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Page Up Date 09/23/2019

Page Up date 04/05/2022

Can Vibration Alleviate Pain?

By Dr. Ashraf Girgis ND.

Did you know that our entire body and its all of its trillions of cells and bacteria are in a constant move and dance in a universe within ourselves?What if these dances and moves, so important and vital to our everyday well being and health,could be modified by various vibrations that could be beneficial for us?

I am an extreme proponent of our energy. An energy that moves continuously and connects us to one another. Energy that is connecting us to our surroundings, all the creatures on our planet, nature all around us, and the entire universe as a whole. But as scientists are now finding out,vibrations and sounds can actually benefit our health.

For example, chronic pain has a crippling effect on our wellbeing. According to an analysis funded by the National Institute of Health in 2015, 25.3 million adults (11.2%) in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is considered to be pain that lingers for more than 3 months. 17.6% or 40 million Americans experience severe chronic pain (1).

In a study done by UK Manchester University, scientists demonstrated for the first time that if the brain is tuned-in to specific frequency, it can result in pain alleviation. Scientists found out when patients that are exposed to alpha waves (frequency of 10 Hz), they have an increase in pain reduction. In other words, scientists experimented with music and flashing lights to increase alpha waves in the brain, therefore reducing the level of pain one experienced. This has huge implications for patients suffering with chronic pain.

This is especially important when opioid addiction is so devastating in America and is costing so many precious lives. In 2016, 20,000 deaths in the United States were caused by an overdose of prescription opioids, and 13,000 as a result of heroin overdoses. Many of these individuals are seeking pain relief and tragically losing their life due to addiction (3). Can you imagine 36,000 deaths in one year due to overdoses? This is about 98 deaths daily. Which bring us to the issue of pain. But first, what are brain waves?

Our body, including our brain, is continuously in vibration. A bit like a beautiful choreographed ballet! These connected and beautiful movements, when taking place in our brain, shape our thoughts, feelings, behavior, and subsequently our actions. These movements and vibrations, depending how we feel, create waves. These waves can represent what state we are in and are measured in hertz (cycle every second).

These types of waves are described below:


 Also called a very slow wave. They are between 0-.5 HZ. Since they are very slow, they are difficult to detect and measure accurately. Infra-low waves seem to play a role in brain timing and network function (5). In one study, eight participants with psychological complaints (fatigue, stress, sleep problems) were administered 20 sessions of infra-low frequency neurofeedback training. EEG was used to measure brain waves in the patients. Results indicated improvement in metabolic balance in brain tissue in addition to efficiency of stress regulating systems (6).

2. Delta Brain Waves

Delta brain waves occur at a frequency of .5 to 3 HZ. These are considered loud brain waves. They are usually generated during meditation or dreamless sleep. Cell repair, healing, and regeneration takes place at this stage (6).

3. Theta Waves

Theta waves are between 3-8 HZ. Theta waves occur when we dream, drift to sleep, or when we are beyond our conscious awareness. This state also holds our nightmares and our past troubled history (6).

4. Alpha Waves

Alpha waves are between a frequency of 8-12 HZ. Alpha waves happen when we are in the “Here and NOW”, when we are present, alert, and calm. This is a stage of mindful meditation(7).

5. Beta Waves

Beta waves occur at a frequency between 12 to 38 HZ. This is the state of engagement and consciousness. Beta waves are divided into 3 different categories. Beta1, which is between 12- 15 HZ, Beta2, between 15-22 HZ, and High beta or beta 3, between 22-38 HZ (6). This is a state of complex thoughts and high anxiety. The brain uses lots of energy during this state.

6. Gamma Waves

Gamma waves occur between 38-42 HZ, and is the fastest brain wave. Yet, in this stage the mind has to be very quiet to have the ability to access gamma waves. For a long time, the gamma brain wave was dismissed as a “spare brain noise”. However, scientists discovered its active presence in higher virtues such as spirituality and love. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests gamma waves connect and bind many of the brain’s sensory and cognitive operations (8). Gamma waves manipulate perception and consciousness.

Now that you understand various brain waves, lets see what the findings say about the connections of brain waves, vibrations, and pain relief. We know music can affect our pain perception. In a study done on patients with fibromyalgia, scientist Lili Naghdi et al. (2015) at the University of Toronto looked at the impact of vibrations (impected by sound) on pain.

Nineteen patients at a median age of 51 years received 10 treatments (twice a week for 5 weeks) for 20 minutes at a frequency of 40 HZ (9). The scientists noticed significant improvements; they concluded, “LFSS treatment showed no adverse effects and patients receiving the LFSS treatment showed statistically and clinically relevant improvement. Further phase 2 and 3 trials are warranted” (9).


In another study done by Brazilian scientists, Weber et al., (2015) studied 120 patients with fibromyalgia in four different groups, including a control group that received nothing.

They concluded, “The results suggest that the placebo effect in FM (fibromyalgia) may be substantial. However, comparison between groups revealed that the complete group had the greatest reduction in both FIQ(Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) and HAQ(Health Assessment Questionnaire), with a significant improvement in HAQ((Health Assessment Questionnaire), suggesting that the combined use of music and vibration exerts a greater effect on FM symptoms” (10).

The bottom line is that music creates a frequency that seems to be affecting not only pain, but lowering anxiety and helping overall wellbeing. I have previously written an article about music you can read here. So to relieve your pain and relax your mind, crank up your favorite music and listen. Or even better, dance! Instead of your boring gym routine, why not dance while listening to your favorite tunes?

There have even been benefits found for whole body vibrations without music. NASA, while studying muscle and bone loss prevention in space, found out that 10 minutes of vibration therapy in space promoted near normal bone formation rates. The experimentation with humans used vibrations of 30 HZ. Other benefits of vibration include weight loss, burning of fat, increased blood flow, and decreased stress hormones. There is also evidence of a decrease in back pain and improving balance in older people (12).


Ashraf Girgis

Thanks for visiting www. To schedule a talk by Dr. Girgis on this topic, please call 1(616)777-0608. Dr. Girgis schedules at least six months in advance for any talks. If interested in buying books for your organization or have any other issues, feel free to leave a message for Dr. Girgis at 616-777-0608 or email her directly at




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