Personal accounts of recovery from balance disorders
Sound Therapy is known to assist with vertigo, particularly the sudden, unexpected, nauseating attacks associated with Meniere’s Syndrome. It is also frequently reported to assist with more general persistent balance disorders of unknown origin. For some people, if they don’t have a severe problem, the improvements in balance will be fairly minor and may not even come to our attention, except for a mention in passing. But every now and then we hear from someone who has a life-changing story from their Sound Therapy listening, particularly in the area of balance disorders.
Touring the Country with Sound Therapy
In 2009 we received this account form Alan Oxenbridge. He and his wife came by my office one day as they were touring Australia in their Fifth Wheeler and we had a visit. Alan’s wife, Ruth, told me that when he had first suggested they go on a road trip she was terrified as she couldn’t imagine how they would manage when he had his Meniere’s attacks. He could be sick for days and this was also very stressful for her. But as a result of the Sound Therapy program, he had virtually fully recovered and they were able to undertake their trip with confidence.
“My wife saw an ad in a magazine about Sound Therapy, so I encouraged her to find out about it as it mentioned curing vertigo or Meniere’s, which I have suffered with from the age of 28 and I am now 64. I had a few years break, but it had come back in recent years. When an attack hit I was so giddy I had to go to bed and then sicken sometimes 6 or 8 times.
After we bought a kit for the therapy I started listening for 3 or 4 hours a day but ended up causing more severe turns, so I cut it down to 1 ½ hours or sometimes less for a long time. I had some bad noises sometimes in my right ear but after about 220 hours listening my turns became less severe, then the last two turns I had I never had to go to bed and never sickened so I knew things were starting to improve, until about 250 hours listening I was woken one night with a terrible noise in my ear and had to sit up for 1 ½ hours till it quietened off, then the next night it happened again but not so loud, then I woke up a couple of days later and all noises were gone except for the faintest ringing in that ear which is still there but I know it will eventually disappear.
It is now exactly 7 months since this happened and I have had no sign of any turns. It doesn’t make me giddy to lie on my back or on my left side which always did make me giddy before.
I will continue to listen for the rest of my life because of the advantage of other things it is helping with.
I hope this will help someone that has suffered as I have.
Kind regards, Alan Oxenbridge, Queensland, Australia
PS I am so thankful for Sound Therapy
PPS I forgot to say my hearing in the right ear is nearly as good as the other. It was half deaf before.”
In speaking with Alan, I remember him saying that at times he would by lying in bed at night listening to a noise like trucks going up the hill and changing gears. This was tinnitus, associated with Meniere’s. I have heard at least one other account of similar noises in the ears, so I believe this is a function of a certain type of maladaptation of the ear, which can occur with Meniere’s. This problem was completely stopped for Alan by ongoing use of Sound Therapy.
I recently spoke to Alan again, and he told me he had no turns for 8 years after starting the program. He then stopped listening and has had some problems with dizzy spells again more recently, so has now resumed listening again with more of the advanced programs.
Farmer Gets a New Lease on Life
This account came in just this week from Les Williamson, one of our farmers, a long-term listener with an extraordinary story. Many farmers have used the program over the years, and it has helped not just with hearing issues caused by exposure to farm machinery, but also the stresses and uncertainties of farming life in a drought-ridden country.
Approximately 20 years ago I was losing my hearing very fast and I was prescribed hearing aids. I was getting worse by using them, and at a loss as to what I could do next.
I had quite a good knowledge of sound waves and frequencies but never heard of Sound Therapy. We were going through one of the worst droughts in NSW and money was very scarce. I met a lady who had a Sound Therapy unit and she loaned me the book and I read it thoroughly. I purchased the program and used it almost every day. I read that there would be a breakthrough at some time but not knowing what to expect I just kept on using the program for month after month. My hearing didn’t seem to get any worse, and the only thing I noticed was that I was quite peaceful within myself.
I noticed that people I knew were looking at me in a strange way, but made no remark.
Then one day an old “hippy” said to me, “What kinda grass you on man?” I was highly insulted at his remarks and asked him what he meant. “Well, you always happy.”
