Category Archives: Review

Sleep Well: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation App for Insomnia Relief

Share

Insomnia can be triggered by both good and bad life events, and this sleep disorder can hit anyone at any time since it has multiple causes (discussed more fully here). Short term or “acute” insomnia can be caused by common illnesses such as colds or flu; chronic illness, disease, and various neurological disorders can cause acute insomnia to become chronic. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, along with some herbal remedies, can bring on this sleep disorder, though not for everyone. In both men and women, trauma, whether physical or emotional, can have lifetime negative health effects, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia, while childhood trauma, including divorce or sexual abuse, contribute to insomnia in childhood and adulthood. The blue light from our digital devices, including flat-screen televisions, smartphones, and tablets ,can contribute to insomnia when used to close to bedtime, because they suppress melatonin, and researchers have learned that the brain seems to have its very own wake and sleep cycles, which can get stuck on “wake,” preventing sleep.

Since the quantity and quality of sleep affects our health, and since insomnia can lead to “decreased quality of life, increased rates of depression, and even increased risk of heart disease,” insomnia, especially when it becomes chronic, should not be dismissed. Chronic insomnia, medically defined as an inability to fall or stay asleep for at least three nights a week for three months or longer, is not just extremely unpleasant: it’s dangerous to our mental and physical well-being. Though I use both Sleep with Me Podcast (reviewed here) and Relax Melodies (reviewed here) to ease insomnia, Surf City’s free self-hypnosis meditation app Sleep Well Insomnia Relief was in my self-care kit for years before I found the previously mentioned apps, and I still use it regularly, with reliable success.

Sleep Well Insomnia Relief
Self-Hypnosis & Meditation
by Surf City Apps

If you’re not familiar with self-hypnosis, please be assured that it is nothing like what’s shown in horror or suspense films. No matter how skilled the therapist, meditation leader, or professional hypnotist, hypnosis meditations cannot make you do anything you do not wish to. I regularly use Surf City’s Migraine Relief and Chronic Pain Relief (reviewed here), and having successfully used them, I was happy to try Sleep Well.

Surf City Apps produces professionally scripted hypnosis-meditation apps with professional background audio. Each script is read by a certified clinical hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy instructor; the same person narrates the Migraine Relief, Chronic Pain Relief, and Sleep Well Insomnia Relief meditations: I find her voice and delivery calming and relaxing. The meditations in these apps are not hidden by music, are clearly audible at any volume, and the free versions contain the exact same narration as the paid (Pro) version. That means you can listen to the free version of Sleep Well Insomnia Relief and hear absolutely everything that is said in the paid version.

Surf City’s Sleep Well self-hypnosis meditation for the relief of insomnia has over 4.4 out of 5 stars with almost 660 user reviews on the App Store, and 4.1 out of 5 stars with over 1,800 user reviews on Google Play. I especially like playing Sleep Well with Relax Melodies, since it features various sounds and melodies in “background support” mode, so you can choose your own background — setting the Background in Sleep Well to “None” — to play behind the self-hypnosis meditation.

The controls are identical in all versions of the Surf City apps and are very easy to use. The settings are relatively self-explanatory, though some brief descriptions are sometimes included, as in the definition of what Hypnotic Booster does. Since you can listen to the entire self-hypnosis narration free, I advise you to listen to Seep Well Insomnia Relief as long as you want. These are only a few differences between the free and the paid versions of this app, and none of those differences concerns the actual content of the self-hypnosis meditation itself.

The Differences Between the Free and Pro App
There are ads in the free version as well as limitations to the app controls. The Pro (paid) version (one-time fee of $3.99) allows you to turn off the audio instructions (which help you relax your body but do not specifically have anything to do with relieving insomnia) at the beginning of the narration, to disable Awaken at End (allowing you to stay asleep if you are using it at night and happen to fall asleep), and to repeat the narration 1-3 times or to loop it so it continues to play until you shut the app down. These controls alone are certainly worth the money if you want to play the narration all night long. The paid version also includes a variety of background sounds (including Brook, Beach, or Rain), and lets you continue listening to your background sound of choice after the meditation narration ends by delaying the ending of the app’s shut-off. You can choose from 5, 10, 20, or 30 minute delays, or hourly delays from 1-8 hours.

Self-Hypnosis Meditation Playlists
For iOS devices, Sleep Well Insomnia Relief is also available as an MP3 so that you can add it to playlists. If you have the Pro versions of any Surf City apps, you can Loop them so that they play all night long, although you can only play one meditation at a time. On iOS devices, at least, several of their apps are also available as MP3 versions so you can make playlists. That way you can queue up two or more different versions and alternate them all night long. I have a self-hypnosis meditation playlist which includes Migraine Relief, Chronic Pain Relief, and Sleep Well Insomnia Relief for when a migraine attack since the aura before the pain, along with the ensuing pain itself, both exacerbate my insomnia. I also have a playlist combining the self-hypnosis meditations of End Anxiety and Sleep Well for when outside — or internal — stress is making it difficult for me to sleep. Instructions on making playlists from their MP3 versions are in my review on the other Surf City apps.

Sleep Well Insomnia Relief
Self-Hypnosis & Meditation
by Surf City Apps

Sleep Well Insomnia Relief begins with an explanation of the different types of insomnia and its common causes (lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, fluctuating blood sugar levels) so that you can make lifestyle changes if necessary. An explanation of how self-hypnosis works is followed by an explanation of the app’s features (Background — music or nature sounds — Sleep Booster, and Awake at End) are explained in detail, including where you can change the settings (in Settings). To avoid interruptions, you are instructed to put your phone in Do Not Disturb Mode to silence any phone or text alerts. You can disable all of these audio instructions in the paid version of the app.

After guiding your through some imagery and breathing exercises to induce relaxation, the Sleep Well Insomnia Relief self-hypnosis meditation guides you through one of two relaxation exercises: Tension Relief or Relaxing Color. The first, Tension Relief,  talks you through a body scan in which you observe, without judgment, the various parts of your body, noting to yourself how your body feels. Starting with your feet, you are instructed to observe, wiggle (if applicable), tense, and then release the tightened muscles in various parts of your body so that you can become more aware of what relaxed muscles feel like. The Relaxing Color exercise guides you through a similar body scan but uses a “relaxing color” of your choice to metaphorically fill and ease your muscles into relaxation. Both of these relaxation exercises are available in the free version of the app.

