The roots of sound healing have long been known by spiritually enlightened people all over the world. From Australian Aborigines telling stories of Spirit beings singing Creation into existence with their didgeridoo, to the yogis of Tibet and Himalayan singing bowl spiritual ceremonies that have been used for millennia, it is clear that there is a connection between healthy vibrant life and curing.
Many people find they can become physically, emotionally, and mentally unwell when their ‘life vibrations’ are out of balance. It can causes by several things from stress and anxiety to illness and disease. Traditional Western medicine tends to use pharmacological and surgical interventions that can sometimes be effective but often only address the symptoms of an issue.
There is a movement to bring the sound back into our lives as a form of vibrational therapy that can help restore the natural state of health and well-being. It is done through sound healing sessions that are commonly called a ‘sound bath’ and are designed to bring the listener into an altered state of consciousness through music and the vibrational effects of various sounds.
The science behind this is based on the idea that all matter including our physical body creates a vibratory energy. Sound healing practitioners engage the concept of resonance (frequency of vibration that is naturally aligned with the innate frequency of a particular part of the human body) to re-harmonize cells that have become imprinted with disruptive frequencies that may have been the result of toxic substances, emotional traumas or pathogens.
For thousands of years, ancient sages, masters, and spiritual communities have used sound for transforming the body, mind, heart, and soul. Today, science is catching up with this arcane wisdom.In fact, some studies have found that music can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve breathing and circulation, alleviate aches and pains, and even strengthen the immune system. The reason is simple: sound can actually alter brainwave frequencies. That’s why sound therapy, also called “sound healing,” is such a powerful tool.
The basic idea is to use vibrational instruments, such as Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, and the voice, to calm and repair the mind. This helps put our body-soul dynamic back in sync and can help alleviate chronic pain, balance the chakras (energy centers), open blocked energy, and promote emotional healing.
During a session, clients typically lie down on a mat or a blanket and close their eyes while the practitioner plays soothing therapeutic sounds and vibrations with a selection of sound healing instruments including the Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gong, Native American drum, monochord, energy chimes, and the voice. The result is a deeply meditative experience that can be performed in a private or group setting.
Depending on the specific symptomatic state of each client, our trained sound healers will create a sound healing treatment unique to them. Some sessions may focus on relaxation, while others will be energizing or focusing on an intention. For example, if someone has muscle tension then our sound healers will create a session that targets those areas of the body where the muscle tightness is located.
Sound healing has become one of the newest trends in holistic health for 2022. It is an extremely non-invasive method to use vibratory instruments to induce the relaxation response and trigger a chain reaction of healing benefits in the mind, body, and spirit.
However, like anything it is possible to overdo sound healing. And listening to sounds that are too loud, repetitive, or of a single frequency can actually harm you energetically. It is especially true of pure tones and singular-frequency music.
Nausea and dizziness are also common responses to certain sound healing frequencies or instruments. It is due to a detoxification process in the body that releases deep-seated emotions or toxins and can lead to nausea and discomfort.
Singing bowls are probably the most popular and well-known form of sound healing. They are used to calm the nervous system, manage anxieties, quiet the constant flow of thoughts, and encourage deep relaxation. They are also known to lower blood pressure, relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, and open blocked energy channels in the body.
Tuning forks are tools that are typically used to tune other instruments but they have healing powers of their own. They are placed on different areas of the body and send vibrations that release cellular tension, balance brainwave frequencies, ease muscular and bone pain and increase circulation. And of course, there are the gongs. Gongs are a very ancient instrument that is used to promote emotional stability, release energy blockages and stimulate the immune system.
With anxiety at an all-time high, now is the time to re-up your meditation practice. The latest relaxation technique to hit the wellness scene is sound baths or meditative experiences that use vibrational frequencies—typically brought forth by crystal and singing bowls, gongs, Koshi chimes, ocean drums, flutes, and even voice—to calm you and help you attain a deeper meditative state.
During a session, practitioners will strike the various instruments to create an enveloping wash of sounds that can include vocal chants and healing frequencies. These tones entrain your brain waves and shift you from an alert beta state into a relaxed alpha or theta meditative one, according to studies of sound therapy.
The specific frequencies used during a sound bath are called solfeggio frequencies, which are electromagnetic tones that are deemed to heal the body and raise consciousness. A 528 Hz frequency is known as the love frequency, DNA repair tone, and miracle sound and aligns with the heart chakra to aid in easing anxiety. Other frequencies like 174 Hz, which relieves physical pain, and 286 Hz, which helps the body to heal, are also commonly used.