Then I thought to myself, why was I always happy? Everyone else was downhearted with the drought, and all their animals were dead, or very poor, and nothing would grow. I asked people what was different about me and they confirmed the hippy’s remarks. Why was I enjoying happiness? My animals were dying, and my crops did not grow. There was only the Sound Therapy.
I began taking more notice, and I was hearing better, and handling life better than others around me.”
During this time, I met Les when he came to a meeting I was holding at Narooma. At the time he had been working for some time as the NRMA roadside assistance man in Narooma. He stood up at the meeting and recounted his story.
He told us that prior to Sound Therapy his job had been causing him a great deal of stress. In his town, there were a great many retirees, and they often would not go out or use their car for weeks at a time. Then they would need to go out to a doctors appointment, and as it had been sitting idle, the car wouldn’t start. Now older people have a great deal of respect for the doctor, and they hate to be late. In fact, they get very stressed if they are running late, so Les found himself constantly dealing with people who were in a state of high stress and anxiety, and he was carrying the stress of the town. As a result, he wasn’t sleeping, and this was taking a toll on his marriage. He then started Sound Therapy, and lo and behold, started sleeping peacefully every night! It made the world of difference, and he told us that night that he felt it has saved his marriage.
Not only this but on the other side, he and his wife liked to go on long road trips, which required many hours of driving. Being stressed and overtired, Les found himself falling asleep at the wheel. However, once he began using Sound Therapy, it helped him to stay alert and do the long drive with ease so they could enjoy their holidays again.
Les continues his story:
“About 15 years passed, with still no hearing aids. I then had to change employment and was not able to use my Sound Therapy. Slowly my hearing deteriorated to a level where I went to an ear specialist and he put me on Serc tablets at a strong rate. There were many “side effects” and I was referred for Psycho treatment. After several doctors and stopping all medication I found myself almost totally deaf, and I had no balance at all. I could not walk, and every night at 4 am I would suffer terrible nausea, and I was not even able to crawl to the bathroom.
As there seemed to be no future except a home of some kind, as I am now 75 years old, I started listening to my Sound Therapy, and it seemed to help slightly with the nausea. Time passed and as there was still an improvement, I purchased Levels 2 and 3 Sound therapy programs and used them every day.
Now after about 4-5 months I have hearing in my left ear that I was told was totally dead and an improvement in the right ear. I have to use hearing aids but I have about 75% hearing and 80% balance again.
I am still persevering, and things are still improving every day. I would be happy to talk to anyone who has had a similar experience. As to the 3 Sound therapy books I have, I would like to congratulate you Rafaele on writing such a well presented, explained, and easy to understand books with such helpful information. I will keep you informed of further developments.
Kind regards from Les Williamson PS. You have my permission to publish all or part of this letter. 19 May 2018.”
Due to his recent improvements in what was thought to be a dead ear, Les is now able to use and benefit from a hearing aid for the first time. This is a great example of Sound Therapy and hearing aids working very well together. Sound Therapy is not normally an alternative to a hearing aid, but a very useful addition when it can improve the damaged ear and the pathways for sound perception in the brain enough to benefit from using a hearing aid.
Sound Therapy and How It Cured my Balance Problems
In 2004 I received this extraordinary, detailed account of a very interesting adventure in balance difficulties, from John A Clancy, an acclaimed and dedicated music teacher and specialist in the human voice. I am including his whole story here as it is very interesting and relevant reading for those who may have similar problems.
I myself had been a music teacher in schools for over twenty-five years when I was struck by the first major illness of my life. I woke that morning feeling that I was not functioning properly. From that day onwards, the manifestations of my illness developed. There were three main manifestations. These were: 1. The feeling that liquid had been released inside my skull and was flooding its interior. 2. An intense tiredness, dryness, and soreness of the eyes, which no amount of rubbing or massaging would alleviate. 3. The most long-lasting manifestation was a sense of loss of balance. This affected my general movements, my ability to stand up for any length of time and my general sense of equilibrium. For the rest of the year, I had to teach my music classes and conduct my choirs sitting down.
