Somadome was born during an interesting time of our society’s medical understanding.

Eastern medicine practices and non-traditional, holistic, systems-based treatments were previously disregarded by our scientific and medical communities. Yet today, healthcare providers and the general public alike seek non-invasive, holistic ways of creating heath and treating chronic diseases. Non-traditional practices such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, and hands-on healing have started to flourish in our society, but still face scientific examination. We seek a balance between our brains and bodies, searching for treatments and cures that are proven to work, yet are gentle and take into account the complex, holistic system that is our body. Somadome believes that short meaningful moments of restoration and relaxation, daily, can help to improve our overall mental and physical wellness.

We are committed to supporting research in energy medicine, mindfulness, and related subjects that provide fresh, scientifically, and intellectually sound data to create new understandings of health, wellness, and human possibility.

Somadome has an evolving Research Advisory Board to create research partnerships with individuals and institutions.

Sarah Murray, MA, Head of Somadome Research Advisory Board

Sarah Murray, MA, was trained as an anthropologist at Bryn Mawr College and UC-Berkeley and has followed a path that has led to many places and jobs. That path has always been woven of three strands:  a passion to understand the nature of human life with scientific rigor; a passion be healed and to heal others; and a passion to teach and pass on what she has realized. In her anthropological studies, Sarah read widely in medical anthropology and traditional healing and spiritual traditions. Her interests in these areas stemmed partly from the fact that, at age 15, she became subject to an idiopathic immune system disorder that over time she learned to tame through meditation, hypnotherapy, Qi Gong, and diet. While at Berkeley, Sarah was a Fulbright DDRA scholar and conducted research for two years in Indonesia. For the past 17 years, Sarah has worked as a trial and jury consultant, conducting hundreds of qualitative and quantitative research projects and working on dozens of trials, helping attorneys and clients persuasively communicate complex ideas and arguments to judges and juries.

Dr. Craig D. Blinderman, MD, MA - Director, Adult Palliative Care Services, Columbia University

Dr. Craig Blinderman, MD, is currently the director of the Adult Palliative Medicine Service at Columbia University Medical Center/New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Co-Director of the Center for Supportive Care and Clinical Ethics in the Department of Medicine. He was previously an attending physician on the Palliative Care Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and directed the MGH Cancer Pain Clinic from 2007-2010.

Janet Bailey, Ph.D. in Energy Medicine

Dr. Janet Bailey, Ph.D. is dedicated to refining management and life strategies, and conducting research in energy medicine.  Mentored by Dr. C. Norman Shealy MD, Dr. Bailey received her PhD in Energy Medicine from Holos University in 2002.  In private practice for over 20 years, her expertise in medical intuition, Ayurveda and the human energy field have facilitated the health and healing of her clients. Dr. Bailey continues to conduct research, educate, consult and further the field of Energy Medicine.

Melissa Atkinson-Graham, Ph.D. - Candidate in Anthropology, York University

Melissa Atkinson-Graham is a Doctoral Candidate in Social Anthropology at York University. She specializes in the study of medical systems and modes of healing, with particular emphasis on issues of embodiment and affect in biomedicine and the biosciences. A nationally funded researcher, throughout her academic career she has directed and contributed to numerous large-scale research endeavors concerned with mindfulness and meditation, complementary and alternative medicine, youth homelessness, and feminist studies of technoscience.

Norman Suhu, MS, ND - Acupuncturist, President of Suhu Natural Health

Dr. Norman SuHu, MS, ND has been broadly educated with formal degrees with Bachelors in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Masters in Nutrition from New York University, Diplomate in Acupuncture from Tri-State College of Acupuncture, and Doctor of Naturopathy from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine. His advanced trainings include Certification in Auricular Acupuncture from the Lincoln Hospital Program for Substance Abuse, Certification in Advanced Clinical Training from the Bombay Health Centre Homeopathic Program, and Certification for the 100 Hour Applied Kinesiology Course sponsored by the International College of Applied Kinesiology. Dr. SuHu has an active acupuncture, nutrition and naturopathy practice in New York City and Long Island in which he uses Biosytonie microcrystalline tiles. He also trains other practitioners nationally in the use of Biosyntonie tiles and materials.

Jack Chang, L.Ac.

Jack Chang, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, specializing in Master Tung’s Acupuncture methods (as taught by Dr. Robert Chu) in which he effectively treats pain, neuromusculoskeletal disorders, and a wide variety of internal diseases. Currently, providing translation work for Dr. Long Chen Hua and Dr. William Zhao for Dr. Long’s classes in Spinal Therapy in the San Francisco Bay area. He graduated from American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco with a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Additionally, he studied the Zheng Gu Tui Na system of massage/physiotherapy under Dr. Long, Chen Hua from Guang Zhou, China. Jack is also a member of ITARA – International Tung’s Acupuncture Research Association, to preserve, standardize, educate, and research new applications of the Tung family system of Acupuncture established by Dr. Robert Chu. Jack is a faculty member at  Five Branches University teaching Qi Gong I & II to students.