Sound healing artist Chris Spoltore, who performs under the recording moniker Stargods, explains that while you can have your own home sound bath with recordings or a simple set of gongs, you’ll get the most impact from an in-person session. To prepare, he recommends that you eat light the day of your event and makes sure to stay hydrated (sound waves travel better through water). It’s best to wear comfortable clothing, lie down on a mat, close your eyes, and let the sounds wash over you.
When you think of sound healing, what comes to mind? Maybe you imagine a soothing session of music or gongs, with a meditative, hypnotic, or theta brainwave state that promotes relaxation and emotional release. Or perhaps you imagine the sounds of ancient Native American ceremonies accompanied by singing and drumming, as they were used to treat mental illness and physical injuries.
In fact, there’s been much scientific research supporting the healing properties of sound. Sound can affect the body’s cellular ion channels, which are responsible for delivering nutrients to the cell and allowing the cell to communicate with its neighboring cells. It is what scientists call brain-wave entrainment. If you’ve ever listened to music at the same volume on two different speakers, you may have noticed how your brain automatically syncs to the beat or tone. It is due to sympathetic resonance, a principle of physics that states that vibrations from one object will cause other objects to vibrate at the same frequency.
Sound healers use crystal bowls, gongs, and tuning forks to create sounds that resonate throughout the entire body. These frequencies harmonize the energy field and chakras to stimulate your natural ability to heal. Likewise, the sounds of the didgeridoo and other blown instruments that vibrate from the practitioner’s abdomen can also provide a healing effect. These vibrations, along with those of the reverberation patterns in a cathedral or the Amazonian ayahuasca ceremony, are known as ‘point source’ sounds because they emanate from precise points in space.
From ancient Aborigine tribes using the didgeridoo as a sound healing instrument for over 40,000 years to Himalayan and Tibetan singing bowl spiritual rites, sound has long been a key component in meditation, healing, and healing philosophies. Scientific research shows that sound has the ability to stimulate heart-brain coherence which bridges the two hemispheres of your brain and facilitates more holistic thinking, communication, creativity, and intuition. It’s also believed that specific sounds can open and clear the chakras – wheels of energy or lotuses – in your subtle body, allowing you to expand consciousness into mystical states of awareness.
A popular practice called a ‘sound bath’ is a full-body meditative experience that involves lying down and listening to resonant music, often including Tibetan and crystal singing bowls and tingshas (tiny cymbals). Some believe this type of sound meditation can help unblock energetic blocks and release emotions. While this isn’t proven, some people report a sense of deep relaxation after a sound bath and a feeling of clarity, connection, and spiritual well-being.
One theory on the spiritual benefits of sound stems from a phenomenon called “cymatics,” which is the physical representation of vibrational patterns that manifest as a form through the medium of various materials. Sound has been shown to animate inert powders, pastes, and liquids into vibrant and flowing patterns that are similar to the patterns found throughout nature, art, and architecture. This effect is believed to be due to the cellular ion channels that are activated by sound to initiate a healing response.
Sound energy is a vibration that travels through a medium, such as air or water. It can be heard, and felt and directly affects the flow of energy in your living space, body, and mind. Some sounds, like a crashing wave or a baby crying are pleasing, while others, such as roaring lions or the loud din of a busy freeway can cause stress and anxiety.
Almost all actions produce sound energy. The movement of your body while walking, typing, or talking generates vibrations and results in a sound wave. The same is true of most things Mother Nature produces. Thunderstorms, wind chimes, and the howling of a wolf all have their own unique sound energy vibrations.
Just as a Slinky has potential energy, which is stored until it is pushed or pulled to move, sound waves have potential energy. When sound vibrations are interpreted by the ears, they have kinetic energy which is the energy of motion.
When a sound wave passes through a material, such as air, the vibrating molecules bump into the surrounding molecules. This bumping creates the wave, which is heard by our ears and sensed by our bodies. The sound becomes quieter the farther away you are from the source of the vibration. The speed of the vibrating particles is measured by frequency (Hz), amplitude (phon), and intensity (hertz).
The more intense and fast the vibrations are, the higher the pitch and phon. One day, technology may allow us to harvest and convert this sound energy into mass electricity just as we do with solar, wind, hydroelectric, and heat energy today.
Sri Yogi Anand is an ordained Yogi, Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and Spiritual Master. He is a Software engineer, musician, writer, orator, and founder of Adwait Yoga School.
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