Q & A Library
Ending Anxiety With Brainwave Music Therapy?
I would like to stop taking my anti-anxiety medication in order to avoid potential side effects. Have you heard of brainwave music and do you think it is an effective way to treat anxiety and depression for the cost (about $500)?
Answer (Published 12/22/2008)
Brainwave music therapy attempts to address anxiety, depression, insomnia and migraines via music created from patients' brain waves. The brain waves are recorded via electroencephalogram (EEG) equipment and then converted into musical sounds and transferred to a CD. Reportedly, the result sounds like classical piano music. You get two files, one meant to help you relax and the other intended to promote alertness. It's unclear how a musical interpretation (CD) of an electrical interpretation (EEG) of brainwaves would be helpful, and I'm aware of only a few published studies on the effects of brainwave music. I think it makes more sense to access the autonomic nervous system through breath work, and I recommend "Breathing: the Master Key to Self-Healing." It sells for only a fraction of the cost of brainwave music treatment and is a very effective way to deal with anxiety and depression.
If you plan to stop taking your anti-anxiety medication, don't do so suddenly. Ask your physician for a dosing schedule so that you can taper off the drugs with no ill-effects.In addition to breathing exercises, other measures I find useful for dealing with anxiety include the following:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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