'Acutonics' combines acupressure, sound

(KABC) It's the latest alternative therapy to treat all kinds of ailments, from pain to sleep deprivation, even stress.

It's called "Acutonics," a modern technique that blends different forms of ancient Chinese medicine.

"The minute I experienced it, it's like, I wanted it more and more," said Kristi Marshall.

In a typical session, a practitioner stimulates pressure points. But instead of using needles, the treatment involves vibrations from tuning forks.

"We have some frequencies that are more stimulating, others that are more sedating, others that are nourishing to the fluids in the body," said Donna Carey, Acutonics co-creator.

Donna Carey co-created the technique. She claims the vibrations open up energy pathways in our bodies, which are made up mostly of water.

"Sound travels four times faster in water and through water than it does in air," said Carey. "Our body is a sound resonator."

While there's no clinical research to show Acutonics works, sports medicine Dr. Vijay Vad said preliminary studies show sound therapy can help pain.

"What the vibration does is it basically sort of distracts from the pain," said Dr. Vad. "And then the sound, basically, is a form of biofeedback that kind of leads to relaxation and decreasing pain sensation."

But Dr. Vad says some of the results may just be the placebo effect.

"One out of three people, which is a pretty big number, gets relief from placebo because pain is a mind/body type of phenomenon," said Dr. Vad.

Kristi Marshall is a believer. Two accidents left her with debilitating back pain. Since she started sound treatments:

"My pain has been relieved and gone away," said Marshall. "My health has improved dramatically."

An Acutonics session can cost around $100-$150, depending on where you live. While the practitioners say you can often see immediate results, they recommend regular treatments.

The company also sells kits with basic tuning forks so people can try it at home.

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