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Sound therapy gadgets

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The frequency of sound waves is measured in Hertz with 1 wave oscillation per second being 1 Hertz. Sound waves are divided in to three groups:

  1. Infrasonic are less than 16hz (too low to be heard)
  2. Intrasonic is between 16hz and 20,000hz. This is the frequency band which Novasonic Therapy uses.
  3. Ultrasonic is above 20,000hz (too high to be heard)



Ultrasound science and technology

The technology of ultrasound revolves around the transmission of cyclic waves through the skin and the surrounding tissues. The waves are generated by a piezoelectric effect caused by the vibration of crystals within the head of the wand/probe. The sound waves that pass through the skin cause a vibration of the local tissues. This vibration or cavitation can cause a deep heating locally though usually no sensation of heat will be felt by the patient. In situations where a heating effect is not desirable, such as a fresh injury with acute inflammation, the ultrasound can be pulsed rather than continuously transmitted. A greater power density (measured in watt/cm is often used in cases where scar tissue breakdown is the goal.

An ultrasonic transducer itself is a device that is capable of generating and receiving ultrasonic vibrations. An ultrasonic transducer is made up of an active element, a backing, and wearplate. The active element is a piezoelectric or single crystal material which converts electrical energy to ultrasonic energy.

Different ultrasound frequencies

A 1MHz ultrasound will penetrate about 4" below the skin whereas a 3MHz ultrasound unit will only penetrate about 1". Hence the 3MHz type is used more for cosmetic purposes and the 1Mhz type for deep tissue injuries. For therapeutic applications, 1MHz is the optimal frequency for both effect and penetration.

Power Output

It is measured in watts per square centimeter. The higher the power, the more energy is transferred into the body. If too high a power output is used and an ultrasound unit is left sitting still on the body, it is possible to burn the tissue beneath the skin. While several professional ultrasound machines are capable of these high powers, your medical practitioner will typically use a low power setting below 1 watt / centimeter squared. More power is not necessarily better. Practitioners usually use higher power to speed up treatments. It is actually more effective to use a lower power setting for a longer period of time.


Ultrasound can also be used to achieve phonophoresis. This is a non-invasive way of administering medications to tissues below the skin; perfect for patients who are uncomfortable with injections. With this technique, the ultrasonic energy forces the medication through the skin. Cortisone, used to reduce inflammation, is one of the more commonly used substances delivered in this way.

How to use

Always use a conductive gel.

A proper course of therapeutic ultrasound treatments consists of 3 to 5 minute treatments 2 to 4 times per day, depending on the size of the area being treated. The general rule is 2.5 minutes for a treatment area 2.5 times the size of the treatment head.

Depending on the immediate application, the unit can be used in intervals for over 5 hours per day. Please note that prolonged use without appropriate interval rest can lead to muscle fatigue (read included instructions carefully).

This is the advice from the Mendmeshop:

Initially, for maximum benefit, the protocol is to incorporate 3 treatments into your daily schedule for the first two weeks, followed in the third week with 3 treatments a day - every other day. During week four, take a break from therapy and allow your body to rest and you can evaluate your response to the treatment you have received. Week 5, begin the 4 week plan again.
Use '''pulse ultrasound''' to treat inflammations such as tendinitis and bursitis. This kind of ultrasound therapy works through cavitation, transmitting vibrations that stimulate cell membranes, resulting in more rapid repair.

Use '''continuous ultrasound''' therapy to treat muscle spasms, pain and to relax tense muscles. In this type of ultrasound, the sound waves transmitted create friction as they pass through muscle fibers, which in turn produces heat in the injured area. The body increases blood circulation to that area to cool it down, and this increased blood flow speeds up the healing process. 

Massage Methods

During the treatment the head of the ultrasound probe is kept in constant motion. If kept in constant motion, the patient should feel no discomfort at all. Take a look at these videos and you will see how fast she moves the device. When you try for yourself, you will find that the speed is correct because both the device and the part of the body being treated warms up very quickly. The instructions on my device say not to stay in the same location for more than 2 seconds which, after trying it, seems to be good advice!

Back and forth linear stroking of the probe against the skin is effective in breaking up fat deposits and for use on large muscle groups. Ideally you should stroke 2 to 3 seconds in a particular area of approximately 10 cm. Regardless of how hard you press this device against the skin, you will receive the same ultrasonic effect. Try to gently stroke the skin with the probe to avoid irritation of the skin.

  • Face

A rotating massage motion is effective in trimming and smoothing areas of the face and arms.

Use a gel

Menthol, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavender mixes are for pain relief. Phonophoresis is the use of ultrasound to enhance the delivery of topically applied drugs. Effectively, medicines contained within or under the ultrasound gel are pushed by the sound waves of the ultrasound and driven deep below the skin. Phonophoretically administered medications can penetrate the body to a much deeper level than those massaged by hand over the surface of the skin.