You are then given some suggestions for becoming more aware of any good things in your life and for feeling more gratitude about them. This is where the self-hypnosis narration becomes a guided meditation to encourage mindfulness. After this, you are then instructed to picture yourself in a hammock, a rocking chair, or a gently moving train, where you are to observe the gentle swaying as your body follows the narrator’s voice into deeper relaxation, rest, and sleep.

*Please note that because all Surf City apps are self-hypnosis meditations which may make you fall asleep, you should never listen to these while driving or operating dangerous machinery.*

Download Sleep Well Insomnia Relief from Surf City Apps, from the App store for all iOS devices, from Amazon for Kindles, and from GooglePlay for Android devices. You can check out all Surf City’s free apps on its website. Their apps have been downloaded over 5 million times and average 4+ stars out of 5 for Sleep Well Insomnia Relief. In addition to in-app Support — under Interact > Feedback and Support, where you can read FAQs or send them a message — Surf City is on Twitter and Facebook: they are very responsive to customer questions on their social media accounts.


Related Posts on Migraine & Chronic Pain

For more of my articles on migraine or chronic pain,
see my Migraine & Chronic Pain page.

Related Posts on Migraine,
Chronic Pain, and Insomnia Relief

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It's not as difficult to buy gifts for someone with migraine or other chronic pain as some you might imagine. Think "comfort" instead of "cure" ...
Continue reading
More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It might seem challenging to buy gifts for someone with migraine, neuropathic facial pain, or other chronic pain, but if you forget the word "cure" ...
Continue reading
Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to diagnose, treat, or manage ...
Continue reading
Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated with new items 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not ...
Continue reading
Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated: 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to ...
Continue reading
SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

If you're not familiar with self-hypnosis, let me assure you that it is nothing like what's shown in horror films. No matter how skilled the ...
Continue reading
Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

We've all experienced insomnia at some time in our lives. Whether caused by excitement over good life events or by anxiety over bad ones, this ...
Continue reading
Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Whether caused by good or bad life events, insomnia can hit anyone at any time and is due to multiple causes (discussed more fully here) ...
Continue reading
The Best Natural Nausea Relief

The Best Natural Nausea Relief

Updated: 25 August 2019 We've all been nauseous. Whether from pregnancy's morning-sickness or medication side-effects, from the annual flu bug or a migraine attack, from ...
Continue reading
How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
The Chi Institute's Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

Updated 1 March 2020 I was first diagnosed with migraine when I was 5, which probably wasn't too surprising to my relatives since most of ...
Continue reading

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under App Review, chronic pain, healing, health, Health and Wellness, hemiplegic migraines, Insomnia, Meditation and MIndfulness, migraine, migraine self-care, Migraine with Aura, Migraine Without Aura, migraines, Review, Self-Hypnosis Apps, Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps

Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Share

Whether caused by good or bad life events, insomnia can hit anyone at any time and is due to multiple causes (discussed more fully here). Short term or “acute” insomnia can be caused by common illnesses, while chronic illness, disease, and disorders can cause acute insomnia to become chronic. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, along with some herbal remedies, can bring on this sleep disorder, though not for everyone. Trauma, at any time in life, can cause long-term negative effects including insomnia, as can blue light from our digital devices. Even the brain seems to have its own wake and sleep cycles, which can get stuck on “wake,” preventing sleep. Though Sleep with Me Podcast is the best free app for insomnia relief that I’ve ever found, Relax Melodies is another free app that significantly helps reduce insomnia.

Lapierre and Bérubé. Photo © Ipnos

Relax Melodies was made by Simon Alex Bérubé and Philippe Lapierre after the latter was troubled with chronic insomnia triggered by tinnitus. Lapierre tried different sound-apps to mask the ringing in his ears, but found the sound choices limited. With another software engineer, his friend Bérubé, the two developed an app that includes 52 free sounds and melodies (the paid version has 122 sounds and melodies). Some of the soothing sounds in the Relax Melodies include white noise, rain, flute, campfire, windchimes, humming, cat purring, city ambience, monk chant, tribal drums, forest, and city day (nice bird sounds). The Discover tab allows you to listen to some of the most popular combinations of sounds and melodies created by app users as well as by its staff. Some of these have a few too many sounds for my liking, but most of them are absolutely wonderful. The app also allows you to create your own melodies: simply tap on one, two, or three of the icons to hear how they sound together. There is no limit to the sounds you can combine., but if you combine add too many, you may have nothing but noise, which may not help if you’re trying to sleep or playing it behind either of the best free apps for migraine and chronic pain relief.

The Brainwave melodies include Isochronic tones (no headphones required) and Binaural Beats (headphones required), and all of these range from range from 2.5 Hz (Dreamless Sleep) to 20 Hz (Focus). Each of the brainwaves is explained under the app’s Learn More.

One of my favorite things about Relax Melodies is its background sound support: you can play it while using other apps and that includes Sleep with Me Podcast and the Migraine and Headache Relief or Chronic Pain Relief self-hypnosis-meditation apps. I love having the Relax Melodies grandfather clock or rain playing behind these pain relief tapes, especially when I have a migraine attack and play them all day long at a low volume. And the app’s sounds are just as comforting when painsomnia — insomnia caused by both acute and chronic pain — keeps me awake in the long dark night.

Free vs. Paid Version of Relax Melodies
The app’s free version includes its most important features for combatting insomnia. Relax Melodies may not take your away your insomnia permanently, but it does significantly reduce insomnia for most of its listeners. Even when I’m in pain from a migraine attack, they help me drift off to sleep, if only for 10-15 minutes at a time. Combined with Drew Ackerman’s Sleep with Me Podcast, I’m bound to feel some relief for my nagging chronic insomnia, even when its caused by a migraine attack.

The paid version, which is $4.99 for a one-month access to all features, or $27.99 for a lifetime license, features additional sounds, guided meditations, and guided movement meditations designed to get you ready for bed or to help you reduce stress and body tension. These are some of the paid features:

• Sleep Moves has moving meditations designed to relax you before your nightly sleep.

• Guided Meditations include Sleep (to help you fall asleep), De-Stress (to reduce stress and anxiety), Life Coach (to reduce stress, improve your relationships, and improve focus), and Reduce (to reduce tinnitus), and more, with additional guided meditations on napping and dreaming.

• Breathe has both daytime and nighttime Sound Breathing: counted inhale/exhale to specific sounds, like water or Om. for daytime, and the yogic breathing techniques like De-Stress, where you inhale, hold, and exhale breath to the count of 4-7-8, respectively, while the app plays a different sound for each section, providing both visual and sound clues on-screen. The 4-7-8 Breath is recommended for stress relief by many leading health authorities, including Dr. Andrew Weil and Healthline.

