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.
I choose 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.
I choose the acronym RST or rest because of the profound relaxation and rest that I saw in my patient's eyes and in the position of their bodies during and after sharing RST. I wanted the name 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 and other cognitive and neurological conditions.
The exercises also come from my on-going work with my patients as a Clinical Musician for the Hospice of the Northwest.
And now, to the exercises.
In RST, I have found that saying sounds silently is as effective in quieting our mind as saying them aloud.
1. So, sit quietly with our eyes closed and our back gently straight.
2. Breathe in for four slow counts.
3. As we exhale, say 'Ah' to ourselves allowing this sound or the thought of this sound to fill our mind.
4. Then, continue to breathe normally and sit in silence for 10 seconds.
How do you feel? Calmer, quieter? Are there less thoughts in your mind? This is the beginning of the RST process to peace.
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