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In Session with Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD

Brain Music Therapy

Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Supervising Attending Physician, Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center

 

While they are effective for many, prescription drugs can cause unpleasant side effects in some patients, Dr. Galina Mindlin, who treats patients with a variety of psychiatric illnesses in her New York City office, offers a unique and effective treatment for patients with insomnia, anxiety, and attention deficit and mood disorders. The treatment she uses is called Brain Music Therapy (BMT) and was developed at the Moscow Medical Academy by Professor Iakov Levine. Dr. Mindlin studied neurobiology and the psychophysiology of sleep, anxiety, and personality disorders with Dr. Levine in Russia.
 
The treatment was born when a group of clinicians, researchers, mathematicians, and musicians translated different ratio of brain wave rhythms into musical frequencies by using 18 transformation algorithms for 120 musical instruments. Later on, BMT was expanded across Europe and Canada and was brought to the US over a year ago by Dr. Mindlin.
 
Since then Dr. Mindlin and her colleagues, Dr. Rozelle, Dr. Kahn, and Dr. Mitnick, have treated over 500 patients with BMT. Their effectiveness rate is high, 82-85%, and is the same as shown in double-blind studies in France and Canada and by Dr. Levine, who recorded an 82-85% treatment success rate while studying 58 patients with insomnia and 60 patients with anxiety disorders (GAD, panic disorder, and social phobia).
 
When patients arrive at Dr. Mindlin’s office, they are given a brief evaluation, including an assessment of their sleeping pattern, anxiety level and presence of mood disturbances. After the patient is in a relaxed state, Dr. Mindlin performs an EEG recording, which then is converted into musical frequencies tailored to each individual.
 
Within the 3 weeks each patient is sent a CD based on his or her unique combination of brain waves. Each CD includes two separate recordings that resemble classical piano music. One is ‘relaxing’ and about 10-12 minutes in length dependent on their EEG architecture. This recording serves to ease the patient into sleep, promote good uninterrupted nighttime rest, decrease their level of anxiety, and help them cope with everyday stress. The second recording is ‘activating,’ reflecting on the ratio of fast brain waves, and is 2-3 minutes in length. This recording helps the patient ‘to wake up in the morning,’ or can be used throughout the day for an extra boost of energy and mood elevation. It also allows the individual to maintain a certain level of focus, concentration, and improve their peak performance.

BMT is a form of neurofeedback that can be used on its own or as a compliment to other treatment modalities. It also significantly enhances of neurofeedback learning.
 
Dr. Mindlin serves as a Supervising Attending Physician in Roosevelt Hospital in a Center for Intensive Treatment for Personality Disorders, where she has found that BMT significantly helps patients with borderline personality disorders to find their comfort zone when they are going through the painful experience of being emotionally deregulated. BMT appears to have significant potential in decreasing the arousal of BPD patients.
 
While more studies are warranted, BMT has shown itself to be a successful treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and ADHD, and mood disorders. In the future, BMT could also be a potential tool in helping people to go through the difficulties of withdrawing from medications, easing the process of finding the right medication for specific patients.

For more information regarding Brain Music Therapy please visit www.brainmusictreatment.com.

Disclosure: Dr. Mindlin reports no affiliations with or financial interests in any organization for may pose a conflict of interest.