You can join over 30 million other users by downloading the popular Relax Melodies app, available in 10 languages, with a 4.5 out of 5* rating (with 700,000 reviews), from Ipnos after selecting your type of smartphone, from Amazon for Kindle, from the App Store for iOS devices, and from Google Play for Android devices.

Relax Melodies is on Twitter, though the account seems to be relatively inactive, and Facebook, where the posts are more current and where they are quite responsive (replies within 24 hours), if you have any questions.

Sleep well, my Lovelies.


Related Posts on Migraine & Chronic Pain

For more of my articles on migraine or chronic pain,
see my Migraine & Chronic Pain page.

Related Posts on Migraine,
Chronic Pain, and Insomnia Relief

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It's not as difficult to buy gifts for someone with migraine or other chronic pain as some you might imagine. Think "comfort" instead of "cure" ...
Continue reading
More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It might seem challenging to buy gifts for someone with migraine, neuropathic facial pain, or other chronic pain, but if you forget the word "cure" ...
Continue reading
Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to diagnose, treat, or manage ...
Continue reading
Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated with new items 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not ...
Continue reading
Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated: 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to ...
Continue reading
SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

If you're not familiar with self-hypnosis, let me assure you that it is nothing like what's shown in horror films. No matter how skilled the ...
Continue reading
Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

We've all experienced insomnia at some time in our lives. Whether caused by excitement over good life events or by anxiety over bad ones, this ...
Continue reading
Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Whether caused by good or bad life events, insomnia can hit anyone at any time and is due to multiple causes (discussed more fully here) ...
Continue reading
The Best Natural Nausea Relief

The Best Natural Nausea Relief

Updated: 25 August 2019 We've all been nauseous. Whether from pregnancy's morning-sickness or medication side-effects, from the annual flu bug or a migraine attack, from ...
Continue reading
How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
The Chi Institute's Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

Updated 1 March 2020 I was first diagnosed with migraine when I was 5, which probably wasn't too surprising to my relatives since most of ...
Continue reading

Share

2 Comments

Filed under App Review, chronic pain, healing, health, Insomnia, migraine, PTSD, Review

SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

Share

If you’re not familiar with self-hypnosis, let me assure you that it is nothing like what’s shown in horror films. No matter how skilled the therapist, meditation leader, or professional hypnotist, hypnosis meditations cannot make you do anything you do not wish to. I’ve heard of self-hypnosis for many things — weight loss, quitting smoking, reducing anxiety — and I’ve used self-hypnosis CDs for increasing creativity and maintaining an exercise program. It wasn’t until the advent of smartphones, however, that I found self-hypnosis meditations which actually reduced my chronic migraine pain. Two of the finest self-hypnosis meditation apps for pain relief which I use regularly are Migraine & Headache Relief  and Chronic Pain Relief, both by Surf City Apps. These two apps are the best I’ve found for reducing chronic pain.

Founded in 2012, Surf City Apps produces professionally scripted hypnosis apps with professional background audio. Each script is read by a certified clinical hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy instructor; the same person narrates both the Migraine Relief and the Chronic Pain Relief meditations: I find her voice and delivery calming and relaxing. I often fall asleep when listening to these meditations, but even when I cannot sleep because of insomnia, either as a symptom of the migraine itself or from its accompanying pain, I play these apps on a low volume continuously, and they help significantly reduce the pain level.

The meditations in these apps are not hidden by music, are clearly audible, and the free versions contain the exact same narration as the Pro versions. That means you can listen to the free versions and hear absolutely everything that is said in the paid versions. Since you can listen to the entire self-hypnosis narration-free, I advise you to listen to both Migraine Relief and Chronic Pain Relief as long as you want to determine which best helps reduce your pain. These are only a few differences between the free and the paid versions of these apps, and none of those differences concerns the actual content of the self-hypnosis meditation itself.

*Please note that because these are self-hypnosis meditations which may make you fall asleep, you should never listen to these apps while driving or operating dangerous machinery.*

Migraine & Headache Relief
Self-Hypnosis & Meditation
by Surf City Apps

After guiding your through some imagery and breathing exercises to induce relaxation, the Migraine & Headache Relief self-hypnosis meditation tells you to image the pain in your head as a color, which you choose yourself. Then, you image a faucet at your ear closest to the pain, and the meditation guides you through turning on the faucet and letting the pain drain safely out through the faucet. You are then given some suggestions for safely “disposing” of the pain and encouraged to replace the now-empty space previously occupied by the pain with the color you image from another body part that does not give you pain.

Download Migraine & Headache Relief free from Surf City Apps for iOS or Android devices, from Amazon for Kindle, from the App Store for iOS devices, or from GooglePlay for Android devices. Though I’ve never used Migraine & Headache Relief on an ordinary headache, I always use it during a migraine attack. It significantly reduces the pain, especially when I combine it with Surf City Apps’ Chronic Pain Relief.

Chronic Pain Relief
Self-Hypnosis & Meditation
by Surf City Apps

After guiding your through some imagery and breathing exercises to encourage relaxation, the Chronic Pain Relief self-hypnosis meditation instructs you to image a pain-relieving liquid, which acts like novocaine, coming from a faucet. You are instructed to determine the color, viscosity, and temperature of the liquid. You are guided through the steps of placing your hand under the running faucet and feeling the numbness and relief caused by the liquid. You are then told to put your hand on any part of your body that is in pain. You image that liquid penetrating all the tissues of your body in order to relieve pain and promote healing. Afterward, you image the liquid returning to your hand so that you can return it to the basin below the faucet where you “release” it. If you experience pain in large areas of your body, you are guided through imagery where you bathe or shower in the pain-relieving liquid and are thereby comforted.

Download Chronic Pain Relief free from Surf City Apps for iOS or Android devices, from Amazon for Kindle, from the App Store for iOS devices, and from GooglePlay for Android devices. The Chronic Pain app relieves a great deal of chronic pain, and it definitely helps with the severe pain of migraine attacks as well, which is why I alternate the apps when I’m in severe pain.

SurfCity App Controls

The controls are identical in all versions (free and paid, across all app topics) of the Surf City apps and are very easy to use. The settings are relatively self-explanatory, though some brief descriptions are sometimes included, as in the definition of what Hypnotic Booster does.

