Given that everything has a vibrational frequency, including ourselves, it makes sense that sound frequencies impact how we feel. That’s why particular songs and types of music often bring about specific types of emotions from us. Sound healing, which is an ancient healing technique that uses tonal frequencies to bring the body into a state of vibrational balance and harmony, plays upon this as well.
Sound has been utilized in various cultures for thousands of years as a tool for healing. Sound healing is a practice that uses vibrations (vocal or instrumental-like gongs, Tibetan singing bowls and tuning forks) in order to relax your mind and body. Sound healing therapy uses aspects of music to improve physical and emotional health and well-being. The person being treated partakes in the experience with a trained practitioner. Sound healing may involve:
- listening to music
- singing along to music
- moving to the beat of the music
- playing an instrument
What is used in sound healing therapy?
Singing bowls, gongs, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, and drums are the instruments that practitioners most often use in sessions. Each instrument serves a different purpose. Crystal bowls, for example, are tuned to the notes of the seven chakras. The gong is said to help release tension in the body and stimulates the glandular and nervous system.
How it works
Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and it then becomes possible to down-shift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur). Sound healers say that it works by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and reducing respiratory rates.
A session may involve sitting or lying down while listening to music or sounds from a speaker or instruments, or having vibrations applied using a special tool, such as a tuning fork. Depending on the method, you may be encouraged to participate by singing, moving, or even using a musical instrument, or you may need to remain still and quiet to let the sounds take effect.
Different types of sound healing
The sound created by a mantra vibrates our bodies and environment’s cells, bringing the subconscious to the conscious, to be healed. Mantra can cleanse and energize your body, mind and soul. Mantra affects three states of consciousness.
Gongs change time and locality. Skillfully played, gongs provide the entry point to self-recovery, they can pull an individual back from “the edge” and create a different platform for their existence.
Gong baths are a type of inactive meditation, where you “bathe” in the healing vibrations of sound. During a gong bath, participants typically lie down and get comfortable with blankets and pillows. A facilitator then strikes the gong, a disc-shaped percussion instrument, using a mallet. It allows your brain to relax into an alpha-dominant or theta-dominant brainwave state. It enables you to process thoughts and emotions and the result is that you’ll feel calmer, happier, and less anxious after a session. Gong baths are great for clearing fears or emotional blocks and improving mental clarity, leaving you transformed on a physical as well as mental level.
Precautions: People who are pregnant, experience epilepsy or seizures, or have a diagnosed mental health condition should check with their primary care provider before taking part in gong baths. Gong baths may cause discomfort in people with hearing aids or hearing impairment.
Both a gong bath and a sound bath use sound to induce a state of calm and deep relaxation, but a sound bath may use crystal singing bowls. Attending a sound bath is a great way to snag the benefits of the practice but with a group. “During a sound bath, which is somewhat like in an extended savasana in yoga class, you lie down and relax comfortably while you are bathed in healing vibrations of sound”.
Ambient sounds may make it difficult for you to enjoy and concentrate on meditation. There are peaceful meditation sounds and unwelcome ambient sounds. Sound Meditation uses music and sound to clear the mind and deepen meditation. Music is multi-dimensional, linking realms of the brain and facilitating meditation independently of thought. It can ease anxiety and promote a sense of well-being.
Essentially brainwave entrainment is a process of synchronizing two different beats so that they become harmonious. Entrainment is a process of synchronizing two different beats to become harmonious. Brainwave entrainment is an assisted form of meditation using sound or light pulses or both to stimulate the brain into altered states of consciousness. Brainwave entrainment is used by people who want to make a rapid change in their behavior or state, and create lasting changes in their lives. It is sometimes used by educators who play the tones in the background during a class to help increase learning and concentration.
Tuning fork therapy
Tuning fork therapy uses calibrated metal tuning forks to apply specific vibrations to different parts of the body. This can help release tension and energy, and promote emotional balance. It supposedly works similarly to acupuncture, using sound frequencies for point stimulation instead of needles.
This sound healing method is delivered by skilled musicians. They use music familiar to those being treated, create new music together, or work toward a performance. The Nordoff-Robbins approach is used to treat children with developmental delays (as well as their parents), mental health issues, learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, and other conditions.
How sound healing can help you
It relaxes and reduces stress
Deep relaxation is one of the most significant and universal benefits of sound therapy. The sounds permeate our system returning it back to harmony. So, if you take nothing else away from a sound healing session, relaxation on its own is worth it. Sound healing such as, neurologic music therapy can reduce stress.
It helps clears energetic blockages
Some people experience deep healing during sound therapy as the sound vibrations open, clear, and balance their chakras and release stuck energy. It leaves you feeling balanced and replenished.
It boosts your health
Benefits can include improved sleep, reduction of chronic pain and blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, and a decreased risk of heart disease. The vibrations move through water in the body and with the body being around 75% water there is a lot of movements. because of this it allows muscles to relax and improves lymphatic flow.
Sound-based vibration treatment has been shown to help people with pain from arthritis, menstrual pain, postoperative pain, knee replacement pain. Sound-based treatment has even been found to improve mobility, reduce muscle pain and stiffness, increase blood circulation, and lower blood pressure.
Resolves anxiety before surgery
You may have taken medications to deal with your anxiety before your surgery. But do you know that sound healing has been shown to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety levels before surgery? A 30-minute music therapy session combined with traditional care after spinal surgery reduced pain.
Sound therapy is administered by a credentialed provider who assesses the individual’s needs. Treatment involves creating, listening, singing, or moving to music. It’s used for physical rehabilitation, pain management, and brain injuries.
Improves psychological health
Sound healing help explore personal growth, consciousness, and transformation. Promising evidence showed that a series of sound healing sessions could improve psychological and physiological health in adults with medical and mental health needs.
Relieves muscle and bone pain
Sound healing like Tuning fork therapy can help relieve muscle and bone pain. Sound healing synchronizes brain waves to achieve profound states of relaxation, helping to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of the cells in our bodies
Promotes feelings of happiness
Scientific evidence suggests that certain forms of sound therapy prompt damaged human DNA strands to repair themselves. Some tones are thought to promote vitality and healing, and also to enhance happiness. Many alternative healthcare clinics offer sound therapies such as gong meditation to help manage various ailments.
Modern-day life is pretty damn stressful, and if you’ve tried other ways to relax with little success, this might help. In fact, some people find it less challenging than meditation because the sound keeps their mind occupied, making it easier to enter into deep states of calm.