Life is never simple for someone with Meniere’s disease.
I guess life is never simple for anyone, but Meniere’s disease can really muddy the waters. There are so many moving parts.
Learning to manage the chaos and complexity is like juggling chainsaws; every misstep can have major consequences. And there’s no magic bullet to make it all go away.
But at the same time, there is always hope, and we are not powerless. We can start to better understand our illness and how it affects our bodies and minds. We can alter our lifestyle and environment to feel better more of the time. And we can build a toolkit to address the challenges we face on a daily basis.
Today I offer you another tool for your toolkit.
It Started with a Hunch:
I love music. I always have.
There’s nothing quite like hearing an incredible song for the first time. Feeling the chills up your spine as something resonates deep within you. Something you can never fully understand. Something that moves you in a way you didn’t expect.
Most people know that good music can change how we feel. But what most people don’t know is that our emotional response to music is only one tiny aspect of its potential. It goes much deeper than that.
In fact, technology exists that allows us to alter our mental state, and how we feel, in a very targeted way, with nothing but sound. And it’s becoming more powerful and more mainstream every day.
If you take this at face value for a moment, the possibilities are endless for someone with Meniere’s disease. Imagine a song that could replace the coffee that so many of us have to give up. Imagine music that could melt away the anxiety caused by this terrible disease.
But first things first, let me tell you a story.
It all started with a hunch I had several months ago: if vertigo can be suppressed with Benzodiazepines like Valium, and the technology exists to alter our consciousness with nothing but sound, would it be possible to suppress vertigo with sound?
I had no idea. But I figured it would be easy enough to test it and find out. So that’s what I did. And the results were better than I could ever have hoped for.
But before I get into that, you need to understand how any of this even possible in the first place.
This is your Brain on Sound:
At this point in the story, I need to explain a few things or nothing will make sense.
The first thing you need to understand is that at any given moment in time, your brain produces not one, but five different types of brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
These electrical signals are how your brain cells communicate with each other, and one of the five is always more dominant than the rest. Which one depends on your mental state, how you feel, and whatever it is that you happen do be doing.
It changes constantly.
But the important thing to realize is that there is a specific and somewhat predictable brainwave pattern directly associated with every single action you could ever take, as well as every single way you could ever feel.
To put it simply – how you feel changes your brainwaves – but amazingly, the opposite is also true. You can change your mental state, and how you feel, by changing your brainwaves with an external stimulus. This effect is known as Brainwave Entrainment.
Why it works is somewhat more complicated to understand.
It starts with a strange phenomenon found in nature called the Frequency Following Response, which describes a process by which similar patterns synchronize with each other.
For example, pendulum clocks hanging on a wall set at different rates will synchronize with each other. Metronomes in close proximity will synchronize as well.
But the Frequency Following Response also affects natural systems, which is how certain sounds can provoke changes in your brainwave patterns.
When your brain is exposed to a steady rhythmic sound at a specific frequency, say 8 beats per second (8 Hertz), your brainwaves will begin to synchronize with the frequency of the beat. In this example, 8 Hertz, which happens to be an Alpha brainwave, temporarily becomes your dominant brainwave.
And because 8 Hz Brainwaves are closely correlated with feelings of stress relief and deep relaxation, by simply listening to the beat, you will quickly find yourself feeling very relaxed.
Time to Experiment:
There were several obstacles I needed to overcome before I was going to be able to test my theory. The biggest of which was how to create the Brainwave Entrainment sounds that I needed for the experiment.
I felt that if I could induce a sedating and deeply relaxing Theta brainwave state while someone was having vertigo, it could possibly mimic the sedating effects of a Benzodiazepine and reduce the vertigo. At the very least, I figured it might reduce the panic and anxiety that always accompanies a vertigo attack. If anything, this alone might help to reduce the intensity of the vertigo.
I also knew that I wanted to use Isochronic tones. Not only are they the newest and most powerful form of audio based Brainwave Entrainment, but they work even with partial hearing loss. Other forms of Brainwave Entrainment would not.
I just didn’t know where to begin.
My big break came several days later, when I stumbled across an audio engineer and Brainwave Entrainment enthusiast with over 10 years of experience on a forum. He graciously offered to work with me.
Together, we were able to create a deeply relaxing track, engineered with hearing loss in mind, and I was finally ready to start testing.
I had recruited more than 30 people through the Mind Over Meniere’s Facebook page, all willing to give it an honest try. I instructed everyone to listen at the first sign of an attack.
At this point all I could do was wait.
A few days later the results started to come in. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It seemed like such a long shot. But low and behold, people began to report a decrease in the intensity of their vertigo. Some people even reported it was able to halt attacks altogether.
I couldn’t believe it was actually working. But the reports kept on coming, and to my surprise, it was helping with other symptoms as well. Some people were listening to reduce stress, while others were using it to fall asleep. I knew I was on to something.
Updates, Updates, Updates:
As many of you know, two months ago I released the Symptom Relief Project: a pay-what-you-want album of MP3s, all featuring Brainwave Entrainment sounds each designed to help relieve a different Meniere’s disease symptom.
It launched without much fanfare, but as more people listened, I was able to get a much better understanding of what was working and what wasn’t.
For the most part, the reports were incredibly positive, but there were also some issues. The biggest problem seemed to be the sound of the Isochronic tones themselves. A small percentage of users had a hard time listening to the pulsing tones, which I’ll admit can sometimes be jarring.
So while more and more people began to listen, I went back to work. I devoured everything I could find on brainwave entrainment and purchased state-of-the-art audio engineering software designed to create this type of sound and nothing else.
I’m glad I did too, because the results speak louder than words. Every track has now been rebuilt from the ground up. The music tracks no longer have external pulsing tones, but have the Brainwave Entrainment effect embedded into the music itself through volume modulation.
The end result is a new type of track that sounds like music but causes the same powerful mind altering effects. Click play below to hear exactly how this sounds on the new Vertigo Reliever track. (But please read the disclaimer first – the sample is very sedating.)
I want to say thank you to everyone that joined me on this strange journey. Your feedback and comments have helped me create a powerful tool for finding relief.
Moving forward, I will continue to create new sounds under the “Vitality Mind Music” brand. I have a lot of ideas and many exciting things in the pipeline!
But today I am proud to announce the Symptom Relief Project version 2.0 is now available. I hope it continues to help everyone and be one more helpful tool in your Meniere’s toolkit!
P.S. If you have already downloaded the tracks, be sure to log back in and download all of the new files!