 

The Differences Between the Free and Pro App
There are ads in the free version as well as limitations to the app controls. The Pro (paid) version costs a one-time fee ($1.99-3.99, depending on the particular app), and the paid version allows you to turn off the audio instructions (which help you relax your body but do not specifically have anything to do with relieving pain) at the beginning of the narration, to disable Awaken at End (allowing you to stay asleep if you are using it at night and happen to fall asleep), and to repeat the narration 1-3 times or to loop it so it continues until you shut the app down. These controls alone are certainly worth the money if you want to play the narration all night long or during a migraine attack to keep the pain level down. The paid version also includes a variety of background sounds, (rain, water on the beach, etc) and lets you continue listening to your background of choice after the meditation narration ends by delaying the ending of the app’s shut-off. You can choose from 5, 10, 20, or 30-minute delays, or hourly delays from 1-8 hours: during these delays, the self-hypnosis meditation is not playing but the soothing background sounds are, and this might be helpful for promoting sleep and rest during a migraine attack or pain flare-up).

I have the Migraine Relief and the Chronic Pain Relief sleep versions in one playlist, alternating one with the other until I have about 10 hours of playing time, to make sure I don’t get woken up by the hypnosis-meditation shutting off. The day version of this playlist, which alternates Migraine Relief + Awaken with Chronic Pain Relief + Awaken, is only about 5 or 6 hours long, but that’s because I’m awake already and playing it at a very low volume so that I hear it subliminally. Once you’ve listened to the session a few times, you don’t have to actively concentrate on the meditation-hypnosis for it to reduce your pain.

Note: These are self-hypnosis meditations, even in their MP3 versions, and they can make you fall asleep, so don’t listen to these while driving or operating dangerous machinery.

You can check out all Surf City’s free apps on its website. Their apps have been downloaded over 5 million times and average 4+ stars out of 5 for these particular apps. In addition to in-app Support,  Surf City Apps is on Twitter and Facebook: they are very responsive to customer questions.

These pain relief self-hypnosis meditation apps may not take away your migraine or other chronic pain completely, but they do significantly reduce pain for most of their listeners. Even better, since the full meditation is available on the free versions of their apps, you can see which you prefer or simply listen to them both. Either way, you’re bound to feel some relief.


Related Posts on Migraine & Chronic Pain

For more of my articles on migraine or chronic pain,
see my Migraine & Chronic Pain page.

Related Posts on Migraine,
Chronic Pain, and Insomnia Relief

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It's not as difficult to buy gifts for someone with migraine or other chronic pain as some you might imagine. Think "comfort" instead of "cure" ...
Continue reading
More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

More Gifts for People with Migraine or Other Chronic Pain

It might seem challenging to buy gifts for someone with migraine, neuropathic facial pain, or other chronic pain, but if you forget the word "cure" ...
Continue reading
Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Lifestyle Changes and Alternative Natural Relief for Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to diagnose, treat, or manage ...
Continue reading
Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Roll-Ons and Balms for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated with new items 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not ...
Continue reading
Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Natural Supplements and Vitamins for Relief of Migraine and Neuropathic Facial Pain

Updated: 11 Aug 2019 Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice: this is my experience only. The items listed here should not be used to ...
Continue reading
SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

SurfCity Apps: The Best Free Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps for Migraine and Chronic Pain Relief

If you're not familiar with self-hypnosis, let me assure you that it is nothing like what's shown in horror films. No matter how skilled the ...
Continue reading
Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

Sleep with Me Podcast: The Best Free App for Insomnia Relief

We've all experienced insomnia at some time in our lives. Whether caused by excitement over good life events or by anxiety over bad ones, this ...
Continue reading
Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Relax Melodies: A Great Free App for Insomnia Relief and Meditation

Whether caused by good or bad life events, insomnia can hit anyone at any time and is due to multiple causes (discussed more fully here) ...
Continue reading
The Best Natural Nausea Relief

The Best Natural Nausea Relief

Updated: 25 August 2019 We've all been nauseous. Whether from pregnancy's morning-sickness or medication side-effects, from the annual flu bug or a migraine attack, from ...
Continue reading
How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

How I Dramatically Reduce and Eliminate Migraine Pain

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

Knocking Out a Migraine with Non-Invasive, Painless Sound Waves

This post is temporarily unavailable while it is being revised. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to read more of my articles on migraine, ...
Continue reading
The Chi Institute's Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

Updated 1 March 2020 I was first diagnosed with migraine when I was 5, which probably wasn't too surprising to my relatives since most of ...
Continue reading

(A slightly different version of this post was
originally published on MigraineMantras.)

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under App Review, chronic pain, Chronic Pain Treatment, healing, health, Health and Wellness, hemiplegic migraines, Meditation and MIndfulness, Memoir, migraine, migraine self-care, Migraine Treatment, Migraine with Aura, Migraine Without Aura, migraines, Review, Self-Hypnosis Apps, Self-Hypnosis Meditation Apps, SurfCity Apps

The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device to Reduce and Eliminate Chronic Pain, a Review

Share

Updated 1 March 2020

I was first diagnosed with migraine when I was 5, which probably wasn’t too surprising to my relatives since most of the women in my family have this same neurological disorder, though it was only called a “sick headache” when I was young. At age 9, I was diagnosed as having (non-convulsive) seizures when I had a migraine. More than “just a headache,” migraine is a complex neurological disorder affecting the entire body, with the unilateral head pain being only one of the symptoms of a migraine attack. Affecting 10-15% of the adult population, migraine is, in fact, the most common neurological disorder, ahead of stroke, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy. Migraine causes a phenomenon known as Cortical Spreading Depression (CSD) wherein the cortical neurons begin to shut down in a wave across the brain (see This Is Your Brain on Migraine). The CSD causes the trigeminal nerve to become inflamed, resulting in one of the most debilitating and excruciating types of pain known to humans. And I have at least three types of migraine:

  • without aura (sometimes called common)
  • with aura (also called classic or complicated)
  • hemiplegic (sometimes called complex), which can be familial (hereditary) or sporadic (non-familial)

Medical Massage Therapy for Migraine

I’ve been seeing medical massage therapists, on my physician’s advice, for almost 35  years, and many of them used acupressure and craniosacral therapy to reduce some of my migraine attacks (detailed in Head-Banger’s Ball). Medical massage therapy also enabled me, over the years, to identify physical injuries, some from severe childhood abuse, which were triggers for my migraine without aura. My current medical massage therapist used an Infratonic 8000 to treat my frequently dislocated right hip: that childhood injury does trigger migraine attacks for me.

