Tuning Fork Therapy®

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All About the Basic Tuning Fork


What is a Hertz?

     It is the motion of this air molecule disturbance coming from the tuning fork that is called a sound wave. We know the tuning fork is vibrating because we can hear it. Since the tines of the tuning fork are vibrating at a very high frequency, we cannot actually see movement.

     In the case of tuning forks, sound is measured in movement or vibrations. This movement is referred to as Hertz or Hz for short and was named for the man who invented the term, Heninrich Rudolph Hertz and represents one vibration per second.

     The number listed on each of the tuning forks is in Hz and correlates to the rate of vibrations per second that the tuning fork is associated with. The lower the number listed on the tuning fork, the slower the vibrations per second.


A Tuning Fork vibrating 1 time each second would have a frequency of 1 Hz.

A Tuning Fork vibrating 5 times each second would have a frequency of 5 Hz,


     When the tuning fork is being used to correspond to the Middle C on the piano, then the tines of the tuning fork are said to be vibrating at a frequency of 256 HZ (that’s 256 vibrations per second). Likewise, a tuning fork listed as 512 HZ will vibrate at 512 vibrations per second—two times the frequency of the tuning fork.

Parts of the Tuning Fork

     Take your tuning fork in your hand and look at the different parts of the instrument. The very top of the tuning fork is called the top. The two long sides of the tuning fork are called prongs or tines. They are responsible for creating the vibrations of your tuning fork.

     Follow these two prongs down you will come to a U-shaped part of the tuning fork that we call the yoke.

     The bottom part of the tuning fork is called the stem, or handle. This is where you hold your tuning fork to activate it. The very end of the handle is sometimes called the ‘Tip’ of the tuning fork. So when I say to place the tip of the tuning fork on the body, this is the part that you will be using.

Precautions and Contraindications

Until further studies are done in using tuning forks, I would NOT use tuning forks on the following groups of people:

  • Those with pacemakers (in area of heart)
  • Metal implants, pins or other metal bindings (if they are made of steel avoid that area. Other metals seem to be okay)
  • Pregnant women (avoid abdominal area)
  • Stents, inserted tubing, etc. (avoid area of insertion) Please use caution here as vibrations may cause object to become dislodged and can affect your client adversely.
  • Colonoscopy bag, catheters, etc. (avoid area)
  • Aneurisms, blood clots, etc. (avoid area)

     Please note that is my own feeling on the subject, which may or may not be found to be true. I have always believed that if you should err; err on the side of caution

NEVER place your tuning fork on an open sore, cut, burn or rash of any kind.

ALWAYS clean your forks before and after every use.

Proper Storage for your Tuning Forks

     Store your tuning forks in a clean and dry place. Pitch varies with temperature, so try to keep your tuning forks stored at the same moderate temperature. Should condensation occur due to cold weather, it may cause corrosion or discoloration of your tuning forks. Excessive force should not be used when toning.

     Always use a rubber mallet, the palm of your hand, a tuning fork activator, the front muscle on the top of your leg, a rubber hockey puck, or even the rubber heel of a boot as a striking place for your tuning forks. DO NOT clean your tuning forces with detergent, ammonia, or other chemicals

     You can store your tuning forks in the wooden box or in the canvas wrap-around they came in. I store one set of my tuning forks in an upright position in a block of wood into which holes have been drilled.

     I purchased this block of wood on-line, but if you are creative enough, you can make your own by drilling holes into a simple scrap piece of wood. I have found this to be handy for times when I need to hear a quick tone.

Benefits of a Tuning Fork Therapy® Session

There are many benefits of a healing session using tuning forks (when done properly). Some of these benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Reduction in Stress and tension
  • Increased peristalsis action
  • Quieting of muscle contractions
  • Release of knotted muscles
  • Identification of hearing loss
  • Identification of bone fractures
  • Identification of neuropathy
  • Increase flexibility and mobility



Difference in Tuning Forks

     Take a look at the two tuning forks in the picture above. These two forks are both Middle C (256 Hz). By looking at them, you could expect that the sound emitting from these two forks would be very different. But they are not. Although the material make up of the fork itself will affect the loudness or sharpness of sound, the frequency will still be the same. And thus, so will be the benefits.

     In the picture above, the fork on the left is the newer version on the market. A set of these “Harmonic Forks” usually contain 7-8 tuning forks and run approximately $150. The fork on the right is part of an 8 piece set that comes with a rubber mallet and sells for around $60. This set is used in science classes to teach children about sound waves. I own and use both sets and see value in both of them. I use the less expensive set on pets, children, and sensitive (or very ill and weak) adults. The others I use on body or energy workers.

The above information and photographs all appear in my many books and are all copyrighted material. Please do not use any of my material and photographs without consulting with me first. Francine Milford