C. Birch Storey, DOM
Oriental Medicine Journal, Earth/Late Summer 2004
Acutonics® is a profoundly transformational and inherently coherent system of Sound Healing, that incorporates the use of tuning forks in conjunction with or in place of Acupuncture needles. It also incorporates the ancient Taoist teachings of the meridians, the pre-meridians and the immortal body. This harmonic system provides a comprehensive methodology that is rooted in Oriental Medicine, Music Theory and the Vibrations of our Planetary Ecosystem. Acutonics emphasizes the cosmologically rooted principles of Oriental Medicine, with Oriental Medicine’s worldview of inter-connectedness. If we are to usher in a new era of consciousness that has some hope for planetary healing, it is imperative to remind each person, on a cellular level, of their interdependence with all the living systems that surround them. Acutonics can balance the physical body, but more importantly it has the direct ability to re-awaken a deep appreciation for the whole Earth Body.
The Pythagorean concept of The Music of the Spheres is the central mystery, theology, and cranial philosophy of the Acutonics system. Pythagoras concluded that when the planetary spheres revolved, musical sounds were made and harmony was created. The Cosmos was conceived as a vast lyre made up of crystal spheres. The planetary speeds measured by their distance around the sun are the same ratios as musical concordances and the sounds emitted by their movements create the harmony of the universe. Pythagoras was able to synthesize the modern day oppositional stances of the mystical, religious, scientific and mathematical. He was able to link these ideologies by a unifying vision, the vision of Harmonia, which lies at the heart of his teachings.
There is a mystical and eternal kinship between this music and the human soul that follows the laws of nature, beauty, infinite generosity, and creativity and represents the inter-connectedness of the universe. Music is number and Cosmos is music. More than a dream, a scientific concept, or a poetic conceit, the Music of the Spheres is harmonic intelligence. This cellular theology sings in the blueprint of every membrane, organism and atom. All things contain this knowledge, music, and longing for the whole. Our complex inextricable caring for one another cannot be taught; it is our being, it must be remembered and it is activated by the Music of the Spheres. When we apply the Acutonics tuning forks, we are literally feeding the body these cosmic frequencies and galvanizing the cosmological stem cell and sonic library of our soul.
Acutonics is the embodied art of the Music of the Spheres, made possible through modern day metallurgic technology. Donna Carey, LAc, Co-founder of the Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, developed the Acutonics Harmonic approach to Oriental Medicine, while she was Clinical Dean at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The Acutonics tuning forks are the ultimate manifestation of a vision held by Tomaso Campanella, a 16th century renegade Dominican, who was of the heretical heliocentric persuasion. He passionately believed that there would some day be new instruments to allow humanity to hear the Music of the Spheres in the same way that the telescope made the celestial bodies visible. The harmonics of the Acutonics tuning forks represent the elliptical orbits of each planet realizing Campanella’s vision.
In 1930, Hans Cousto, a Swiss mathematician, took the orbital velocities formulated by Johannes Kepler, and translated them into the musical tones used in the Acutonics system. By ‘playing’ the calibrated tuning forks, an Acutonics practitioner permeates the whole being of a person with the vibrations of the cosmic ecosystem, harmonizing their cells and DNA to the very frequencies in which they evolved. The forks can be applied directly to the meridians, acupuncture points, trigger points, marma points and chakras. They also work when applied off body, as a way to regulate dosage, to apply vibrations homeopathically and to balance and restructure the Etheric bodies.
The Ancient Chinese perceived human beings as a microcosm of the universe that surrounded them. Suffused with the same primeval forces that motivated the macrocosm, a singular continuum within and without. Disease was considered to be a manifestation of imbalance with respect to the natural metabolic, seasonal, and emotional cycles of life. The modern day practitioner of Acutonics has the ability to weave and layer holographic symphonic treatments using ‘the Music of the Spheres’ as Pythagoras called it, entraining the body into ‘right relationship’ between its internal and external cycles. In some ways the depth, scope, and refinement that Acutonics provides can be considered revolutionary and a significant advancement in the medicine, but in truth, the snake continues to eat its own tail, for the system is invoking and making immediately viable, its Shamanic past, and Celestial origins.
The fundamental or Mother tone of the Acutonics system, around which all the healing harmonies are built, is Ohm. The Ohm tone is calculated as the sound of an Earth year as it goes through the 4 seasons. It is approximately C#. In Hindu tradition, it is said that all was dark and quiet in the womb until the first movement spontaneously created sound. Ohm is the sound of this primordial vibration, the original mantra and sacred tone that sounded the earth and the universe into existence. Ohm contains every sound and has been declared as the storehouse of mystical power; when we listen to this tone we become one with the earth and the heaven. As our bodies align with the universe, healing begins. The musician Paul Winters found that when he listened to the songs of the wolves, whales and eagles, they all began and ended their songs with Ohm.