The Infratonic sends infrasonic sound waves, which are beyond the usual range of humans’ hearing, through tissue and bone in order to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Because the Infratonic’s sound waves reduce inflammation, any pain caused by the inflammation is also reduced. There is no invasive treatment, no experimental drugs, no surgeries, no physicians, no insurance companies. Just sound waves. The Infratonic 8000 reduced the pain in my dislocated hip and lower back so much, I decided to learn how to use a sound-wave-healing device myself.

On my head.
For migraine.

Sound Healing

Sound healing is not new. Tibetan Singing Bowls, chanting, humming, lullabies — they’re all forms of sound that have been used throughout history for soothing, healing, or meditation. I’ve had a Tibetan Singing Bowl for almost two decades now. I meditate with it and use it to reduce anxiety during a panic attack. Unfortunately, the Singing Bowl doesn’t reduce the pain or duration of a migraine, whether it is with aura or without, nor does the Singing Bowl reduce the excruciating pain of atypical trigeminal neuralgia, from which I’ve suffered for the last three years. Because my medical massage therapist had actually used a Chi Institute (formerly, Sound Vitality) Infratonic sound wave device, which allows you to direct its sound waves at the source of the pain (or at the site of the injury, as the case may be), on some of my childhood injuries to reduce recurrent pain, I decided to use that specific device on migraine in the summer of 2018 after a three-month intractable migraine showed no sign of ending.

My therapist was afraid to use her Infratonic device on my head: I have hemiplegic migraine that can cause seizures, and my therapist feared that the sound waves might trigger a migraine-induced seizure. In June 2018, after I’d had an intractable migraine for over 3 months, she let me borrow her Infratonic 8000 (an older version) to use at home, cautioning me to make sure I was lying down in bed before using it on the migraine pain so that, if the sound waves did trigger a seizure, I would already be in a safe environment.

When I first put the Infratonic 8000 on my head, directly over the migraine pain, the pain increased slightly. Almost immediately, however, the pain changed in a way that’s difficult to describe. Before I’d even removed the Infratonic 8000 from my head to change its settings, the pain began to reduce in intensity.  Using the Infratonic 8000 never triggered a migraine-seizure, and because the Infratonic 8000 so noticeably reduced the pain, I started researching the science behind the sound wave device as well as how I could acquire an Infratonic sound wave device of my own.

After I had my own Infratonic 9 (June 2018) and had a hemiplegic migraine, which I consider the most severely painful of any migraine, superimposed on the intractable migraine, I put the Infratonic 9 right on the pain. First, it increased for several seconds, but then it was immediately reduced. Whenever I took the I-9 off my head, the pain worsened, so I used the device all day long. I still had to take pain medications, but I was able to take much less (only on3 Tylenol 3 every four hours instead of 2 every four hours; I still had to stay in bed, but the pain was noticeably reduced with the I-9 sound wave device on my head). I then slept with the I-9 under my pillow overnight, and when I woke the next morning, the hemiplegic migraine, which usually takes 3-7 days to run its course, was completely gone.

The intractable migraine, which would eventually last 20 months because it was being triggered by two cracked teeth that had to be extracted (April and late November 2019), was, of course, still there, but the hemiplegic migraine attack had ended. Using the I-9 sound wave device helped me become more functional throughout the intractable migraine by reducing the pain to a more manageable level. I wanted my own Infratonic 9.

The Chi Institute Sound Devices

The Chi Institute (formerly, Sound Vitality) makes no claim that their sound wave devices heal you. Instead, they say that their devices reduce pain and inflammation with infrasonic sound waves (varying from 8-800 Hz or cycles per second, which is below the threshold of most humans’ ability to hear), allowing your own body to begin to heal itself. The patented Infratonic is 501(k) listed by the FDA as medical massage device, though it doesn’t really “massage” your tissue. The earlier units, which plug in, vibrate a bit, but it’s not actual massage. The Infratonic 9 does not vibrate.

The newest version of the Infratonic sound wave device is a dramatic improvement over the earlier devices, which were rather large and cumbersome, and which needed to be plugged in to operate. To use the Infratonic 8000, you had to literally be within a foot or two of the device’s base. The Infratonic 8000 is no longer available for sale because the company now offers a new version: the Infratonic 9, or I-9 for short. Not only is the Infratonic 9 smaller than the previous versions of The Chi Institute’s devices, it is portable and rechargeable. The I-9 is approximately 3.5″ wide, 6.5″ long, and slightly over 1.5″ deep. It weighs 14 ounces (i.e., much less than the hardcover Lord of the Rings in one volume) and fits in the palm of my hand. The I-9 comes with its own carrying case and AC adapter/charger.

I was delighted to learn that you do not have to have a medical massage license to purchase The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9. You do not need your physician’s recommendation or a prescription to buy one, and you most certainly do not need the permission of an insurance company to buy the I-9 to treat your own pain.

Many medical massage therapists have Infratonic sound devices, including the I-9, and for the price of the therapy visit, you can experience the Infratonic device yourself. If the therapists have earlier models, like the Infratonic 8000, etc, they look different, aren’t portable, and are quite a bit larger, but they work on the same principles.

I used the Infratonic 8000 periodically for a few years in my medical massage therapist’s office, then used the Infratonic 8000 daily for almost 3 months. After that I began using the portable Infratonic 9, and I used that model virtually 24 hours a day 7 days a week for almost 2 years to treat an intractable migraine and neuropathic facial pain (atypical trigeminal neuralgia). It does significantly and noticeably reduce migraine and other chronic pain.

The Chi Institute’s
Infratonic 9

Operating the Infratonic
The Infratonic 9 is relatively easy to operate. There are three sound wave settings on the I-9 for reducing pain and promoting healing, and, according to the director, each setting has its own frequency of sound waves.

  • Balance (which some medical massage therapists call “body”): soundwaves at 8-17 Hz
  • Acute (which some call “body and mind”): soundwaves at 8-50 Hz
  • Deep Calm (which some call “spirit”): soundwaves 8-800 Hz

The device can run continuously, but it also has two pre-set timers (10 or 20 minutes) which can operate with an electronic alarm. The timed settings, with or without alarm, shut the device off automatically at the end of the designated time. The sound waves are emitted from the underside of the I-9, which looks like the grill of a fan. No air comes out. The I-9 has a patented Chaos system that makes the sound waves come out in a “chaotic pattern” so that your brain and body cells cannot accustom themselves to the sound waves. According to the Chi Institute, if your cells can find the pattern, they can replicate it, which allows the damaged cells to remain damaged.

