Whilst reading through the June/July 2011 edition of the General Osteopathic Council’s journal ‘The Osteopath‘ I came across an advert for a series or courses on
These course are being run by UK registered osteopath Geoffrey Montague-Smith. I couldn’t resist having a closer look at what was behind this ‘healing power of sound‘.
First stop was a visit to The Atman Academy (Principle: Geoffrey Montague-Smith DO) where there is a full pdf copy of the course advert: Vibrational Medicine: The Healing Power of Sound. These 3 day workshop courses are described as follows:
“For the modern day practitioner the use of musical tuning forks on and off the body offers a diagnostic and therapeutic modality which is safe, reliable and very effective. “
OK so call me skeptical but this guy is talking about musical tuning forks offering a very effective diagnostic method …. I wanted to know more!
I soon found myself on the Atman Academy Sound Therapy web page. Here we find a video of Geoffrey Montague-Smith DO speaking on the subject of Vibrational Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine in 2009. The Royal Society of Medicine has a long and impressive history and has had some very distinguished members. So just maybe there is something worth while in this video, surely it has to be worth a look. [although I'm guessing that he just hired a room through their venue hire service!]
[The video is over 26 mins long and I've watched it so that you don't have too. I don't intend to give a full running commentary, but I will highlight a few of the points he covers and that should be enough to give you an idea of what it is all about. You may, or may not, want to watch the full video for yourself, but if you choose to do so, then it is entirely at your own risk! ]
I try to suppress my initial scepticism a little and and press the play button!
Oh Dear! The video opens with the words “Our good friend Edgar Cacey quite wisely said that sound is the medicine of the future“. This isn’t an encouraging start, Edgar Cacey is described as a“Twentieth Century Psychic and Medical Clairvoyant” and immediately any attempts to restrain my scepticism are being put to the test.
Conventional Medicine in 30 seconds.
00:24 – 00:54 These few seconds are all that are used to cover the use of sound in conventional medicine. It amounts to little more that a brief mention of sound being used to break down (gall) stones and its use in modern physiotherapy departments. Also the use of sound waves in ultra-sound scans during pregnancy, although he’s not sure that it is ‘such a cool thing to do‘ and questions the effects it has on the foetus. And then with the words “…so there’s that!” we are done with conventional medicine.
The Ancients, Mozart and Dyslexia.
00:55 – 02:55 Conventional medicine is now well and truly forgotten as the talk moves on to discus The Ancients, medical & spiritual ‘arts’, Shamanic rituals and a Powerpoint slide listing Tibetan bowls the Aboriginal didgeridoo and the resonances in the kings chamber in ‘the pyramid’. I am almost relieved when he says we don’t need to go into that in too much detail.
There is mention of the ’Mozart effect‘ – and how listening to Mozart helps with dyslexia. Accompanied by a new slide that says it helps the ear and promotes healing and brain development.
Bible Stories and Holosonic Pseudoscience.
02:55 – 07:25 Now the talk moves on to the subject of ‘Holosonics’ and how there is a bio-resonance into different tissues in the body. The slide states that every bone, organ and tissue has it’s own frequency. There is even a list of frequencies, given in Hz, that the different organs resonate at. [Although the slide is difficult to see the actual frequencies].
The nonsense continues with more talk of resonant frequencies, including a mention of using sound to bring down the walls of Jericho – [Really, Bible stories as evidence!]. There is pseudoscientific discussion on Dissonance & Consonance and their effects on the bodies ‘energy field‘. Another slide on ‘Holosonics’ that states: “Sound waves are like deep sound massage at an atomic and molecular level“.
[And did he really just say that he is going to show us how he uses aluminium tuning forks to identify dissonance in patients bodies! - Oh I want to see that!]
Time to throw in a quick reference to school days physics lessons with tuning forks. More Pseudoscience, this time on the subject of ’Cymatics’ and the work of Hans Jenny ”‘A natural scientist who perceived the unseen forces of nature”. He seems to be a big fan of Hans Jenny and his work into the effect of vibration on the physical level and how “different levels of frequency can physically change matter“. A slide tells us how Jenny’s work investigating the mathematical order of sounds has thrown light on the work of the likes of Pythagoras, Plato, Kepler and others.
SupraDNA, Tuning Forks and a Quantum Consciousness.
07:25 – 08:20 Now he’s talking about the diagnostic and therapeutic use of musical tuning forks and energy fields and another promise that he’s going to show us this in action. But first, time for a far bigger dose of pseudoscience. He’s ”Looking to have an effect on Cell Differentiation from a SupraDNA point of view” and that sound, colour and light and elements in the vibrational spectrum have an effect on DNA and can determine the process of cell division.
[I'm sure you'll understand when I say that any attempt to suppress my natural scepticism has well and truly failed. But I will persist because I really, REALLY want to see the tuning forks in action! ]
09:26 – 12:45 That’s enough of DNA, we’ve finally reached Musical Tuning Forks and how they offer ”Simple and effective protocols for the clinician” and are an incredibly powerful tool for Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths to use to work on residual shock and trauma. There is even a mention of giving out remedies, based on a form of ‘Sound kinesiology. There are also repeated references to ‘meridians’, ‘chakras’ and ‘energy fields’.
[At this point I am trying to remind myself that this course was advertised in the GOsC's Journal, the person speaking is a fully trained and regulated UK osteopath, and his target audience are other statutory regulated therapists !]
As an example, we are told that by using musical tuning forks to treat a ‘big 28 year old prop forward‘ who only understands physicality and not what is going on at the more subtle level, you can have him leaving your clinic with a ‘Quantum Consciousness‘.
[Ahh, Y'see, there's my problem ..... There was a time when I was a big 28 year old prop forward. No wonder it doesn't make sense, I must be lacking that Quantum element to my consciousness!]
Healing with Tuning Forks!
12:45 At last! We have video of Musical Tuning Forks in use. The footage is of Geoffrey Montague-Smith in action with his tuning forks and was filmed by the BBC.
The clip runs from 12:45 until 17:59. If you watch nothing else, you REALLY should watch that 5 min segment and marvel at the BBC’s coverage of a man waving various tuning forks above a pregnant woman’s body and that by listening to any ‘wobbles‘ in the sound it can be used as a form of diagnosis. And how by changing the tuning fork in use to one of a different pitch or frequency it can ‘fix‘ the problem.
Watching this segment it is easy to find yourself both laughing and cringing at the display of utter woo. But it seems far less amusing when you remember that this osteopath is using it to ‘treat’ a pregnant woman who seems to have been convinced that it is going to help her to have a stress free delivery for both herself and her baby! Worse still he is offering to train others in this nonsense!
[Personally I'd prefer to see it called Sound Harmonics In Therapy - and abbreviated to S.H.I.T ]
”The basic tools used are an Aluminium C 256Hz, G 384Hz and a High C 4096 Hz. The prefect fifth of C and G represent the principles of Yin and Yang”.
It would be very unfair to say that all osteopaths, chiropractors or physiotherapists would put their faith in this sort of nonsense, but a similar course was run in 2011 and this 2012 course is being advertised in the The Osteopath, so one can only assume that there is a level of interest. I'm amazed that the GOsC consider this rubbish to be suitable advertising for their journal. As a qualified osteopath Mr Montague-Smith doesn't limit himself to waving tuning forks around, he also runs an osteopathic clinic in Tunbridge Wells - the Atman Clinic. Although tuning forks don't seem to feature on the website, he makes some interesting claims for osteopathy for a variety of conditions and EAV (electro-acupuncture) testing for certain medical conditions and food sensitivity testing. It should come as no surprise that these claims are now with the ASA!