The Acutonics System roots itself in Ohm because the true challenges of our time are to awaken and embrace cosmic consciousness, to translate heavenly harmonies into the realm of human relationship, and to ground a visceral appreciation of the seamless fabric of nature into our daily lives. Ohm is the ground, the root, and the solid earth. Just like a tree needs roots to grow and thrive, we need Ohm. It is our earthly source and center of gravity. Ohm represents balance and seeks to harmonize any energetic imbalance in the body.
When we look at the Earth Mythology, we see that it dates back 30,000 years across all cultures. Gaia was the name given by the ancient Greeks to the primordial goddess worshipped by humanity since the dawn of the Stone Age. An even more ancient form of her name Ge, is used in the names of the Earth sciences, Geology and Geography. She was also known as Prithivi to the Hindus, Assaya to the Yurobans and Kunapipi to the Australian tribal people. She is the oldest and most universally worshipped religious icon in all of human experience. Her ancient figurines are found all over the Eurasian continent, from Spain to Siberia.
In Greek mythology, Gaia created light and love from the primal cosmos chaos. Pierced by Eros’ arrow, Gaia gave birth to all the planets, animals, Titans, Gods and Goddesses and of course the human race. Gaia is mother to us all, guiding and sustaining all we undertake.
In Five Element Theory, the Earth element corresponds to late summer. As summer wanes and fall approaches there is a hiatus, a period in which time seems to stop and the glory of summer hangs suspended. Late summer marks the ascendance of the power of Earth, the time of ripening, when all that has grown and matured in the spring and summer lies ready for harvest. Momentarily free of the cycle of rebirth, growth, decay and death, this is a secure time of peace and plenty during which we appreciate the flowering of our labor. Some consider the Earth element to correspond with the Doyo, or the chaotic liminal phases between each season, representing the Earth as the pivot or stable fulcrum around which the season’s cycle.
The Earth element, the soil that feeds us, and the ground that locates us in space and time, imparts stability. It provides equanimity, perseverance, practicality, serenity, and a sense of being grounded and Earth symbolizes nourishment sympathy and mediation. The Earth relates to the qualities of remembering, intention, ideation and attentiveness. Unification is its guiding principle. Through the power to establish and sustain relationships, the Earth nurtures and promotes our connectedness with each other and the world.
Focusing on what is mutually shared, the archetype of the Earth synthesizes what is divided and antagonistic into what is unified and interdependent. Negotiating peace for its own sake, the Earth tirelessly serves humanity as the great balancer and equalizer, the preserver of families and societies.
When the Earth element is in harmony, people will present themselves as nurturing, supportive, relaxed, oriented, and sociable. When one has a weak and porous Earth element, he/she may focus solely on the mental and spiritual realms and allow the practical application of he/she life to erode. If they overemphasizes the Earth element, then they become dense and stuck, unable to move in any direction. One also tends to focus on the accumulation of material wealth and earthly consumption.
As a culture we over emphasize the rational aspects of our being. With the advent of the Gutenberg Press our minds started to retract from the sensual world. When we look at a printed page we say that ‘it speaks to us’ whereas the speech of our ancestors, their tones, rhythms and inflections would correspond with the contour and scale of the local landscape, attuned in multiple and subtle ways to the visual rhythms of the local topography.
In 1641, Descartes made material reality a strictly mechanical realm and nature became something prosaic and predictable, purging it of subjective experience. We have subsequently become divorced from our senses, our living body, no longer experiencing the larger body of our world, or the interpenetrating interdependent nature of the sensible landscape. As the 20th century solidified mind as a separate object, we continued to disembody, floating in our technological addiction. The breathing body as it experiences and inhabits the world is very different from the objectified body diagrammed in physiology with its separable systems. Whenever we attempt to explain the world conceptually we seem to forget our active participation in it and in striving to represent the world, we inevitably forget its direct presence. We are in desperate need of a reconnection with the flesh of our being and the dark vital ground from which all-human endeavors are rooted. The use of the Acutonics Ohm Tuning Forks helps to activate this connection.