I placed the Infratonic directly on my bare skin: the I-9 does not heat up. I never put any gels or lotions on my skin for the sound waves to pass through tissue and bone; further, putting the I-9 on top of gels or lotions since those might damage the machine by getting inside. I never had to take breaks from using the I-9: I used it 24/7 for over 15 months of an intractable migraine that lasted almost 2 years (triggered by neuropathic facial pain; formerly, “trigeminal neuralgia”) as well as for 3 months since the migraine ended for the neuropathic facial pain itself: during the day, I wear the I-9 in a headband-sleeve that I made for the device; at night, I put it under my pillow.

What’s In the Box
The box contains the Infrantonic 9; a non-padded, vinyl, zippered carrying case; a plug-in adapter for recharging the battery; and a handbook of testimonials from customers.

For such an expensive device, the carrying case is pretty flimsy. It is not padded in any way. Further, the AC adapter/charger does not fit into the carrying case with the I-9 itself, which is a serious design flaw. The AC-adapter/charger doesn’t have retractable prongs, and it must be plugged in directly to an outlet, i.e., it doesn’t have a USB port on the end to plug it into your computer at work.

The I-9 has a rechargeable battery (company’s estimated life expectancy of battery = 3 years) and a plug-in adapter/charger. It took 45 minutes to charge it the first time (their site says it takes 90 minutes).  According to the Chi Institute’s customer service, you can safely use the I-9 while it is charging and they estimate 60-65 hours of continuous usage from one battery charge.

( You can see my update on the battery’s 3-year life expectancy, along with my update on the battery usage).

Warranty and Customer Service

The Infratonic 9 has a 30-day Unconditional Return Guarantee and 1-Year Warranty on Parts & Labor from The Chi Institute itself. Mine behaved strangely the first few days: it kept sounding the alarm and shutting itself off randomly. The Chi Institute paid my return shipping, replaced the circuit board and battery, and shipped the repaired I-9 to me, all free of charge. After it was returned to me, I used it over 6 months, virtually continuously, and it worked perfectly. Until it began misbehaving again: shutting itself off randomly, only without its customary warning beep.

At the end of the seventh month of constant usage, the light indicating that the battery needed to be charged on my I-9 began coming on in less than 24 hours — far shorter than the 48-60 hour charge time I’d been used to — and the unit began turning off and on and off again, by itself, but without the customary warning beeps. When I contacted Sound Vitality’s customer service about buying a new battery, they talked me through some troubleshooting tips to reset the device and mailed me a replacement battery free-of-charge. After the troubleshooting, which I was easily able to do myself, the device stopped randomly turning itself on and off. Once I installed the replacement battery, the device returned to its original 48-60 hours of operation before needing to be charged.

(You can see my update on the device performance and associated customer service below).

The Chi Institute has very good customer service, and someone is available to answer questions by phone or online chat to help you with your device during their company’s business hours.


The Chi Institute Sources of Infratonic Information

If you have questions about the I-9 itself, the customer service department at The Chi Institute (formerly, Sound Vitality) is happy to answer you via online chat or by phone at their toll-free number. They have a former website at Chi Institute, which has several articles on the 30-year history of the Infratonic, on how infrasonic sound waves work healing injured horses, on how the Infratonic reduces pain and cellular trauma, and how the Infratonic device accelerates recovery. The Hospital Protocol pages lists some of the types of injuries and tissue damage for which the Infratonic may be used. The Chi Institute also has testimonials on its site about the type of conditions the Infratonic machines have been used to treat.

Their older website has some diagrams about using the Infratonic (all versions), but I actually found it more effective when I just put the Infratonic (whether the older 8000 model or the latest model I-9) on the pain itself, as well as on any areas that might be contributing to the pain. The Infratonic Therapy User’s Guide for the I-9  is 110 pages of testimonials from customers who have used it on themselves or their animals, for injuries, surgeries, etc. You can read the entire guide online.

The Chi Institute has a video on the I-9 settings and timer, a brief video tip on using the I-9 for sleep, a very brief video mentioning the I-9 for headache and migraine, and a 48-minute webinar on treating various injuries and illnesses with the I-9, but there are no detailed instructions on how to specifically use the I-9 to treat specific injuries beyond “put it where it hurts” and “chase the pain.

I had to figure out where to use the Infratonic for migraine pain myself. I would have loved to have found detailed articles when I was researching ways to reduce migraine pain with sound waves The Chi Institute needs a well researched and informative owner’s manual, indicating specific locations of possible treatment areas for the various painful conditions that sound waves may treat.

Final Evaluation of The Chi Institute’s
Infratonic 9 Sound Wave Device

My main purpose in using the Infratonic 9 sound wave device is to reduce and eliminate chronic and acute (sometimes excruciating) pain: the I-9 scores extremely high in that area. It reduces both chronic and acute pain almost immediately. I have been using The Chi Institute’s Infratonic sound wave devices continuously since Jun 2018, for migraine without aura, hemiplegic migraine, and atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Since August 2018, I have been using the Infratonic 9 constantly for the neuropathic facial pain (formerly, atypical trigeminal neuralgia). I even made a pocket for the device out of a sport’s headband, and I pin the device-in-the-pocket to another sports headband, and wear the I-9 all day long, over the area of the damaged trigeminal nerve root. At night, I sleep with the I-9 under my pillow, vent side turned upward.

The I-9 reduces the duration of hemiplegic migraine attacks and enables me to use less pain medication (though I still have to stay in bed during a hemiplegic migraine). After 3 months of continuous usage, the Infratonic sound wave device enabled me to differentiate among the intractable migraine without aura (that was being triggered by the atypical trigeminal neuralgia), the hemiplegic migraine attacks that were superimposed over the intractable migraine, and the unremitting pain of neuropathic facial pain (formerly, atypical trigeminal neuralgia). The I-9 also has reduced the frequency and the excruciating lightning-bolt pain of the atypical trigeminal neuralgia. For the past several weeks (March 2020), I have had days when I was relatively pain-free for hours at a time: when I tried not wearing the I-9 a couple mornings this past week, I had severe pressure in my face from the atypical trigeminal neuralgia and some excruciating breakthrough pain, but nothing I couldn’t handle with several aspirin, herbal supplements, and brief usage of the I-9.

The Infratonic 9 has given me hope that I will one day be completely pain-free.

Having used the Infratonic 8000, which is most decidedly not portable, the newer I-9 scores high with its portability and its light weight. Considering the fact that I was actually able to get out of bed regularly after using the I-9 for a few months, despite continuing pain, by literally wearing the I-9 (in the headband-sleeve, attached to another sports headband worn around my forehead), the smaller size, lighter weight, and portability of this newer device rate very high.

