to further delve into the intricate nervous system.

The take home message was that children & adults with autism spectrum disorders are in stress and they freeze or overreact to their environment due to dysregulation. By balancing the nervous system through listening therapy one can become balanced and more equipped to handle the surrounding environment.

Sarah Gayle Shoenbaum, MA OTR/L has been in the field since 1979. Sarah is an instructor and clinician of occupational therapy, craniosacral therapy, neurodevelopemental treatment (NDT) and sensory intergration. For more information you can contact Sarah at insidemoves@optonline.net


Chelsy brown said...

Sound Healing therapy moves the patient closer to health, harmony and state of balance. There are number of frequencies which heal the illness in a natural and effective way which is known as Healing Sound. Listening to the specially recorded sound frequencies during your daily routine can create the positive changes which will enhance the quality of your life.

Anonymous said...

Very educative article!Each experience with sound healing will differ depending on your feelings and surroundings. I've recently tried a nyc soundbath and that was amazing!