During the next eight months or so, I consulted six general practitioners, two ear specialists, a physician, a neurologist, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a shiatsu masseur, a naturopath, a Chinese medical practitioner. Although chiropractic and in particular acupuncture seemed to help to treat the symptoms of imbalance, I did not feel that they had cured the problem, whatever it was. ¬
My doctors referred me to a multitude of tests. These consisted of a CT scan, an MRI, a blood flow test which I think was called the Doppler test, and other blood tests. Most significantly I was referred to an ear specialist for a balance test on the ears. This test consisted of a standard hearing test and the specialist looking into my ears with some specialist equipment. From this examination that particular ear specialist informed me that my balance problems did not originate in the ears and that he had eliminated his side of the problem. An examination by another specialist about eight months later confirmed the same opinion.
I was at a health and welfare exhibition, held in November 2002, when I first became aware of how Patricia and Rafaele Joudry had developed Dr. Tomatis’s method of sound therapy into a kit that could be used by anybody in the privacy of their own home, or indeed in any situation. Obviously, the cost of purchasing such a kit would be far less than that involved in undergoing the Tomatis treatment at one of the clinics. However, the words of the ear specialist assuring me that my problems were not of the ears were clear in my mind. Why should I go paying yet more money for yet another therapy that would most likely not alleviate or cure this problem of balance, the cause of which the medical profession had been unable to diagnose? I had already spent a small fortune on the various tests, consultations and alternative treatments and therapies. As a compromise, I bought the excellent book “Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain” by Patricia and Rafaele Joudry. My opinion that I should not pursue Sound Therapy was further confirmed by the fact that the book focused primarily on cases where the therapy had been used to heal hearing problems, with few references to cases where patients had suffered problems of a sense of balance. A long and frustrating journey still awaited me.
It was on this trip to South America that I began to notice a few persistent patterns. Journeys by boat or ship always produced very bad attacks of imbalance. A two-hour crossing from Colonia in Uruguay to Buenos Aires produced a severe attack of imbalance which lasted for about three days. Walking on a polished marble floor basilica, while suffering from severe imbalance, was probably not the wisest move, but I managed to remain standing.
About two weeks later, when in Peru, I went on a boat trip on Lake Titicaca. A smooth morning crossing to the island on the lake resulted in a few balance problems. However, the return journey was very choppy, with the result that bad problems of balance persisted for about three days after this. It was with some trepidation that I arranged to walk the Inca Trail. Determined that my condition was not going to rule my life, I decided to go ahead with the trek. Walking, particularly on hills and mountains, had always helped my condition, and this was certainly the case on the Inca Trail. I had absolutely no problem. Why did sea journeys produce such problems that seemed to disappear even in altitudes of about twelve thousand feet?
The final months of 2003 saw the nature of my problem with balance changing. Rather than being a general feeling of imbalance, I now felt that I was being pulled to my left side. To me, it seemed like there was a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. As I had now decided to open my own private teaching studio at the start of 2004, I felt that I must try to overcome this problem. A boat journey up the Hawkesbury River in January had led to similar, but not as severe, balance problems as I had experienced in South America. The problem must have had some connection with the ears. I now decided that I must look at sound therapy.
About a week after the boat trip, I contacted Sound Therapy International in Sydney and ordered a sound therapy kit. I listened to the recordings of specially filtered Classical and Baroque music for the prescribed periods of three hours a day. For the first two or three weeks, I did not feel that any change was taking place. Then gradually I began to notice an improvement. The pull to the left side of my head seemed to be waning. My feelings of imbalance began to improve. I persisted with the therapy, confident now that things were under repair. I continued the sound therapy for the required three months. My sense of balance has now virtually returned to normal. Long periods sitting down at, say, a computer, may still produce a slight problem; but then, I suppose, there will always be a tiny vestige of a serious illness which could have finished my career. What had caused the improvement, if not indeed the cure?
“What causes Meniere’s? At a purely physiological level, it is related to an excess of fluid in the vestibular system which controls our balance. But this does not explain why the attacks are so sudden. A French specialist, Dr. Alfred Tomatis, came up with an explanation which leads to new treatment options. Dr. Tomatis has proposed that Meniere’s vertigo is due to a sudden change in the tension of the stirrup muscle. This muscle may be subject to involuntary twitches, like any other muscle of the body. Such twitching would radically alter the fluid pressure in the inner ear chambers, thus causing havoc with the balance mechanism.