Kelly Howell - Leader in Brainwave Meditation Field; Content Partner & Founder of BrainSync

Kelley Howell is a leading national expert in brain waves, binaural beats and meditation technology. Kelly co-founded Neuro-Technologies Research Institute in San Francisco, a non-profit organization that studied the effects of brain technologies. Her work with researchers led to the creation of a series of clinical programs for medical professionals such as Harvard trained Neurosurgeon, Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D and Edward A. Taub, M.D. Their phenomenal success prompted her to launch Brain Sync in 1991.  Kelly has worked with eminent scientists to develop meditation and brain optimization programs used in hospitals, biofeedback clinics and by hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.

Juan Acosta-Urquidi, PhD, QEEGT

Dr. Acosta has worked in the clinic with a variety of clients, including: ADD/ADHD children, adolescents and adults, closed-head injury patients, depression and anxiety disorders, CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. He has also worked extensively with relaxation and stress management techniques. He conducted research at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA. in energy medicine alternative treatment for MS, multiple sclerosis patients with pulsed magnetotherapy. Since 1997,he has done pioneering research with energetic healers, mapping  brainwaves (EEG) and heartwaves (HRV analisis) during energy healing sessions and during altered states of consciousness (ASC).

Leasa Lowy BSN,MD, FACOG, Chief Medical Director

Leasa Lowy MD, BSN, FACOG is a board certified OB/GYN that completed her bachelors in nursing at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon with an international exchange in England.  She went on to medical school (MD) at OHSU. She did her internship, residency and chief residency at University of Utah.  On completion, she continued as teaching faculty while joining Intermountain Healthcare obstetrics and gynecology. She taught residents, had a busy Ob/Gyn practice and study with Brent James in the Clinical Management and Leadership Institute. She currently owns her own practice : 360 Me Clinic—A medical weight and Lifestyle Clinic LLC. Her husband, Jonathan Lowy MD, cardiac electrophysiology and her moved to Washington, State to develop practices and practice medicine. Leasa has been the local, regional, and system senior medical director for PeaceHealth and Providence Health and Services. She has done numerous consulting jobs for start- ups and large hospital systems. She has a special interest in connecting patients, families, providers, doctors and leader to create quality, accessible and safe healthcare for today.  She has a diverse background in being a provider (nurse and doctor), business owner, start-up member and healthcare leader. She has a passion for preventive health, disease reversal, innovative healthcare access, personal health empowerment, wellness, woman’s health, lifestyle medicine and obesity medicine.  She is on the physician advisory board to Fruitstreet, a VSee company, that does telehealth for obesity and chronic disease management.  She was a team recipient of the Baldridge leadership award.  In practice, she uses telemedicine to link women’s health and wellness care conveniently to women. In addition, She is teaches healthcare technology and innovation at the University of Washington for the certificate program.

If you are a health professional or researcher interested in working with us, let us know about your interests. Email research@somadome.com.

With over 8,800 medical research studies proving the health benefits and stress reduction resulting from meditation, we know that holistic healing can come from within.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are BioSyntonie tiles?

BioSyntonie tiles were created by French geophysicist Pierre Nicolas after he spent time in [Fingal’s cave] in Scotland, a natural cave full of crystalline formations that generate unusual energetic patterns, as do many areas of the earth known associated with healing or sacred rites. Dr. Nicolas became fascinated with the energy of the cave and spent [XX months, years] measuring and studying its unique properties to figure out how to translate its energetic powers into a human-made product. The result is BioSyntonie tiles.

What are Biosyntone tiles made of?

The base material of the tiles used in the Somadome is ceramic made to Dr. Nicolas’s specifications. The tiles contain microcrystalline formations that Dr. Nicolas says generate the tiles’ healing frequencies.

What do Biosyntone tiles do?

The tiles cancel out harmful EMFs like those generated by electronic devices and work together synergistically to create a cocoon of energy that replicate the frequency of a healthy human body and stimulate the free flow of chi or life energy.

How do we know they work?

The short answer is that right now, we don’t know. The Biosyntone tiles are a proprietary technology owned by Dr. Nicolas so somadome is also limited in what we can do with and say about the tiles.

We know they work because acupuncturists and other healers around the world have successful been using BioSyntonie tiles in their practices. This is hardly unprecedented

– medical history is replete with examples of successful treatments and healing modalities that have been used before we have had theories to explain their mechanism of action. Since [year], under the tutelage of Dr. Norman Suhu of New York City (and a member of the somadome Research Advisory Board) acupuncturists have been using them around the world in lieu of needles, planning them on acupuncture points and experienced tremendous success, often getting better results than with needles. A number of acupuncturists have abandoned needles in favor of the tiles. Other medical and healing practitioners have been experimenting with the tiles…. [fill in, if we can] Somadome is looking for a research partner to run a double-blind test on a somadome with the tiles and a somadome without the tiles to assess the efficacy of the tiles in impacting users’ states of health and well being..

