With peaceful background music playing, several voices guide you into a state of deep relaxation, almost to sleep. Sometimes in your left ear, sometimes in the right and sometimes in both, you hear symbolic stories which are both amusing and soothing, and which get right through to your subconscious, whilst your attention is placed in a state of rest.
These titles, which are based on Dr. Milton Erickson's suggestion techniques, are the result of fifteen years of research in psychoacoustics and psychosomatic medicine (a considerable number of hospitals in Belgium and France use them currently: sleep laboratory, observation ward, loco-regional anaesthesia, preventive medicine, etc.).
- Read here about the usage of the Audio-Medicine tool
Today everybody accepts that the subconscious exists as a kind of "black box" which records all our life, and we have all felt the extent to which music can influence our emotions and modify our moods.
Furthermore, the part of the brain related to the emotions, which is also designed to react immediately in the case of danger, and hence prepare the body for rapid action, regulates all the automatic functions of our organs (heartbeat, gastric secretion, breathing, intestinal peristalsis, dimensions of the blood vessels, sleep, erections, etc.). It is closely connected to these functions by the nervous and glandular systems. In the case of stress or an emotional disorder, depending on the subjects' profiles, nervous tensions which cannot be released through action and reaction sometimes affect the behaviour of certain organs and cause them to function abnormally.
The relaxation and suggestion which are used by Audio-Medicine tools hence make it possible to bring these nervous tensions under control in your own home. These tools are hence a useful complementary solution to individual psychological treatment and/or medication.
Given the experience that we have acquired in the hospital and medical environments over the past 10 years and the substantial relaxing effects observed in loco-regional anaesthesia, observation wards and sleep laboratories, we can consider the content of these recordings as genuine auditory active ingredients.
A complement to treatment by medication
Medication is a physiological means of dealing with physiological symptoms. Audio-Medicine tools are emotional tools to deal with emotional problems. This is where the complementary nature of Audio-Medicine with respect to general medical treatment comes into play. When a doctor analyses the emotional state of a patient, he or she first listens to what the patient has to say and then gives appropriate advice and prescribes suitable medication.
The medication has an effect at the physiological level, and listening to the Audio-Medicine tool becomes the continuation at home of the emotional treatment started in the doctor's surgery. The advantage of the Audio-Medicine tool is thus to enable the patient to obtain emotional support in his own home. The Audio-Medicine tool does not replace either a medical treatment or a medical specialist, but complements and extends the effect of these.
Produce an impact on the subconscious
Repeated listening to messages which have been specially coded to get through to the subconscious has a profound influence on the listener's behaviour. This is proved by the sometimes unexpected influence on our behaviour of television advertising. The indirect suggestion used by this recording is undoubtedly currently the most effective method for getting these powerful subconscious resources to come into play to help us change behaviour patterns which we consider as not being good for us. It operates in such a way that, without any conscious effort on your part, you develop the type of behaviour pattern that you are seeking.
This is a genuine conditioned relaxation reflex related to the theme being treated, which will gradually work its way into your being and you may also find that you may be able to take a step back from your anxieties or the source of your stress. It seems that it is not events in themselves that are a source of stress, but, above all, the way in which we interpret them with respect to our way of life.
What is indirect suggestion ?
Dr. M. H. Erickson
Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Milton H. Erickson, this technique has the distinctive characteristics of being non-aggressive, flexible and indirect, whilst making standardized suggestions. At the end of his life, Dr. Erickson spent most of his time taking therapists into his garden. He did this while telling them stories and working with his students while they studied his technique. And, working intuitively, he found out how to propose a theory which was applicable for the whole group. Dr. Erickson's own daughter, who is herself a psychologist, has designed recordings which go along with the tradition of her father's work: "My father told the same stories over and over again. He used metaphors in their widest sense. In this way, they gave a range of possible positive choices, thus enabling a series of different people to identify with them in different ways, depending on their character. He proposed a universal message, but more than one person took the message as something that seemed to be addressed to him or her personally". Carol Erickson - Interview Magical Blend 07/1991
How to talk to your body and why ?
The body and its organs are closely linked to the brain, and more specifically to the emotional centre in the brain, which, in particular, regulates all the "automatic" functions. When stress or depression occurs, and depending on the person's characteristics, certain organs are undeniably used to express the accumulated tension. By listening to the relaxing recordings and by means of the powerful technologies used by these "Audio-Medicine tools", the emotional centre in the brain can be accessed, thus allowing for a degree of re-balancing of the tensions with respect to the organs that it regulates.
On the one hand, there are the psychoacoustic technologies implemented in these Audio-Medicine tools (audio frequencies between 3 and 8 hertz, guided relaxation and breathing exercises) which act as a powerful relaxing agent and make the anti-stress safety valve operate, and on the other hand, the suggestions included have a soothing effect on the targeted organs. Several studies published in international magazines (for example, in "Nature") have proved the influence of suggestion on human organs. But to reach the objectives of these techniques, it is important that the rational part of the brain, that of active thinking, be "put to sleep". This is what is called "letting go" or getting to the stage of "hearing without listening to" the messages contained in the recording; without this "switching off" the receptiveness of the subconscious would be very significantly limited.
Induction and suggestion
Several different methods are used in our recordings to get people to "switch off" their attention, such as:
- multiple recalls,
- "rhythmic beats in both ears",
- specific stimuli by means of sounds, and visual stimuli at certain frequencies, which, used together, are really effective in getting the subject into a state of receptiveness !
Once the subject has reached the state where his or her attention is "switched off", access to the resources of their subconscious resources is much easier. This is why most of the message is conveyed by the therapist in the form of stories, fairy tales, legends, texts coming from other stories taken from everyday life... All items which have, of course, been chosen because of their suggestive power, whilst using Dr. Erickson's confusion technique for overcoming conscious resistance to the suggestions of changes.
More than one voice at a time
Speaker for Brazil
At certain specific points in the recording, two stories are told simultaneously. This is a method which prevents the subject's critical and analytical faculties from concentrating on the suggestions, which are audible (and not subliminal). As a general rule, the subject's conscious "gives up" and stops paying attention to the two stories. Furthermore, in order to avoid any attempt by the conscious to listen or to link the stories to the problem to be solved, the technique of using metaphorical language is used. Research has shown that the language of the subconscious is basically metaphorical.
Audio relaxation tools, can under no circumstances, replace a medical or psychological treatment, but can be used to compliment and provide a non personalized psychological aid at home.