The Strong Institute was founded in 1994 as the REI Institute by Jeff Strong and Beth Kaplan after more than a decade of research into the traditional uses of musical rhythm in therapeutic practice. From 1982 to 1994, Jeff Strong explored traditional therapeutic rhythm techniques from around the world, immersing himself in traditions from Africa to North America, South America to Europe. (Click here to read an article describing the origins of Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention.)
Dissatisfied with many of the traditional cultural aspects of these ancient rhythm techniques, Jeff Strong formed the Strong Institute to examine the core mechanisms of these techniques in a controlled setting in order to eliminate any placebo effect and to better understand the mechanisms involved in using rhythm to stimulate and synchronize the nervous system.
Since Our First Formal Study the Professional Community Has Taken Notice
Our first study, entitled "Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention as Applied to Childhood Autism: A Pilot Study"
was conducted in a public school setting in the suburbs of St. Paul, MN in the spring of 1994. Sixteen elementary-age children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder participated in this study. The results were encouraging and resulted in the presentation of this paper at several professional health-care conferences throughout North America. This study and the professional community's enthusiastic response to it led to numerous other research projects
with individuals with neurological disorders including individuals with autism, attention deficit disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, chronic pain, learning disabilities, and central auditory processing disorder. Research on Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention has been conducted by numerous other institutions including the University of Kansas Medical Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, and the Center for the Study of Autism, to name a few. To date, these studies have resulted in papers that have been presented at nearly thirty professional health-care conferences.
We Were the First Organization to Develop a Therapy Using Auditory Rhythm
From this research we discovered ways to use specific rhythms and techniques to facilitate improvements in many of the symptoms associated with a variety of neuro-developmental disabilities such as autism, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities and more (visit the Custom Program page
to see a more complete list of the types of conditions we work with). We are the first organization to define the clinical application of auditory rhythm to stimulate and synchronize the brain.
Our Therapy Has Been Successfully Used by Thousands of People Around the World
Since the creation of Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention we have worked with thousands of people throughout the world. This has provided us with an extensive database of clinical research that has allowed us to continually improve the quality of our REI Custom Program™ and therapeutic CDs.
We Are on the Cutting Edge of Music-Medicine Research
With the construction of our new recording studio and imaging room we are positioned to break more ground in the world of music-medicine research. This year we begin to embark on our goal of conducting high-resolution brain imaging research to further understand the effects of Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention on the brain.