The I-9 was relatively easy for me to use, but I may be more familiar with all types of electronic devices than some people. Considering the fact that there are I-9 videos which demonstrate how to actually use the I-9, there are obviously some people who don’t understand its working mechanism. Sound Vitality would do well to have an instruction sheet on the device’s basic operation, especially if they wish to have people who are not medical massage therapists using the device on themselves.

More important than even a padded carrying case that would hold both the device and its adapter/charger, Sound Vitality needs to provide an owner’s manual that instructs us in how to treat chronic or acute pain with the I-9 sound wave device. Because I have been going to medical massage therapists for over two decades, and because I have purchased many medical textbooks to help me learn how to treat my own chronic pain, I was a little more informed about treatment areas for the pain of migraine and neuropathic facial pain than other consumers may be. However, I had to basically teach myself how to treat the damaged areas with the Infratonic 9. Some treatment areas reduced the pain, some didn’t have any effect on the pain (though, at least, treatment on these areas did not increase the pain). I would have greatly appreciated having an owner’s manual that gave me some rudimentary advice about I-9 placement.

Infratonic 9 Evaluation
• Ease of use: A-/B+
• Portability: A
• Reduction of pain, chronic and acute: A+

Accessories
• Carrying case: D-
• Adapter/charger: C
• Battery life: C-
• Owner’s manual: F

Service
• Warranty: A
• Customer service: B

Purchasing an Infratonic 9

I first had experience with an Infratonic 8000 in my medical massage therapist’s office, who told me that she had first used one on herself at the office of another medical massage therapist before she purchased an Infratonic for her office.

I realize that this is a rather expensive unit, and if I hadn’t used it in my medical massage therapist’s office for a recurring injury and its pain, I would have hesitated even longer before buying my own. My research into sound healing and The Chi Institute’s 30-day money-back guarantee convinced me to purchase my own I-9, and I was saving the money to buy it when I learned that The Chi Institute allows you to make a purchase via PayPal Installment.

You do not need a physician’s prescription or a medical massage license to purchase an Infratonic 9. I am not aware of any insurance companies’ covering the cost of the device, although you can purchase an I-9 with the funds in a Health Savings Account (HSA) if you have one.


The Chi Institute
Infratonic 9 *
Sound Vitality I-9

My Infratonic 9 was purchased directly from The Chi Institute (formerly, Sound Vitality). I have not received any sort of compensation for this review. I did all the research on sound healing, ultrasound, infrasound, and Chi-sound machines myself, both before and after my Infratonic 9 was purchased. When I had some questions about the frequencies of the sound waves, I contacted The Chi Institute (Sound Vitality), and their Director told me the specific ranges of the sound waves, as well as why the Chaos mechanism was added to disrupt those sound waves for healing purposes. I learned everything else from my own research and my own experience with the Infratonic 8000 and the Infratonic 9, and that includes all the placement I used for pain relief and treatment.

The Infratonic 9 by The Chi Institute can be purchased directly from their site. After you have the item in your cart, you can choose Pay with PayPal if you wish to pay in installments. You will then be taken to PayPal’s site, where PayPal handles all the financial information and installment arrangements. Otherwise, you pay with a credit or debit card.

The Infratonic 9 it is also sold by The Chi Institute through Amazon: for sports injuries recovery, abdominal pain relief, and menstrual cramps relief. If you buy the Infratonic 9 from Amazon, The Chi Institute will be sending your device. This is the I-9 sound wave device that I use to reduce the pain of migraine attacks and of atypical trigeminal neuralgia.

You can click on the Chi Institute / Sound Vitality images in this post or the links in this paragraph to be taken directly to their site.

Sound Vitality I-9

Overall, I am extremely happy with the Infratonic 9 sound wave device for the reduction of acute and chronic pain, including migraine attacks and atypical trigeminal neuralgia (now called neuropathic facial pain, to include both the constant pain and the excruciating lightning-bolt pain). The Chi Institute’s Infratonic 9 also relieves the excruciating pain of hemiplegic migraine attacks and the lightning-bolt pain of trigeminal neuralgia. Further, the amount of healing on the neuropathic facial pain has been amazing. Using the I-9 sound wave device to reduce the chronic pain has allowed me to begin writing again and to be more functional in my life. The Infratonic 9 has also given me hope that I may one day be completely pain-free.


Related Posts

For more of my articles on migraine,
see Migraine & Chronic Pain.

Rechargeable Battery Update: I have not gotten 3 years’ life out of one battery. In fact, almost 2 years after purchasing the unit, I am on my 5th battery unit, which, at $20 per unit plus $8 shipping, I find rather expensive. To date, I have not been able to find any other batteries that I might substitute in the unit. Either the Chi Institute has not previously used their devices for chronic pain patients, i.e., they have not used the device every day all day long, or the company is still used to units which are plugged in and do not need to be recharged. In any event, this expensive consumption of battery packs needs to be taken into account when purchasing an I-9. I find the pain relief so significant that it is worth the cost of the batteries, but I would have liked to have been alerted to the fact that I would have to purchase additional batteries with the unit itself. (1 Mar 2020) [back]

Battery life update: When the unit was new (2018), I got as much as 2.5 days of continuous use before the unit alerted me, with a noise and the battery light, that it needed to be recharged; after I had the I-9 for about 18 months, the battery began to last only about 40-45 hours of continuous use before alerting me that it needs to be recharched. (6 Oct 2019)[back]

Performance and Customer Service update: My original device began behaving erratically, once again, in April 2019, less than a year after purchase, and still within the warranty period. The device kept turning itself off randomly but without the usual accompanying warning beep. It was also taking about 8 hours to charge, despite the newly installed battery. Sound Vitality sent me a demo device as well as a new plug, along with a shipping label to  return my defective unit. As of this date, The Chi Institute has decided to keep the defective unit while I will keep the demo unit, which is performing marvelously and is greatly reducing my pain. I am beginning to have a few hours each day completely pain-free: there is still pressure in my head and face along the middle and upper branches of the trigeminal nerve, but I consider pressure-only an great improvement in the chronic pain. (6 Oct 2019) [back]

* This article contains affiliate links: if you click through and purchase an I-9,
I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.*

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under chronic pain, Chronic Pain Treatment, healing, health, Infratonic 8000, Infratonic 9, Infratonic Sound Devices, migraine, migraine self-care, Migraine Treatment, Migraine with Aura, Migraine Without Aura, migraines, Review, Sound healing, trigeminal neuralgia

The Dark Is All Around Us: The Film Classic, The Lion in Winter

Share

#NoSpoilers

Christmas, and all the family is gathered together for the holidays. There’s a massive tree, lots of presents, spiced wine, feasting, and rancor galore. All the past year’s resentments and disappointments come bubbling to the surface because Daddy — a great, roaring lion of a man — is getting older and needs to think of which of his sons will follow him as the leader of the pride. He’s made no secret of his favorite, and his choice displeases everyone else. Mommy has her favorite, you see, and is determined to see that her special boy gets to succeed.