In contrast to the mind-body separation of the West, the core belief of Taoism and Oriental Medicine, according to Chung Tzu, has always been that “heaven, earth and I are one, all things and I, form an inseparable unity.” This is called the three treasures: heaven, earth and humanity. We are the intermediaries. The three treasures form the figure eight. Humanity is at the center, receiving the beauty and grace from heaven and the nourishment of our heart and soul from earth. We also have different elixir fields in our body that relate to the three treasures: energy, vitality and spirit. The aligning of these three treasures with the three elixir fields is an ancient technique for achieving immortality. It is imperative that we vibrationaly align ourselves if the Earth, in its capacity to sustain us, has any hope for longevity.
Cultures at respective times have had different reference points, either being dominated by a celestial focus with the attendant neglect for the body or by being geocentric with an attitude of righteous exploitation. We no longer have the luxury to get caught in either scientific determinism or spiritual idealism. We need to shift the perception so that the perceiver and the perceived are interdependent and in some sense made of the same animate element that is both sensible and sensitive. The use of the Ohm forks, help us to express our spiritual and emotional connection to our cosmic and earthly origins.
Gaia has come to stand for the ecological perspective that views the earth as a single interconnected whole. This is the notion of earthly nature as a densely interconnected organic network, as a biosphere from which each entity draws its specific character from its relations, to all other things. In my clinical practice I have experienced that underlying all imbalance is a sense of disenfranchisement from meaning, from the meaning of the world, from the meaning of incarnation. It’s therefore not just a matter of using the Ohm forks to connect each person to the Earth element, and the substantive vigor it promotes. But also about reconnecting the person to the dynamic of connection itself, which forms the basis of a healthy, balanced and integrated psyche. Whenever we employ the vibration of the Ohm forks in healing, we are also simultaneously enhancing the natural rhythmic pulse of Gaia herself, the ground of our experience.
Resonance is a critical concept in understanding the impact of sound on the physical body. It is defined as an echo, a continuation of ringing. It is the quality of one vibrating body as it reaches out and sets another body into motion. When one applies the Ohm fork to the body or the land, one enters into sympathetic relation; there is an attunement or synchronization between the rhythm of the forks and the rhythms tones and textures of the things themselves. When we are resonating with the Earth, because it is the ground song for all tones and our communal reference point, we are necessarily creating greater community and consonance amongst interacting entities. Earth attunement also offers perceptual reciprocity. To touch the coarse skin of a tree is, at the same time to experience one’s own tactility, to feel oneself touched by the tree. With this reciprocity of the sensuous we may as well say that we are the organs of the world, the flesh of its flesh and that the world perceives itself through us.
Physically, the earth presides over physical structure and form and represents the homework that each person must do. It governs the sacrum, hips liver, legs and feet. Ohm Forks bring a sense of relaxation, balance and grounding. You feel soothed, comforted, and safe in your body and at homes. The Ohm Forks work specifically well for rooting and grounding – using them on the bottom of the feet, KID 1, Gushing Spring, for any kind of hyperactivity or anxiety, insomnia or high blood pressure.
To tonify and build core energy and to bring a sense of deep centeredness and orientation, place the Ohm forks on CV 4, Origins Pass and CV 6, Sea of Qi.
When Kundalini energy is rising at an unmanageable rate, root it by using the Ohm forks in the Baliao. This is the place from which the uterus and testes are innervated and therefore the Baliao has an important energetic relationship to birth and rebirth at an emotional, physical and psycho-spiritual level. It becomes very active during times of transformation. This is also indicated when working with infertility or other gynecological issues and obviously contraindicated in pregnancy.
To clear the sinuses, apply the Ohm Forks to ST 3, Great Crevice, LI 20, Welcome Fragrance, UB 2, Gathered Bamboo, GB14, Yang White, GB 15, Head Governor of Tears, and DU 20, Hundred Convergences. Use the Ohm forks bilaterally down the Huato Jiaji, the points along the spine, to calm the nervous system and bring overall balance.
The center of the body corresponds with the Earth element. The point ST 25, Tian Shu, or Celestial Pivot, is named after one of the greatest stars in the divinatory arts. This is one of the most important points on the body to tonify the Earth element and yet its name still mentions the heavens. Apply the Ohm forks in any case of digestive disturbance. The Earth forks are especially useful for survivors of trauma that find it difficult to be fully present in their bodies.
There are two other variations of Earth in the Acutonics system: the Zodiac and the Earth Day Forks. They are used in combination with the Ohm Fork to create a musical interval that has its own unique healing ability. An interval is the combination of two tones and the quality of the interval is determined by the position and relationship to the fundamental or home tone, Ohm. Two tones sounded together create a unique personality. Rudolph Steiner says that humanity needs more of the 5th, as it brings in the spirit. A 6th is more about filling or bringing to fruition. A 3rd is creative, meditative, relating to birth and letting things out. Within intervals, dissonance can be sought after as it helps to release stagnation. It is both the archetypal energies of the forks themselves and the musical intervals, created by two forks used together that govern their function. It is in the ‘space in-between’ that true healing happens.
