Diane M. Schneider, J.D., Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Palliative Medicine Consultative Service, 2005-2010
Visiting Scientist, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, 2006
Mayo Franciscan Skemp Medical Ctr , LaCrosse WI, 2000-2003
With colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, conducted 92-patient controlled crossover study of the effects of harp vibration therapy upon hospitalized patients, 2002
From Prior to 2000, Dr. Schneider taught theology in a Roman Catholic university in Minnesota; and an Anglican college in the University of Toronto, Toronto School of Theology. She also provided chaplaincy services at Scarborough Grace Hospital and at St. Raphael Nursing Home while serving as Staff Theologian at Epiphany Parish for 8 years. During these years, she began her research into the effects of harp vibration upon hospitalized patients, especially those in psychiatric, cardiac, and palliative care.
Vibration Medicine Therapy is the careful intentional application of selected vibrations, such as from music, the human voice, or external devices, to improve physical symptoms and mental, emotional, and spiritual status.
The harp is preferred as a vibration source over other instruments and devices because:
a) The quality of vibration from gut harp strings is unique, and is believed by some researchers to be particularly well-received by the human brain. The harp involves a larger number of strings (35 – 47) than other musical instruments; this produces a multiplicity of waves of resonance, including overtones at specific mathematical intervals. These factors contribute to producing a “bath” of vibrations which can influence cellular activity via biochemical processes throughout the patient’s body and mind.
b) Not all harp music is helpful, ie., too much vibration from upper register tones can result in over-stimulation and agitation instead of stress relief. A balance of both upper and lower tones is needed (minimum range of two octaves below Middle C on harp).
c) Rhythm, tempo, volume, and plucking technique must be individualized to achieve therapeutic goals. Also, the choice and sequencing of a pattern of specific intervals between notes, and certain combinations of these notes into chords, have been shown to have significant influence upon patient’s responses.
d) If sequenced and applied appropriately, and for a period of at least 20-30 minutes, harp vibration therapy can provide relief from many symptoms, especially for stress management and sleep. It is believed that, through entrainment and other processes not yet fully understood, harp vibrations stimulate cell vibration throughout the body and influence neuronal activity toward homeostasis and specifically promote the triggering of the patient’s own immune response.
e) The harp is associated with positive psychological and spiritual images in most people, and the presence of a harp has been shown to bring joy and soothing effects to patients in any condition.
f) In the difficult times surrounding the end of life process, harp vibration therapy can change the atmosphere with its calming beauty, and can be especially meaningful to patients, their families, friends, and staff.
Through research and practice from 1985 - 1999, Dr. Schneider developed a protocol, as reflected above, for sequencing harp vibrations by adjusting tones, tempo, rhythm, note intervals, volume, and chord structure, in response to patient symptoms. Thus, the therapy is symptom-driven, not diagnosis-dependent.
When administered in a conditioned setting at patient’s bedside for 20–40 minutes depending on patient’s history and condition, Dr. Schneider’s protocol has been shown to be effective in:
Lowering BP and stabilizing HR, especially in atrial fibrillation
Promoting deep sleep
Calming anxiety, agitation, and fear
Decreasing pain perception
Improving mobility and fine-motor skills in rehab patients
Reducing wandering and repetitive behaviors in gero-psych patients
Reducing tremor and improving gait in pts with Parkinson’s
Improving patient’s reported physical and spiritual well-being
The intervention is well-tolerated, especially by non-compliant pts. It improves hopefulness, outlook and mood in pts with depression, multi-symptoms, or long-term pts with chronic, painful diseases.
Referrals can be made by physicians or nurses.
Please contact Dr. Schneider for more information: