Sound Therapy Treatment ‘Hacks’ Into Brain Frequencies To Treat Hypertension And Migraine

HIRREM Sound Therapy

An innovative, non-invasive neurotechnology designed by Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, balances the brain frequencies in the left and right hemispheres, lowering blood pressure and removing migraine symptoms. The results of two experiments presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions validate that the intervention shows real promise.

A neurotechnology, called high-resolution, relational, resonance based electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM) was used in the studies. It uses sensors placed on the scalp to measure brain electrical activity, and any imbalances between the left and right brain, and hyperarousal, according to study author Hossam A. Shaltout, R.Ph., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest.

Most people have relatively balanced electrical activity between the right side and left sides of the brain,” says Shaltout. Imbalance, with one side dominant, or more active, may reflect autonomic dysregulation associated with the effects of chronic stress, which is thought to play a role in high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, depression, hot flashes and more.

The brain’s electrical activity is monitored by HIRREM in real time. As it registers the levels, it translates them into computer-generated audible tones which it repeats back simultaneously via ear buds to the person whose brain is being monitored.

Wake Forest School of Medicine describes HIRREM as a “novel, noninvasive, closed-loop, electroencephalic-based feedback technology to facilitate auto-calibration, and self-optimization of neural oscillations by using auditory tones to reflect dominant brain frequencies in near real time.”

In one study, impact of HIRREM was studied by researchers. They recruited 10 men and women with stage one hypertension at the beginning of the study. The participants underwent 17.7 HIRREM sessions over 10.2 in-office days. The team found that the participants experienced an average decrease in their systolic blood pressure, from 152 to 136 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), while their diastolic pressure was lowered from 97 to 81 mmHg.

In the other study, the effect of HIRREM was examined on 52 adults suffering from migraines. The participants received 15.9 sessions of HIRREM over 9 in-office days. Comparing the data collected before the therapy to two weeks after, the team found patients reported improvements for mood, insomnia, and headaches.

These studies are part of a larger research program that has now recruited over 400 individuals in one of five studies to evaluate the effect of HIRREM for multiple symptoms and conditions.

No doubt those suffering from insomnia and migraine will be eagerly waiting to hear the results of the larger trial.

Ariel Jacoby
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