The principle basics
The value of music in alleviating patient anxiety and other distress factors in the healthcare and other closed environments has long been documented. While Ambient Therapy encompasses music, this new approach pioneered by Chip Davis represents an integration of music, natural sounds and the application of mathematical science in recording technology. This integration results in an ability to alter spatial perceptions and place the listener within a new setting, reflecting the principles of psychoacoustics.

The term “psychoacoustics” can be defined in many ways including the academic explanation that it is the study of subjective human perception of sounds, the “how” of acoustical perceptions. A real-life explanation, as defined by Davis, is that you believe you are where your ears tell you that you are.

Ambient Therapy combines natural sounds recorded in a 200-by-200 foot algorithm with musical compositions that help guide emotional content. When delivered through Ambience Medical’s proprietary music system in a surround-sound retrofitted healthcare environment, the result is a breakthrough application of how the auditory process becomes a powerful therapeutic tool.

The basic goal of Ambient Therapy is the well-being of the whole individual: To remove the institutional noise, both mechanical and human, that contributes to a patient’s feelings of confinement, uncertainty and being unwell. The ability to “mentally transport” a patient outside the hospital room relies on several elements that contribute to believability and strength of the psychoacoustic effect. Davis incorporated these elements in creation, composition and recording of Ambient Therapy

Davis created, composed and recorded a series of six titles for Ambient Therapy: “Bird Song”, “Summer Song”, “Autumn Song” Night Song”, “Desert Song” and “Ocean Song”. All titles evoke natural sensory experiences; some of the programs can be used in three different ways:

  • With Music and Nature Sounds
  • With Nature Sounds Only
  • With Music Only

The recordings are delivered through the Ambient Therapy System; prototypes of the patent-pending unit have been in use at selected medical facilities. Its innovative and leading-edge design, combined with surround sound distribution, ensure the unit maximizes both the delivery and perceptual impact of the recordings.

Participation and comments from surgeons, physicians, nurses and hospital staff who have experienced Ambient Therapy reaffirm its many benefits. Validating feedback includes the system’s ability to:

  • Effectively mask the disconcerting noises of a hospital setting
  • Alleviate feelings of confinement, isolation and claustrophobia
  • Provide a general sense of comfort and wellness
  • Counteract the often-overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Replace negative self-absorption with serenity, openness and receptivity
  • Impact not only the patients, but the actual caregivers

Of special note were comments about Ambient Therapy’s impact on “resetting” a patient’s biological clock, especially after undergoing a long surgery or emerging from a disorienting state of reduced consciousness. Selected titles from the series, as “Bird Song” and “Night Song”, were found to be instrumental in re-establishing a connection with actual time.

The programs can also connect individuals to the natural rhythms of the day through early morning sounds and soothing evening notes. And, for patients experiencing long periods of a confining stay, Ambient Therapy helps relieve feelings of sensory deprivation from their outside world.

The contributions of Ambient Therapy to the design of a healing health care environment allows progressive medical facilities to serve the deepest needs of their patients and their families – resulting in compassionate leadership for the future.

Current Applications:

  • Pain Distraction and Minimization
  • Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
  • Counter-Act Isolation and Claustrophia
  • Reestablish the Patient’s Normal Daily Rhythms
  • Reduce and Mask Hospital Noises
  • Positive Impact on Patients and Medical Staff

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