The green Earth Day Fork represents the generative and energetic cycle of the 24-hour day, the time it takes for the earth to revolve around its own axis. Its note is approximately G. Much of American music is in the predominant key of G., from the pulsating beat of jazz to the fast action of rock, this music drives, and without a doubt, we are the fastest moving society in the world. The Earth Day helps us to connect to the cycle of the earth in our most direct way. Each morning we are offered a fresh start, as we hear the birds sing, and each evening we are graced with the beauty of the sunsets. In many cultures the turning of night into day and back again is represented by the call to prayer, to greet and thank the divine, the generative source of all life.
The Earth Day fork, when combined with the Ohm fork creates the interval of a 5th. This is a highly energetic interval. It is not a perfect fifth. It is more like a diminished 5th or an augmented 4th. When you listen, it has a slightly dissonant, edgy quality, an activating, motivating, get-up-off-the-couch dissonance, breaking up lethargy and inertia. Nature itself replicates this interval on a biological level. It forms the key tension in nitrogen during photosynthesis. Schubert calls this the green note. I call this fork liquid chlorophyll or a cup of coffee because of the kind of regenerative kick it gives, without the jangle.
Listening to the Earth Day 5th can bring a sense of open, energetic movement and invigoration, a sense of spinning faster, a sense of joy and hope. To stimulate overall energy I use the Earth Day 5th (Ohm and the Green Earth Day Fork) on CV 6, Sea of Qi. For low back pain, use it on KID 3, Great Ravine. To build the immune system and tonify metabolism, use on ST 36, Leg Three Li. To stimulate a deficient Earth Element, weak digestion, anemia and for those who worry too much apply to SP 3, Supreme White and SP 6, Three Leg Yin. It can also help to relieve depression, and chronic fatigue and it helps people to wake up to their greater journey. Don’t use it on any of the points contraindicated in pregnancy or directly on tumors.
The purple Zodiac Earth Fork represents the expansive and meditative sound of the 29,200-year cycle it takes the earth to revolve around the entire zodiac, also known as the processional cycle. We just transitioned from the age of Pisces and are now in Aquarius. The musical note of the Zodiac Fork is approximately F. The tone has a relaxed, transcendental quality and a dispelling and dispersing nature that takes us out and beyond. Think of this fork as smoothing. Think of how spacious and vast the orbit is.
This is the nature of the Zodiac fork. It brings the cool calming effect of spaciousness. The interval that is created when you combine the Zodiac with the Ohm Fork is a 3rd, which relates to birthing what has been held inside. The spaciousness of the Zodiac Fork allows for the channels to widen, for the constraint to subside. Like the cervix needing to dilate during labor, the widening arc of the zodiac fork allows for clarity to be differentiated and movement to breathe. Steiner said that the single note F reaches out to our Etheric and Astral bodies, reminding us of the immense space all around us. The ancient Chinese placed great importance on this tone for it brought them closer to spiritual silence.
The Zodiac 3rd creates an interval of peaceful detachment. It reminds us that there is plenty of time to do what we need to do and be who we need to be. It is a meditative interval with effects that have been described as a traveling outward, an unlocking of one’s mind, lightness, coldness, and a departure that taps us into the collective unconscious. All suggest a dispelling, dispersive effect and a mystical feeling of simply being. It works wonders at relieving emotional and mental stress.
The Zodiac 3rd can be used directly on sore muscles, trigger points and tendons. It has become a highly prized tool by body workers. It relieves sciatica when used on GB 30, Jumping Circle, GB 32 Middle Ditch, and GB 34, Yang Mound Spring and can be used on the lower back. Make sure you hold the intention for it to stay with in the musculoskeletal layer rather than sinking into the kidneys. To help relieve congestion in the liver place the Zodiac 3rd combination on LIV 3, Great Surge, but if you have a weakened patient and you want to re-cycle the energy then place the Zodiac Fork on LIV 3 and the Ohm fork on KID 1, Gushing Spring. Just listening to these forks can help calm stress or tension, while creating a light feeling in the body. It is excellent on scar tissue and nodules. Use it first in the field if it’s a fresh scar and then after a week use locally.
