February 02, 2015

Bad Vibes - Is there such a thing as "sound therapy"?

I stumbled across this article recently where the title asks the question: "Is a Sound Bath the New Way to De-Stress?" The subtitle promises to show you "(h)ow to cut through the noise and attain inner peace." What the article actually describes is a mix of half-truths and straight up pseudoscience.

Music is used by people to relax, de-stress, and as a part of a mediation routine. There is nothing wrong with making such claims. But phrases like "balance energy flow," "energetic stagnation," and a claim that sounds can help treat knee pain caused by running just make set off my BS detector.

I don't expect a fashion magazine to be bastion for accurate science reporting. But they shouldn't let their interview subjects make scientific claims without a little bit of fact checking.

For more about pseudoscientific claims surrounding the healing power of sound see the article called "Healing and Harming Sounds" (about halfway down that page)