Sorry for the long title. I've been thinking a lot about these unconventional and slightly controversial uses of sound outside of a "sound design" context. I wonder if there's anything useful amidst all the pseudo-science to us as engineers and artists. Is anyone here an expert (or an "expert", or for that matter know anything on the topic) on either of these?
"Sound Healing" is a in vogue right now. The idea is basically, unless I'm misunderstanding it, that your body vibrates in a certain way, and by pummeling the body with pressure wave vibration you can encourage the body to vibrate differently, or you can resonate with different organs. Like a lot of contemporary pseudo-science, the feeling I get from speaking with practitioners is that it mates massive misunderstanding of string theory with eastern philosophy.
But I can't help but wonder is there a grain of worthwhile truth in this that's worth pursuing as a sound designer?
The scarily named "Digital Drugs" are less pseudoscience and more misnomer. The idea, and it works to a degree, is that either:
1) You pair sound patterns or drones with flashing lights to produce a mild visual hallucination. This works, but it's nothing new. OR
2) You play certain sounds that are meant to reproduce the effects of certain drugs. I haven't tried this, but it looks to me like a scheme for the producer of these sounds to make a lot of money off of young people by compounding the established truth that sound-can-make-you-feel (that's what we do, right?) with the placebo effect and the halo of interest/controversy around recreational drugs.
But again, I wonder, is there something here we can exploit to make better art? Take away the "digital drugs" label (placebo effect + halo of interest), and does enough truth remain that we can use certain patterns of sound to produce a physiological effect? Or am I wrong about the falseness of the "digital drug" craze?