Are there any existing medical or scientific studies of the BioSyntonie tiles?

Not yet. When we are launched and self-sustaining as a business, we hope to be part of creating some..

Why are BioSyntonie tiles being used in the Somadome

Sarah Attia, the founder, has experienced treatments with the tiles and was impressed enough to contact Dr. Nicolas directly and to attend one of his training classes in use of the tiles.

What are binaural beats?

Binaural beats are audible sounds that are perceived by your brain, in the setting of listening to stereo musical frequencies through a headset. In a sense, they are an acoustic illusion, or artifact, that is built from the particular interaction of two different sounds. From the original paper by Dr. Gerald Oster in 1973, he described that a 440Hz tone in the left ear, when mixed with a 434Hz tone in the right ear, yielded the detection of a 6Hz tone in the user; this is a binaural beat.

Why use binaural beats?

Like any tool, there are many potential uses – we believe binaural beats either assist in achieving a state where altering your mood is more likely, or that binaural beats may actually ‘entrain’ your brain towards the preferred state of mind you choose. A comprehensive review of brainwave entrainment studies reveals the use of binaural beats to reduce insomnia, headaches, improve response to exercise, improving concentration in hyperactivity disorders, and for reduce anxiety or depression’.

What does scientific research show about effects of listening to binaural beat meditations on human health and well-being?

Binaural beats have been studied for decades, however much of the research is poorly controlled or has been difficult to reproduce, and there is a mix of scientific and non-scientific studies1. The most common flaws in many psychology and alternative medicine journals has been poor study design, inadequate binaural beat exposure time, or lack of validated outcome measures. However, there have been several randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled studie that show binaural beats are effective at reducing anxiety, improving mood, or increasing attention. A particularly interesting study was conducted on patients during surgery, and showed that exposure to binaural beats resulted in less pain medication needed during the operation, less pain after the surgery, and earlier discharge from the hospital. It does appear to be true that listening to binaural beats for only 15 – 20 minutes can alter your mood, thinking, or perception of pain in as little as a single session when compared to sounds that appear to be binaural beats, but are just random acoustic patterns. The potential for Somadome to improve quality of life in people with chronic pain is one of the most exciting claims we are expecting to validate in large population studies.

Can I get the same kind of benefits from binaural beats as I could from meditation?

Yes, but it matters what binaural beats you use. Many studies have shown that meditation is an effective way to move the baseline rhythm of the brain towards alpha and theta, coinciding with feelings of relaxation and a state that resists stress and anxious disturbance while awake. In finding studies that show therapeutic benefits of meditation, there are many of the same problems of poor study design, lack of controls or subjective clinical outcomes that contain intrinsic bias. However, a review of meditation literature7 does reference good clinical studies with positive outcomes for anxiety, pain, immune functioning, and skin disorders presumed due to stress. When looking to compare meditation and binaural beats, it is important that the sound used is of impeccable quality, reproducibility, and coherence with the intended frequency.

How frequently do you have to meditate, or use binaural beats to have an effect?

It depends on the effect you are looking for, but for anxiety you could see a difference within even a single session. Programs of 20-minutes per day has been shown to reduce pain sensitivity and reception after only 5 days. Since there is so much reasonable expectation for overlap between meditation and binaural beats, we think Somadome is ideal for the person who believes they are too busy to fit meditation into their life, or does not feel they have a space in their home or workplace where meditation is possible.

Are there any negative side effects associated with listening to binaural beat meditations in the Somadome?

None. Being in the Somadome carries the same risks as sitting at home in your chair and listening to an audiobook. There is no evidence, or scientific hypothesis whatsoever to justify a concern for safety or harm based on sitting in quiet contemplation of an improved state of mind.

Where can I learn about brain function changes over time?

This Frontiers in Neuroscience article is a great place to start:
Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time

What is Energy Medicine?

The term “Energy Medicine” was coined in the 1980s by Dr. Elmer Green with the establishment of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine (ISSSEE). Dr. Green used the term to refer to alternative and traditional forms of healing that viewed the body as an energy system and believe that the body has subtle energies that shape health and disease but cannot yet be measured by current instruments. However, today, there are Western-trained physicians and scientists who embrace the term and include forms of electromagnetic healing used in mainstream medicine as well.

The foremost scientific writer on energy medicine today is Dr. James L. Oschman, Ph.D., a biologist and biophysicist who studied under Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgi and was influenced by Szent-Gyorgi’s work on bioelectronics. His book, Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis (Churchill Livingstone: 2000), is the best available synthesis of western experimental and clinical work that relates to understanding the body as an energy system or set of energy systems.