Here is a more scientific overview. Apparently you can use any cream or lotion, although it is impossible to say how effective each one is likely to be in terns of ultrasound penetration and Phonophoresis.

The claims

Ultrasound also encourages the production of collagen and irons out unsightly wrinkles and fat deposits. The sound vibrations produce friction and heat in tissue molecules. This thermal energy penetrates 6 centimeters into your skin.  The ultrasonic heat enhances capillary circulation and lymphatic circulation, promotes metabolism, and activates the cells in the deep parts of your tissues.

Take this list with a large pinch of salt and occasionally pinch yourself if you believe it all!

  1. Arthritis
  2. Back Pain - Upper & Lower
  3. Bursitis
  4. Capsulitis
  5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  6. Fibromyalgia
  7. Golfer's Elbow
  8. Headaches (tension)
  9. Heel Spurs
  10. Neuralgia
  11. Plantar Fasciitis
  12. Sciatica
  13. Sprains and Strains
  14. Sports Injury
  15. Tendonitis
  16. Tennis Elbow

1MHz Ultrasonic (Vibration: 1 million times/sec) seems to be the basic spec. and this is a typical technical specification for a home ultrasound device:

Frequency : 1MHz + 10%
Type: Non focusing
Waveform: Pulse
Pulse width : 2 ms + 10%
Repetition rate : 150 Hz + 10% 
Temporal Maximum power: 4W + 10%
Effective Maximum effective intensity : 1.57W/cm2 + 10%
Effective average effective intensity: 0.47/W/cm2+10%
ERA: 6.16 Square centimeter + 5%
BNR : Max.5.6:1
Auto-time setting: 30 minutes +

Ultrasound sources

Evidence-based guide to therapeutic physical agents by Alain BĂ©langer a proper scientific explanation]

A nice summary of common uses.

How long the ultrasound heat effects last


INTRASOUND is a rate of vibrations which can be sensed by the human ear, 20 to 20,000 vibrations per second (Hz).

When intrasonic sound waves reach the molecules, which make up the cells of human tissue, each molecule absorbs a small amount of energy and then passes the wave on to the next molecule. This ripple effect continues until all the waves’ energy has been absorbed. When a molecule is hit by a soundwave close to their inherent frequency they will oscillate or strongly 'resonate'. The many different molecules in human tissue have different inherent frequencies.

Novasonic Therapy generates soundwaves which create this resonance effect across a wide spectrum of body tissue which is what makes it so unique and effective. Novasonic pulses are conducted through lymph and spinal fluids, cartilage, muscle tissue and bone with significant therapeutic consequences, particularly in the treatment of joints.

SONAFON produces mixed frequencies in the intrasound range, the natural frequency of living cells and most tissues in our body. This causes no significant temperature increases and therefore does not require the precautions usually associated with ultrasound.

So sound waves at different frequencies are scattered throughout a particular area, affecting a range of molecules al at once. Whether that is a good thing or not I have no idea because the evidence is so weak.

Buy an intrasound device

Boots Novasonic



One useful difference between this device and ultrasound is that it can penetrate clothing, bandages, plasters etc.

Infrasound science and technology

Scientific research has determined that normal healthy living cells emit frequencies of sound in the alpha range, between 8 and 14 hertz. Therapeutic infrasound produces alpha sound waves in the approximate range of 8 to 14Hz in a multiple, random, chaotic signal. The sound waves travel and penetrate deeply throughout the body. Infrasound can be applied over a plaster cast, boots or wraps. Unlike a single frequency, the chaotic nature of the infrasound overrides the body's natural ability to tune out a rhythmic, predictable pattern.

The device is basically a transducer The inaudible sound waves travel through the body relaxing muscle spasms, increasing circulation to injured tissue, and reducing swelling, pain and inflammation.

It is hard to find hard science but here is one article.

The conditions infrasound treats

It is an alternative for pain and stress management in the conditions, such as, Chronic Pains, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Back Pains, Neck Pains, Shoulder Pains, Body Stress and Fatigue, Muscle Spasms and Cramps, Tennis Elbow, Sciatica, Sports Injuries, Prostate Massage, Deep Tissue Inflammation, and other chronic conditions.

Infrasound claims

Controlled studies have proven Infratonic Therapy to increase Hyaluronic Acid by 41%, while also increasing the volume, viscosity and clarity of synovial fluid; reducing inflammation; speeding muscle healing; and normalizing biochemical activity for accelerated healing and pain management.

Infrasound sources

Buy an infrasound device

Frequency: peak at 8-14 Hz. 
Advanced randomized natural wave form 


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