Vibroacoustic therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vibroacoustic therapy (VAT) is a type of sound therapy that involves passing low frequency sine wave vibrations into the body via a device with embedded speakers.[1][2] This therapy was developed in Norway by Olav Skille in the 1980s.[3] The Food and Drug Administration determined that vibroacoustic devices, such as the Next Wave® PhysioAcoustic therapeutic vibrator, are "substantially equivalent" to other therapeutic vibrators, which are "intended for various uses, such as relaxing muscles and relieving minor aches and pains";[4] thus, vibroacoustic devices (therapeutic vibrators) are "exempt from clinical investigations, Good Guidance Practices (GGPs), and premarket notification and approval procedures."[5]



Low frequency (<30 Hz) whole body vibrations of restricted energy levels showed improvements in circulation.[6]


Vibroacoustic therapy uses low frequency sinusoidal vibrations between 30 and 120Hz. This is similar to the range of subwoofers or vibrating theater seating. 40 Hz specifically has been widely studied in vibroacoustic therapy and a number of fields as well.[7]


Vibroacoustic devices come in a range of forms including beds,[8][9] chairs,[10] pillows, mats,[11] wristbands,[12] wearable backpacks,[13] and simple DIY platforms.[14] They generally function by playing sound files through transducers, bass shakers, or exciters which then transfer the vibrations into the body. Some devices attempt to target very specific parts of the body such as the wrist or the spine.

Proposed mechanisms of action[edit]

One of the proposed mechanisms of action for vibroacoustic therapy is brainwave entrainment.[15] Entrainment suggests that brainwaves will synchronize with rhythms from sensory input. This further suggests that some brainwave frequencies are preferable to others in given situations.

Current practice[edit]

Vibroacoustic therapy is available at a number of spas, resorts, and clinics around the world.[16]

Related therapies[edit]

Vibroacoustic Therapy is closely related to Physio Acoustic Therapy (PAT) which was developed by Petri Lehikoinen in Finland.[17] Both are examples of low frequency sound stimulation (LFSS).[18] More broadly, they are subsets of Rhythmic Sensory Stimulation (RSS) which is being studied across a range of sensory modalities.[19]


The science behind vibroacoustic therapy has been questioned by multiple sources. Some sources refer to it as pseudoscience and the TedX talk by prominent vibroacoustic researcher Lee Bartel has been tagged as falling outside of the TED talk guidelines. Practitioners of VAT do agree that more research is needed as VAT has been a largely clinical practice since its inception. Academic research published in peer reviewed journals and meeting higher scientific standards is being pursued at the University of Toronto and other institutions to address these objections.[20]


  1. ^ Kantor, Jiří; Kantorová, Lucia; Marečková, Jana; Peng, Danping; Vilímek, Zdeněk (October 2019). "Potential of Vibroacoustic Therapy in Persons with Cerebral Palsy: An Advanced Narrative Review". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16 (20): 3940. doi:10.3390/ijerph16203940. PMC 6843730. PMID 31623221.
  2. ^ Kvam, Marit Hoem (1997-06-01). "The Effect of Vibroacoustic Therapy". Physiotherapy. 83 (6): 290–295. doi:10.1016/S0031-9406(05)66176-7. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  3. ^ "What is Vibroacoustic Therapy". Skille-Lehikoinen Centre for Vibroacoustic Therapy and Research. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Sec. 890.5975 Therapeutic vibrator". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  5. ^ "NEXT WAVE PHYSIOACOUSTIC MATTRESS". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  6. ^ Mahbub, MH; Hiroshige, K; Yamaguchi, N; Hase, R; Harada, N; Tanabe, T (November 2019). "A systematic review of studies investigating the effects of controlled whole-body vibration intervention on peripheral circulation". Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. 39 (6): 363–377. doi:10.1111/cpf.12589. PMID 31278826. S2CID 195813360.
  7. ^ "40 hz - PMC - NCBI".
  8. ^ "healBED". healBED Vibroacoustic Device.
  9. ^ "About". Nex Neuro Vibro-Acoustic Therapy.
  10. ^ "Sound Chair".
  11. ^ "Vibroacoustic Research". Sound Oasis.
  12. ^ "The Science I Chronic Stress, Heart Rate Variability, and Cortisol". Apollo Neuroscience, Inc.
  14. ^ "Sound Tables and Sleep Medicine". Flower & Frequency.
  15. ^ Leuk, JSP; Low, LLN; Teo, WP (2020). "An Overview of Acoustic-Based Interventions to Improve Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease". Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 12: 243. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2020.00243. PMC 7457064. PMID 32922283.
  16. ^ "Sound Table Therapists". Inner Solutions.
  17. ^ International dictionary of music therapy. New York: Routledge. 2013. ISBN 9780415809412.
  18. ^ Naghdi, L; Ahonen, H; Macario, P; Bartel, L (January 2015). "The effect of low-frequency sound stimulation on patients with fibromyalgia: a clinical study". Pain Research & Management. 20 (1): e21-7. doi:10.1155/2015/375174. PMC 4325896. PMID 25545161.
  19. ^ Bartel, Chen, Alain & Ross (July 2017). "Vibroacoustic Stimulation and Brain Oscillation: From Basic Research to Clinical Application". Music & Medicine. 9 (3): 156. doi:10.47513/mmd.v9i3.542.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Multidisciplinary Applications of Vibroacoustics – from Clinical Practice and Research to Future Directions". Music & Medicine. 9 (7): 150. July 2017.