Clinical Practice and Theory of VAT

What is Vibroacoustic Therapy?
In 1982, Olav Skille defined VAT as the use of sinusoidal, low-frequency (30-120 Hz), rhythmical sound–pressure waves mixed with music for therapeutic purposes. Skille noted that VAT’s ‘‘low-frequency sound massage’’ would assist in the reduction of pain and other stress-related symptoms. In current times, low-frequency sound vibration therapy is one application of music therapy practiced worldwide, although in actuality is used only by a minority of music therapy practitioners. Physical therapists, psychotherapists, psychologists, nurses, medical doctors, and other health care professionals who have clinical training for the use of VAT may also be trained to use it. Other pioneers in the field of VAT are Tony Wigram, Petri Lehikoinen, Saima Tamm, Riina Raudsik, and Eha Rüütel. Tony Wigram’s first VAT programs were a mixture of music and low-frequency sound, which he named ‘‘vibroacoustic music’’ (VAM). Skille refined the concept of VAT to the use of one, amplitude modulated, sinusoidal sound. In best clinical practice, VAT is a combination of low-frequency sound vibration, music listening combined with therapeutic interaction. With this combination, it is possible to address a client’s emotional, cognitive, and social problems, alongside bodily functions and sensations.

More information about VAT can be found in recent article by Punkanen and Ala-Ruona published in Music and Medicine: Contemporary Vibroaocoustic Therapy: Perspectives on Clinical Practice, Research, and Training.