As if that weren’t enough tension and conflict, there’s yet another son who can’t understand why nobody in the family ever thinks of him when they think of the next head of the family business. To make everyone more edgy, let’s toss in the leader of a rival family, who has his own agenda, which mostly involves making sure the lion of this family goes down hard. To complicate things even further and make everything even more dangerous, lets throw in some tapestries for hiding behind, as well as some sharp, shiny knives — metaphorical and literal ones — for everyone to use against everybody else.

Welcome to the Christmas court of England’s Henry II in 1183. Adapted from James Goldman’s Broadway play of the same name, the witty, brutal, and passionate holiday gathering in the Oscar-winning classic The Lion in Winter (1968) makes crime dramas like The Godfather seem downright tame.

Peter O’Toole as Henry II (right) and Katharine Hepburn as his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (left), The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Henry II (Peter O’Toole) is 50 this Christmas, and he lets his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn) out of prison for the holidays. It seems Eleanor has led quite a few civil wars against Henry, over the succession no doubt, and Henry has to keep her imprisoned in order to feel safe. He’s letting Eleanor out this holiday season so they can plan, i.e., plot, who will become the next king.

Anthony Hopkins as Richard, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Their first son, Henry, died, and while you might think that their next son, Richard (Anthony Hopkins, in his first starring role), should be the designated king, and Eleanor heartily approves of Richard as England’s next ruler, and not just because he’s her favorite. Richard, known later as Richard the Lionheart, is a great miliary leader and a proven warrior, and Queen Eleanor thinks that a necessary qualification for Henry’s successor, if only because France and England are still fighting over land.

(L-R) Nigel Terry as John, Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor, Anthony Hopkins as Richard, and John Castle as Geoffrey, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Henry is the King of England but also the Lord of Ireland, Count of Anjou (similar to the English Duke of York, which would make Henry second in line to the French throne), and Duke of both Normandy and Aquitaine (in France, through his marriage to Eleanor), and Henry II doesn’t want Richard as the future king of England. Henry has other ideas for his presumptive heir.

John Castle as Geoffrey (L), and Nigel Terry as John, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Henry wants his youngest son John (Nigel Terry) to succeed, not because he’d make a better king but simply because Henry loves John best.

Timothy Dalton as King Philip II of France (L), John Castle as Geoffrey (center), and Nigel Terry as John, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

None of this squabbling over Richard vs. John sits too well with brother Geoffrey (John Castle), who can’t understand why both Henry and Eleanor think their middle son would make a wonderful chancellor to the next king but never seem to think of Geoff as King Geoffrey, so he begins to plot against his father with both Richard and John as well as with one of Henry’s allies.

Jane Merrow as Alais, and Peter O’Toole as Henry II, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Young Princess Alais (Jane Merrow), who’s betrothed to marry the future King of England, doesn’t want any of Henry’s sons to be the future king. As Henry’s lover and long-time mistress, she want’s no one but Henry as king.

Timothy Dalton as King Philip II of France, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Alais’ brother, King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton, in his film debut) wants the lovely Alais to be wed to the heir to the English throne right away. If that doesn’t happen during this Christmas visit, Philip wants his sister’s dowry back. Since Alais’ dowry is land in France, which both England and France claim at the time, Henry certainly doesn’t want to give back the dowry. Philip already knows this, so he’s plotting with Richard, Geoffrey, and John, and Philip is planning war with Henry, no matter whom he chooses as his successor.

Peter O’Toole as Henry II (L), and Timothy Dalton as King Philip II of France, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Henry’s fighting with his wife and all three of his sons, not only about who will be the next king, but who will get to marry Princess Alais. Henry doesn’t really want to give us Alais either: he’s madly in love with her.

Peter O’Toole as Henry II, and Jane Merrow as Alais (foreground), and Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

And Eleanor, despite inciting rebellion against her husband and king, still madly loves Henry herself, and she’s well aware that Alais just happens to be young enough to give Henry more sons.

The first 15-20 minutes of the film are a bit slow, probably because everyone was trying a little too hard to say, “Look: we’re making a film, not jusstage playplay,” and while we get to see some outdoor shots where we meet the members of the family, none of these initial scenes really adds to the forward movement of the story. Once everyone is gathered together, however, it becomes obvious why this film is a classic.

from L to R: Timothy Dalton, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins, Katharine Hepburn, John Castle, and (sitting in foreground, L to R) Nigel Terry, and Jane Merrow, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

The script is magnificent, the characters brutally fascinating, and the acting superb: O’Toole most definitely should have won an Oscar for his role as the anxious, angry, roaring Lion who feels his own winter coming on far too quickly and who is willing to do almost anything to prevent the destruction of his kingdom.

Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Peter O’Toole as Henry II of England, The Lion in Winter (1968) ©

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor (O’Toole) and Best Costume Design (Margaret Furse), the film won three: Best Actress (Hepburn), Best Adapted Screenplay (James Goldman), and Best Music Score (John Barry). Lion in Winter also won BAFTAs for Hepburn and composer Barry, and won Golden Globes in Best Picture, and Best Actor for Peter O’Toole as the fiery Henry II.

Available for rent ($1.99-3.99) or purchase from Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay, and Vudu.

Related Posts

The Master of Pleasures and The Taste of Cherries:
Vatel, the Film

The Thief, The Liar, and The Lovers:
Korea’s Complex Crime Film, The Handmaiden

When Clothes Destroyed the World:
The Royal Tailor, the Film

Worms and Vipers in a Gilded Tomb:
Curse of the Golden Flower, the Film

Walking Around in Someone Else’s Skin:
The Classic Film, To Kill a Mockingbird

Share

2 Comments

Filed under Actors, Classic Films, Film Videos, Films, Films/Movies, Historical Drama, History, Official Film Trailers, Official Movie Trailers, Official Trailers, Review, Review/No Spoilers