Sound healing uses vibrations to help you relax and shift into balance, harmony and coherence. It can help reduce stress, clear energetic blockages, boost mood, enhance intuition, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, ease aches and pains and more. It’s a technique used by healers for thousands of years, and scientists are only now catching up on the ancient wisdom of sound healing.
For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about sound healing is binaural beats. These are the relaxing tones that you can hear when a different tone is played in each ear, often paired with soothing music or nature sounds to synchronise brainwave frequencies and induce meditative, trance-like states. However, this is only one of the many forms that sound healing can take.
You can try out a sound bath at home by listening to a playlist of soothing therapeutic sounds on your headphones, or visit a wellness centre for a full-body experience. During a sound healing session, participants lie down on a yoga mat or meditation carpet, often covered with blankets for warmth and comfort, and are ‘bathed’ in soothing therapeutic sounds from a wide range of instruments like Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, Native American drums, gongs, monochord, energy chimes, voice and more. The practitioner strikes various instruments, allowing the vibrations to permeate every nook and cranny of your body to help you drift into a deep meditative state, often experiencing tingling sensations, visualisations and feelings of weightlessness.
Interestingly, our bodies are 75% water which means that they’re an excellent conductor of vibrations. Our physical, emotional and mental health are connected to the vibrating energy of our cells and everything we encounter has a vibrational frequency, including sounds. This is why certain sounds are able to make us feel a particular way, from the upbeat energy of a favourite song to the sombre sadness that can accompany the lyrics of a sad tune.
With Meghan Markle and Charlize Theron among its fans, sound healing is becoming increasingly popular as scientific research begins to catch up with ancient spiritual wisdom. And, although some may view it as a form of ‘alternative medicine’, the benefits have been well documented with studies showing positive effects on everything from blood pressure and heart disease to pain relief.
The theory behind sound healing is that our body’s ‘fight or flight’ response can trigger stress hormones, which in turn can cause physical illness. The vibrations from singing bowls are said to slow down the brain’s activity and activate meditative, trance-like theta waves, which can relieve stress.
During a sound healing session, the vibrations can also be used to stimulate circulation and improve lymphatic flow to reduce muscle and bone pain. In addition, the vibrations can release blocked energy in the heart chakra to release feelings of sadness and grief, and promote love and joy. The aim is to encourage a state of deep relaxation so your body can heal itself. What is sound healing