Resonant Silence Technique (RST) is a therapeutic and rehabilitative treatment approach for individuals with dementia.
Research shows that high levels of sensory stimuli negatively affects people with dementia.
RST is based on the observation that reducing stimulus levels helps those with dementia.
In RST, we follow gentle sound into silence. After sound, we share periods of intentional group silence together.
These silent periods help to significantly reduce sensory stimuli and bring calming peace.
This quiet and peaceful atmosphere allows individuals with dementia to relax and begin to cope again.
As they relax, they return to fuller consciousness and higher functionality.
RST is also a Path to Peace
Resonant Silence Technique (RST) is also a path to new consciousness. Peace and serenity flower as we practice RST.
It takes time for our minds to clear of the many thoughts we have. But, with the RST exercises shared here, our minds clear, and we gradually experience peace and, at times, even, bliss.
I am currently writing a book about RST which will be published soon.
The book tells how my life experiences, and influences, prepared me to awaken to the unique healing qualities of silence, and how I came to create RST.
I include my own journey to silence, so that you can find similar experiences in your own life, that have led you to your own awakening to the calm and peaceful light, that silence provides.
The book is a journey into stillness from several different cultural and faith traditions. It is also a guide to the practice of RST to deepen our own inner peace. In the book I include over 20 exercises to help us understand and experience the serenity of silence.
I chose the name 'resonant silence' because when I experienced a deep sense of silence, the silence seemed to echo back to me, or, in other words, the silence resonated.
The acronym RST or Rest felt right too, for during and after sharing RST, I saw profound relaxation and rest in my patient's eyes as their bodies relaxed. I wanted my acronym to reflect the experience that I observed.
The RST exercises shared here, come from my over 20 years of using RST with those with dementia, Parkinson's, autism and other cognitive and neurological conditions.
They also come from my work with my patients as a Clinical Musician for the Hospice of the Northwest.
These exercises are meant for your personal use to cultivate and deepen your own inner tranquility. They can also be shared with a loved one or friend with dementia.
If you wish to share Resonant Silence Technique (RST) therapeutically with groups or privately with those with dementia in memory care centers, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, with those on hospice and in other professional settings, it is necessary to complete my training course to become a Certified Resonant Silence Practitioner (CRSP).
We now have one CRSP with more on the way!
Become part of a growing cadre of trained Resonant Silence Technique Practitioners (CRSPs) and with your new RST skills, and your love and dedication, bring comfort, relaxation and new- found self awareness to those with dementia and other cognitive and neurological conditions.
Our next CRSP training is planned for November, 2023. Exact times and charges for this series of training classes will be announced shortly.
If you are interested in CRSP training, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
This first exercise is actually an ancient breathing meditation to which I add a period of silence.
This exercise will give you a lovely taste of the stillness that can come by combining breathing and silence. Each element of this exercise is equally important.
As is true for all RST exercises, it is very important to honor the silence at the end of the exercise.
In silence, the brain integrates what it is exposed to and silence, therefore, provides the space where true change can take place.
Here is the first RST exercise.
1. Please sit quietly, with our eyes closed, and our back gently straight.
2. Breathe in for four slow counts.
3. Now, breathe out for five, even slower seconds.
4. And, now, having exhaled all our breath, continue to breathe normally, and sit in silence for 10 seconds.
Here is the second RST exercise.
1. As with all RST exercises, we begin by sitting quietly with our eyes closed, and our back gently upright.
2. Now, we breathe in for four slow counts.
3. As we exhale, very gently say the sound "Sh" for a total of four seconds, allowing the sound to begin to fade by the end of the third second, so that by the end of the fourth second, the sound has completely faded.
4. Continue to exhale the rest of our breath.
5. Then, continuing to breathe normally, sit in silence for 10 seconds.
How do you feel? Calmer, quieter? Are there less thoughts in your mind, and more peacefulness within you? Good. This is the beginning of the RST process to inner peace for us, and for those with dementia.
To find out more about Resonant Silence Technique, you can read my published article on RST at the NIH or National Institutes of Health website.
This website is a worldwide source, of the most up-to-date and innovative health care approaches available.
You can read my entire article on the NIH website at this address: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7088230/
You can also read my article on this website under the heading "Understanding RST ". Enjoy.
The use of a quieting environment, subtle sound and intentional silence is reported to help people with dementia feel less anxious, more relaxed and cooperative, emotionally appreciative, empathetic and to improve eye contact, concentration and communication.
Silence has been scientifically shown to be relaxing and therapeutic, restoring body equilibrium and reducing brain wave frequency while lowering blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates.
Aspects of sound called vibrato and harmonics have also been scientifically shown to reduce brain wave frequency.
Cedar and bamboo flute, guitar and voice, singing bowl and Tibetan ting-shas (small, rounded chimes) all produce easily heard vibrato and harmonics and this is why they are chosen for RST.
Miriam Fein is the creator of Resonant Silence Technique (RST). She holds a Bachelor of Sacred Music (BSM) from The Jewish Theological Seminary and is a certified Cantor/Minister/Educator. She is a Certified Music Practitioner as well as a Clinical Musician for Hospice of the Northwest. More about Miriam Fein