Q & A

Music, Medicine, and Consciousness

For us, the creative arts, science and technology are central topics 

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What is music? Among many definitions, music is a physical, sensory experience processed through our senses.
How can we maintain awareness for our ecosystem and environment? Through environmental perception & processing, both strengthening inner awareness. I call this dynamic "Eco-Awareness".
What is consciousness?  An ambitious quest... the processing of sensory inputs - audible signals in music and acoustics - is an experience of embodied consciousness. 
We work at the intersection of acoustics, (non) ordinary consciousness experience (meditation, dreams, sleep), and health. 

Why music, medicine and consciousness?

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I found music and sound to be very helpful for Eco-Awareness, even as an antidote to recently rising eco-anxiety. Audible and vibrational inputs modulate self-consciousness and play a critical role in our relationships with ecosystems. We relate to our environment through our senses and perception. Music can support the connection of self-consciousness with environmental awareness. Applied in a resource-nourishing manner, music can support us in brain health, resilience, and stress management. 

I started playing the violin at the age of five and was professionally trained for twelve years. Already during my training I noticed that music has a great influence on my mental level. This fascinated me so much that I decided to study medicine to better understand the brain and the body. During my studies, music also provided me with a good balance. At the time, it was not clear to me whether this was specifically because I was a musician, or whether music in general has a balancing effect. For me, music and medicine are not opposites, but have a synergetic effect. The parallel involvement in both fields has certainly shaped my attitude towards my professional development. During my medical studies in Vienna, I began working as a pop-rock musician and string arranger. After graduation I joined Udo Juergens' orchestra and the 21st Century Orchestra at KKL Lucerne. I did not want to give up medicine, so eventually, a residency in psychiatry and music became music as medicine. A prolonged field discovery phase in Asia and other continents followed, which eventually led to my current path, sourcing and developing transformative meta-methods for wellbeing & health, exactly at the interface of consciousness, health, music. 

How do Music and Medicine complement each other? How do your LMIC-related field studies on indigenous sound rituals relate to music and mind?

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Medicine and music complement each other in music therapy in many ways, for example in neonatology, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's therapy. But music also has a lasting effect on healthy people: for example, it has been proven that brain areas are more developed in long-term musicians - for example, the corpus callosum, the bar that connects the two halves of the brain, as well as certain brain areas that are relevant for sound and sensory processing. So there is still much to be explored. The term sound medicine is currently used to describe mental and physical recovery through trance states. I call my work with sound and vibration "Sound As Medicine" or "Sonic Medicine". It is upclose work with sensory perception - motion, vibration, sounds. In addition to music therapy, my personal interest also led me to study Asian systems of medicine for many years. In doing so, I came across meditation practices that use instruments and have great benefits for our "stress system". It is not only about coming to rest, but also about the regeneration of the nervous system. In doing so, I deal with meditation, vibration, self-awareness, neurogenic phenomena and mental health. During my years in Asia, I have become more familiar with the specific tools and methods used there. For example, the gong has a centuries-old tradition in Southeast Asia related to meditation, but so do Tibetan singing bowls and other instruments. For this purpose, sounds are used over a long period of time. Due to the sound frequencies, which vibrate in a very wide spectrum, one quickly enters a meditative state - without meditation experience. It is believed that the vibrations of the instruments help the body to relax deeply. In the process, the nervous system and the "stress system" are relaxed. We leave the fight & flight mode. Space is created for new insights, thought processes and behavioral changes.

Explaining Sound medicine / therapy / healing / meditation

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Sonic alchemic traditions are part of millenial old cultural heritage. They have been found in Korea, Japan, China, South East Asia, India - and factually in numerous other cultures, all over our planet. Is there a difference between sound as medicine, therapy, healing? Practically, yes, theoretically no. At the very foundation of acoustic phenomena is the studies of physics. Spirituality, Meditation, and music traditions are tightly linked to the experience of universal laws of physics, and the elementary mechanisms of existence and the cosmos. With an inclusive, truth seeking scientific and spiritual awareness in mind, let me share some brief practical definitions:

Sound Medicine, Sound Therapy, Sound Healing, and Sound Meditation are all terms that refer to the use of sound and music as a tool for improving health and well-being. However, these terms can have different meanings and connotations, and may refer to different practices or approaches.


Sound Medicine is a generalized broad term that can refer to any therapeutic practice that uses sound as a tool for healing or improving health and well-being. It may involve the use of specific frequencies or vibrations to promote healing. This can include a variety of practices, such as sound baths, sound therapy, vocal toning, and the use of musical instruments,  or specific frequency applications. It may be used in conjunction with other holistic or complementary therapies, or technological applications.


Sound Therapy has a more specific focus on the use of sound as a therapeutic tool. It comes closest to receptive music therapy, and may involve the use of specific frequencies or vibrations to promote healing. Music therapy, which is an officially recognized healthcare practice (unlike the more recently evolving practice of Sound Therapy) that involves the use of music and musical interventions in a structured, evidence-based manner to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. 


Sound Healing is a term that is often used in esoteric context to refer to practices that use sound and music as a tool for promoting emotional, and spiritual healing. This can include a variety of practices as mentioned above (Sound baths, vocal toning, and the use of musical instruments, etc).


Sound Meditation is a practice that involves using sound and music as a focus for meditation and mindfulness. This can include listening to music or other sounds, participating in sound baths or other sound healing practices, or using specific sounds or musical instruments as a meditation aid.

Sound Bath,
and Sound Immersion, both describe the process of deep listening to sound as an passive, immersive experience. They are more general terms reflecting the experiential character of deep listening and aspects whole body experiences. 


Overall, while these terms have not been implemented through an international standardization yet, they may overlap in their meaning as therapeutic tools, and they can refer to different practices and approaches, or may have different goals and intended outcomes.

Further explanations on these sound medicine variations can be found here.

Knowledge Transfer from Academia to Industry

Which framework is needed to create an innovation-friendly climate in the healthcare sector - motivating MDs to start their own business?

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In the healthcare industry, increased collaboration between the private and public sectors is becoming more important than ever. The private sector has a different working dynamic. As a physician myself, I am interested in research and development, and entrepreneurship, thus I am involved in various ecosystems in Zurich and Geneva, such as Campus Biotech or the University of Zurich. It is precisely when you bring together medical professionals and companies that groundbreaking new ideas emerge that benefit medicine. How this can work in practice can be seen where clinics, medicine, research, and companies come together. Europe offers opportunities for private-state collaboration in cutting-edge research and industry, and innovation centers are getting more proactively promoted, especially in Switzerland where I am based. London and NYC, for example, have long been hubs for public-private collaboration. For example, there are several college and startup ecosystems supported by the state and cantons. There are clearly defined interfaces between medical research and industrial technology development - a thriving ecosystem that could also be more strongly promoted elsewhere.