Acutonics is being integrated into many diverse fields including nursing, massage and bodywork, music therapy, psychotherapy, Veterinary Medicine, Astrological prescriptions and Earth Healings. Nurses are using it in labor and delivery and in post- operative situations, as well as cancer support. The Acutonics Tuning Forks are being used to reduce anxiety prior to surgery, and post surgery they are being used to reduce nausea, relieve inner cranial pressure, and help to heal scar tissue. The higher frequency Tuning Forks are used to repair the tears in the Auric grid or to fill it out and maintain its integrity, if it has folded in response to soft or hard drugs.
There is a contemporary call to not only be Physical and Spiritual Healers but also Earth Stewards. With a little patience and a modicum of sensitivity one can feel where the land itself needs our attention. In places with a high density of electromagnetic disruption we can apply the Ohm Unison or Ohm Octave, to the space to facilitate grounding and a recalibration of the frequencies. For areas that are contaminated we can apply the Zodiac 3rd and for those areas that have become so weakened that they have lost their regenerative capacities, we can apply the Earth Day 5th. These principles extend to the garden to boost nutrient deficient soil, to the healing of wounded branches, to the clearing of contaminated water, and to the promotion of interspecies relationships.
Since it’s creation, Acutonics has not only been used on people, but an entire program has been developed for the treatment of animals. The first class, Equine Acutonics: Balancing Horse and Rider, which is targeted at helping people to work with and care for their own animals.
Acutonics provides me with a non-invasive highly effective system to apply the wisdom of Oriental Medicine. Sound continues to reverberate through the body days after a treatment, with patients reporting sustained states of peace and release from pain with Acutonics. I have found that when I use sound, people release the attendant emotions that correspond to their physical ailment more easily. Sound penetrates through the cracks of a person’s emotional and physical blocks. It facilitates deep access and clients demonstrate greater courage in engaging with the emotional process, because they feel that they can ride on the back of the sound. Working with the momentum of the sound there is less fear of getting stuck and re-traumatized. Sound also facilitates the problem of emotional transference in the therapy. When the injury has been to the trust, sound can be the bridge to healing.
No amount of logical elucidation as to the reasons why we should respect and heed both fellow man and the well being of nature will affect our sensorial behavior. Only a visceral vibration alignment will renew our attentiveness to the perceptual dimension that underlies all of our existence. Harmonizing to the very vibration of the Earth through the application of the Ohm Forks will rejuvenate our carnal, sensorial empathy with the living land that sustains us.
The tides are changing; there are many individuals today who experience profound anguish over each report of clearing, spill, or extinction. It is an anguish that comes from the earth itself, from the flesh of our bones. When we reconnect with the song of the Earth, our speech will start to reflect the principles of the natural order, which has the thrust to thrive and create harmony. Attuning to the earth helps us to remember the living dimension in which all our endeavors are rooted.
The Earth suffers from commercial domination and environmental exploitation because people suffer from gross underdevelopment of the heart, bloating of the left-brain, and a total abandonment of wisdom traditions, and the sustained perception of separation. We have a huge opportunity to change our course. However, we must recognize that we are all part of a vast temple of oneness, and that the space we must truly inhabit is the space that our souls know and have always known, the space of undifferentiated wholeness. We are not parts, but patterns in the collective field. It is therefore crucial to call on all the resources that have the power to integrate and harmonize a person with their natural habitat, and to reconnect them with the mindful life of the body. By directly applying the very vibration of the Earth to the body, we can reawaken the deep knowing of our interdependence. Every cell in our body remembers and has awareness of this vibration. We can break through our modern day inertia by resonating the body to the frequencies that truly sustain, nourish and heal us, so that we, in turn, may heal the Earth. To do so we must learn how to re-attune ourselves to our heaven-earth axis and to reweave ourselves into the great fabric of evolution. Acutonics really is a revolutionary system that uses the sonic link to connect our souls back to the divine harmonies and destinies, allowing us to begin the process of rebuilding the heavenly architecture here on earth – calling our hearts back to the mystery, to the oneness, and to participation in the sacredness of the universe. Acutonics is not just about learning a methodology based on wisdom traditions, it is about connecting us with universal perspectives and the greater imperatives of our time. Resonating with the sounds of our universe has the power to lead us to unified vision, harmonic revelation, and personal and planetary transformation.
Carey, D & de Muynck, M. Acutonics®: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries, Devachan Press, Vadito, NM 2002.
"Acutonics ties together science, cosmology, biology, and psychology, while providing exceptional hands-on experience for practitioners. There is so much depth and new knowledge gained in every class, this work is deeply transformational. "
- Irit Lerner, Israel