At the heart of Instrument Assisted Vibration Therapy (IAVT) is a unique tool: the Weighted 128hz Tuning Fork. Manufactured by Riverbank Labs in the United States, this tuning fork is crafted from aluminum alloy and specifically designed to facilitate our therapeutic method.
The structure of our tuning fork is similar to standard models, featuring two tines, a yoke, a stem, and a base. However, our tuning fork stands apart with a weight attached to the tip of each tine. These weights create an unbalanced weight distribution across the entire length of the fork, controlling the exact frequency listed on the yoke of the fork.
The stem of our tuning fork is about 2 inches long, considered standard for most tuning forks. While some forks have additional stem lengths to aid in grip, we move beyond the conventional approach. In the following section, we will learn about shifting our grip to the yoke, where there is more surface area for control and downward pressure.
When using the tuning fork, one of the tines or weights is struck, causing it to move inward and start a back-and-forth oscillation. This oscillation, or repetitive cycling of the tines, occurs 128 times per second, a frequency measured in Hertz. These oscillations travel down to the yoke, where the metal transmits mechanical vibration from the tines into the stem.
The stem plays a crucial role in controlling the vibration and frequency present at the base. The yoke, attached to the end of the aluminum rod or stem, creates a longitudinal mechanical wave. The size of the wave that can fit within the 2-inch stem calculates to about 50,000 hertz. This frequency is technically the true working vibration leaving the base of the tuning fork and transferring into the tissue where there is direct contact.
It’s important to note that attaching items to the end of the tuning fork can decrease or dampen the overall strength and length of vibration. Therefore, we always use a tuning fork with no attachments (barefoot) when working in deep tissue. The 128hz tuning fork is the recommended fork for our method due to the length of tines and weight distribution. Tuning forks with higher and lower frequencies create mechanical vibrations at much lower levels.