“This communicates to the brain via the vestibular branch of the auditory nerve, that there is a sudden movement of the head, which gives the patient the feeling that the world is spinning or falling away beneath them. Dr. Tomatis designed a treatment program which creates a general rehabilitation for the ear by activating the middle ear muscles. It has many different benefits, and one of them is the significant relief that it can offer Meniere’s sufferers. It is believed that the re-toning of the stirrup muscle achieved by Sound Therapy means that the pressure on the inner ear chambers is properly balanced, and the sudden changes and the resulting dizziness subside. Tomatis explains that once the stirrup muscle has been rehabilitated with the regular exercise provided by the Sound Therapy ¬program, it no longer goes into spasm and the Meniere’s attacks do not recur.
Sound Therapy also impacts on various parts of the brain, producing better interconnections and coordinated sensory integration. It may be therefore that Sound Therapy impacts on Meniere’s in other ways through its direct effect on the brain.”
Now available as a self- help program, thousands can have access to this therapy who could not afford the cost and inconvenience of traveling to a clinic. No consultation is necessary, but a book by Rafaele Joudry explains how to use the program at home.
I should point out here that I do not think that I had suffered from Meniere’s Disease. After all, none of the large array of medical practitioners whom I consulted had been able to diagnose the nature of my illness and declare that it was Meniere’s. More significantly, I understand that Meniere’s sufferers suffer from more severe symptoms of dizziness, imbalance, and vertigo that I had experienced, often accompanied by severe physical illness. I had never suffered actual sensations of dizziness or vertigo. In my case, it had been my sense of balance which was the problem.
There are a number of questions I must ask before I conclude this article, although for most of them I do not feel that I am qualified to provide answers. What had caused my mysterious illness? It is possible that a class music teacher’s constant exposure to sound and sometimes noise above an acceptable decibel level may eventually lead to problems of hearing and even balance. It is possible that over twenty- five years of such music teaching may have led to such an ailment in my case.
I have told my experience here in the hope that someone somewhere sometime may be spared the long, frustrating, and at times unnerving journey that I went through. We as music, singing, and voice teachers need to know that there is a therapy out there which may well be able to alleviate and even cure illnesses that can strike from nowhere. Maybe some ear specialists need to become more familiar with the healing power of sound therapy. After all, its origins date back to. Biblical (Old Testament) times.”
John has kept in touch with us over the years and is still using Sound Therapy.
John A. Clancy has worked as a class music teacher in four continents over a period of twenty-seven years. He has taught in Catholic and Anglican schools, primary and secondary, in Australia. He has recently opened the Bendigo Studio of Vocal Art and Music, where students are taught voice (singing), voice (spoken), and piano….
John holds the degrees of Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Music from British and Irish universities. In 1988 he was awarded the Licentiate of Trinity College London (LTCL)” and in 1990 the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, London (LRSM) as a teacher of Singing. During the 1990s John Clancy founded and developed the Gippsland Chamber Opera Company in Victoria, a company which still performs today. During the late 1990s, John developed a great interest in the spoken voice and in drama as an art form per se. He studied for the Diploma of Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) as a teacher of Speech and Drama with speech teacher, the late Cherie Sadler, who sadly died before he had completed his studies. In late 2003 John Clancy was awarded the LGSM, being only about the second person in Victoria during the past ten years to achieve this. He has been an active member of ANATS since 1990.
If any readers wish to inquire directly with John Clancy about his experiences with Sound Therapy, he can be contacted at PO Box 1219, Bendigo, Victoria 3552. He is reluctant to include his email address on account of its use by SPAM mailers.
Patricia Joudry and Rafaele Joudry. 1999. Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain. Sound Therapy International.
Rafaele Joudry. 2001. Triumph Over Tinnitus. Sound Therapy International.
Jahn Lander. 1996. What Role Does the Ear Play in Singing? Australian Voice 1996.
David Dalziel. 2001. Review of ‘Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain. ‘
Australian Voice 2001