Contemporary Vibroacoustic Therapy: Perspectives on Clinical Practice, Research, and Training


  • Marko Punkanen PhD
  • Esa Ala-Ruona PhD



Vibroacoustic therapy (VAT), traditionally considered to be a physical and receptive type of music therapy intervention, uses pulsed, sinusoidal, low-frequency sound on a specially designed bed or chair. Today VAT is viewed as a multimodal approach, whereby the therapist works with the client’s physiological and psychological experiences, incorporating a mind–body approach. This article provides current knowledge in clinical practice emphasizing the systematic and documented implementations of VAT. This includes presentation and explication of the key elements of VAT, assessments, treatment plans and procedures, documen- tation, and evaluation of the treatment with recommendations for follow-up care in health and rehabilitation. Recent research is presented, and directions for future research are considered. Applicable views on clinical training and required competencies are outlined.

Author Biographies

Marko Punkanen, PhD

Marko Punkanen, PhD, is a music therapist, a dance/movement therapist, and a psychotherapist and currently works as a music therapist and supervisor in private practice. He is actively involved with music therapy and dance/movement therapy training. He is the cofounder of the first extensive VAT/PA-training in Finland, and he has studied the possibilities of VAT in drug rehabilitation.

Esa Ala-Ruona, PhD

Esa Ala-Ruona, PhD, is a music therapist and psychotherapist work- ing as an associate professor and university researcher at Music Therapy Clinic for Research and Training, University of Jyväskylä. He is a clinical teacher and supervisor, and he coordinates the international master’s program of music therapy. He is the cofounder of the first extensive VAT/PA-training in Finland, and he has been developing and studying the possibilities of VAT/PA in specialized health care.




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