At Somadome, we define energy medicine as techniques or other modes of healing that share the common thread of viewing the body as a system of energies, rather than a mere summation of biochemical interaction.

Among healers and doctors who view disease primarily in energetic terms, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors and acupuncturists, disease is understood to result from blockages in or mismanagement of preferred energy flow in the body, or problems with the type of energy that communicates within human tissue.

Developing a rigorous and scientifically plausible theory of the human energy system that is consistent with what we know of human biology and allows for testable hypotheses and measurable results is at the cutting edge of science and medicine today.

What are some examples of Energy Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an energy medicine system. Acupuncture, a core medical practice within TCM, claims to modify energy flow in the body and thus restore health and balance. There is evidence from placebo controlled trials that acupuncture can modulate heart-rate variability[Anderson et al, 2012], evidence from imaging studies that it can effect deep cortical structures that are not limited to the somatosensory cortex affected by needles, and may modify the “default mode network,” a background of mental activity in the brain [Hui et al 2000, 2010]. There is also evidence that acupuncture points on the skin have low electrical impedance compared to non-acupuncture points and are anatomically associated with connective tissue planes. [Han et al, 2010]. Other traditional medical systems, including Ayurvedic medicine, Tibetan medicine, traditional Incan medicine, ancient Egyptian medicine, and ancient Greek medicine hold or held a similar view of disease as caused primarily by blockages in energy flow. In more modern times, one will often hear discussions involving the term “quantum,” for example, to describe how homeopathic remedies are purported to affect disease through energetic reorganization of the body’s water molecules. Collectively, these traditional forms of energy medicine are core beliefs for billions of people, and often represent an unmet need by western physicians who are unable to speak to patients with an understanding of their point of view.

Within mainstream American medicine, there are accepted treatments which overlap the boundaries of energy medicine. For example, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEFT) has been FDA approved since 1979 for the indication of improving bone fracture [Midura et al, 2005] and has been used off label to control pain, inflammation and sleep disorders. TENS device have been used routinely since the 1970s to control pain by providing stimulating pulses to the skin. Electroencephalograms (EEG) and electrocardiograms (ECG/EKG) operate diagnostically through amplification of electric fields summed from the biochemical potentials generated by their cellular networks. More recently, doctors have begun to write guidelines for using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and ultrasound to treat insomnia, inflammation, and pain, and TMS has shown substantial effect at improving outcomes in treatment resistant depression that has failed pharmacotherapy [Fitzgerald et al 2014]. Transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) is being used in a number of IIa clinical trials to reduce tinnitus, enhance learning, and reduce cognitive symptoms of aging and multiple sclerosis, and a randomized, double-blinded and sham-controlled study has shown that tDCS energy treatments reduced symptoms of fibromyalgia for up to three weeks following a single treatment [Fregni et al 2006].

At Somadome we encourage readers to examine the growing evidence and indications for use of non-invasive energetic methods of medical treatment, for example for pain [Connell et al 2011], and understand what they have, and have not yet, to been shown to treat.

References
  1. Midura, Ronald J., et al. “Pulsed electromagnetic field treatments enhance the healing of fibular osteotomies.”Journal of orthopaedic research 5 (2005): 1035-1046.
  2. Anderson, Belinda, et al. “Acupuncture and heart rate variability: a systems level approach to understanding mechanism.”Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing 2 (2012): 99-106.
  3. Hui, Kathleen KS, et al. “Acupuncture modulates the limbic system and subcortical gray structures of the human brain: evidence from fMRI studies in normal subjects.”Human brain mapping 1 (2000): 13-25.
  4. Hui, Kathleen KS, et al. “Acupuncture, the limbic system, and the anticorrelated networks of the brain.”Autonomic Neuroscience 1 (2010): 81-90.
  5. Ahn AC, Park M, Shaw JR, McManus CA, Kaptchuk TJ, et al. (2010) Electrical Impedance of Acupuncture Meridians: The Relevance of Subcutaneous Collagenous Bands. PLoS ONE 5(7): e11907. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011907
  6. Fitzgerald, Paul B., et al. “A randomized, controlled trial of sequential bilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression.”American Journal of Psychiatry(2014).
  7. Fregni, Felipe, et al. “A randomized, sham‐controlled, proof of principle study of transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of pain in fibromyalgia.Arthritis & Rheumatism12 (2006): 3988-3998.
  8. O’Connell, Neil E., et al. “Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for chronic pain. A report of a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis.” European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine2 (2011): 309-326.
  9. Robert O. Becker, MD and Gary Selden. The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. Harper, 1980: pp. 280ff.

All authors – Research Advisory Board

 

 

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