Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy is a specialized form of harp therapy that blends the ancient traditions of the healing harp and modern technology. Often described as a musical massage, the harp,  with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years. Since its inception in 1990, VAHT has reduced pain and enhanced the quality of life for hundreds of patients. VAHT is a whole-body therapy, provided by certified VAHT practitioners.

What does a VAHT session feel like?


The sounds of the harp resonate with the body and mind.  The live performance of harp music, amplified through a vibrotactile chair or pad, is directly delivered to a client's body in the form of sound vibration. 
Appropriate music is selected based on the recipient’s needs. The recipient is asked to focus on areas of tension/pain in the body. During that time, specific tones resonate in those areas chosen to impact the areas of concern. Each person experiences the musical tones in different ways at different times.  The therapy is a very dynamic process and is tailored to the unique individual. 

 

Who is VAHT for?


People of all ages can benefit from VAHT. Whether you are suffering from work overload or are dealing with a serious medical condition, vibroacoustic harp therapy is a powerful modality that will help you relax and allow healing to take place. Many people experience relief from anxiety, chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, and more following a 30-minute session.

What to expect from VAHT.

During a VAHT session, live harp music is amplified through a sound table, chair, or vibrotactile device. Clients are asked to focus on areas of tension/pain in the body, while specific tones that resonate in those areas are identified. Each client experiences the musical tones in different ways at different times; therefore the therapy is a very dynamic process and is tailored to the unique individual. Appropriate music is improvised or selected, based on the client's needs. When the client is relaxed, abstract thinking slows and awareness expands. VAHT often produces responses such as deep relaxation, dream-like imagery, pain, and tension reduction, increased energy, increased body awareness, and feelings of being nurtured. Imagery often provides new awareness, positive reframing, and/or processing and integration of psychological material. The client/therapist interaction allows for immediate responses in the course of the session.

A client’s response to VAHT could also include:
1. Coherence (resonance and entrainment/synchronization among diverse physiological systems in the body)
2. Absorption of energy
3. Stimulation/balancing of ch’i energy
4. Lymphatic stimulation
5. Pain and stress reduction (from near-endocrine changes; interrupted impulse transmission along pain pathways; increase in low alpha brainwave activity; muscular relaxation; decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate)
6. Perceptual changes (I.E. synaesthesia)
7. Mood elevation

VAHT is a non-pharmacological approach to treating pain, stress, and anxiety, and it has virtually no side effects. The level of receptivity of the client can affect the outcome of the session, as is the case with most interventions. During the usual 30 to 60-minute sessions, clients generally note significant symptom reduction within the first 20 minutes of the session.

**Please understand that if you have: very low blood pressure; an active bleeding disorder or thrombus; have a pacemaker; had a psychotic episode; a post-traumatic stress disorder; or are pregnant, there could be a slight risk of an adverse reaction from VAHT.  Please have physician approval and/or have discussed your history of any of the aforementioned disorders with the Vibroacoustic Harp Therapist prior to receiving treatment.**

What is Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy?

healing harp therapy

Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy is a specialized form of harp therapy that blends the ancient traditions of the healing harp and modern technology. Often described as a musical massage, the harp,  with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years. Since its inception in 1990, VAHT has reduced pain and enhanced the quality of life for hundreds of patients. VAHT is a whole-body therapy, provided by certified VAHT practitioners.

Harp therapy is a general term used to describe the continuum of types of therapies in which the harp is used. The harp, with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years.


Harp therapy may be provided at home or in a clinical setting. The setting largely dictates what size harp can be used, however, a variety of sizes of harps may be used to provide therapeutic harp music. When therapeutic harp music is played, recipients may receive beneficial effects such as increased relaxation, improvement in sleep, decreased pain and anxiety, stabilization of vital signs, and improvement in mood. An end-of-life music vigil can also help a patient to achieve a peaceful transition.


Some harpists, trained in other therapeutic disciplines such as psychology, music therapy, and occupational therapy, use the harp in their practices to elicit specific cognitive or behavioral changes. In addition, a harpist might teach an individual to play the harp to assist in pain reduction, to help to overcome physical, mental, and emotional challenges, to create a sense of community in a group setting, and to provide physical rehabilitation.

 

Research in the field of harp therapy not only focuses on clinical studies and case studies but also explores the unique attributes of the timbre of the harp through cymatics, acoustics, and quantum physics.  


Typically, a therapeutic harpist receives training from a therapeutic musician training program. The graduate is then awarded a certification credential that is unique to his/her program. Standards of practice for Therapeutic Musicians have been established by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM): www.nsbtm.org.

 

Credit:  The Harp Therapy Journal, published by Musiatry, LLC