- Title: Sound Therapy and Sound Baths
- Authored by Pin Ng PhD
- Edited by Hugh Soames
- Reviewed by Michael Por, MD
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What is Sound Therapy and Sound Bath
Sound baths, or sound therapy, are an ancient tradition of natural healing using the vibrations and pitch of specific sounds and the ways in which they radiate through the air and connect with the body and our internal wavelengths. While this may sound very ‘new age’ and spiritual without any grounding, the latest in a long line of wellness trends, sound baths are anything but.
They use sounds, music, and instruments to create therapeutic tonal and rhythmic sounds to allow for deep self-reflection and inner clarity. As the tradition dates back thousands of years, there has been some benefit from it for many generations, and the resurgence of its popularity and increased popularity in the western world has only emphasized the beneficial effects on our bodies that the practice can have.
The effects of sound therapy are thought to be similar to the effects of meditation, helping you to feel calmer, more relaxed, and lighter, both physically and mentally, for at least a few days following a session. People who have undergone sound therapy have also reported better focus and memory, deeper sleep, and even improved immune systems.
How Do Sound Baths Work?
Sounds that are generated or played during therapy typically relax the body, but you can also undergo sessions that can energize the body as well. The frequencies and vibrations of the generated sounds connect with your brainwaves, allowing your brainwaves to mirror the soundwaves, and therefore able to bring about the desired mental and physical state.
When being directed at relaxing the brain, sound therapy can be used to connect with your subconscious state, and if you can relax deeper into a fully meditative state, the mind is able to heal itself on that subconscious level. This may sound unrealistic, but the physics of both sound waves and brainwaves do come into play during the ‘healing’ process of sound therapy.
Sound has been scientifically proven to impact how the brain is organized, since the whole body is made up of vibrations on many different frequencies and of many different sizes and speeds, and therefore, the body is made up of sound, whether we can hear it or not.
Modern life, with its screens, technologies, and flickering lights at many different vibrations disrupt the inner vibrations of the body, and so by using techniques such as sound baths, we can re-attune our bodies to their natural vibrations, and re-synchronize our sensory neurons, as well as our spatial relationship to external sounds.
How to Prepare for a Sound Bath or Sound Therapy
If you are considering undertaking some sound therapy, you might find that you are asked to wear loose clothing, drink lots of water beforehand, and even remove your socks and shoes before you start the session. A practitioner will lead you individually or as part of a group through the practice, playing or getting you to partake in playing different sounds or instruments.
The sounds at different tones and pitches connect with different frequencies in the body, and when a continual single sound is played at a single pitch, your body is able to connect vibrationally to that note, and you can use it as a grounding point to help focus and clear your mind. While undergoing the therapy, you may feel relaxed or discomforted, or you may switch back and forth between both emotions as the session goes on.
How Will I Feel After a Sound Bath
With any luck, any discomfort or self-consciousness you may feel at the beginning of the session will have ebbed away by the end, leaving only relaxation. Once the session is over, you will gradually be able to reconnect with the external world around you before you continue with your day, and will typically be reminded to drink plenty more water – the water being able to help replenish nutrients lost in the concentration and encourage the circulation of energies and vibrations around the body.
Some people feel as if they are in a dream-like state for the few days following their sound bathing experience, and some have vivid dreams over the next few nights. These are normal experiences after sound therapy and are not anything to worry about. Many of the sound therapy sessions offered also come with reflection and breath techniques often typically associated with meditation, mindfulness, or yoga, which are especially helpful to use as tools if you are in your very first sound therapy session, or you are feeling any discomfort during practice.
You are encouraged to lean on the tools and the sounds around you for support when needed, to let any feelings or emotions come and go without resistance, and not let the negative feelings that may come up distract you from your focus or experience. As with meditation, negative feelings coming up are a good sign, as it allows for your body to feel, process them, and then let them go.
Benefits of Sound Baths
Overall, sound therapy has many benefits for both your mind and body, allowing your brain to re-calibrate the vibrations in your body with the natural world and the natural, analog vibrations of the world that allows for calmness and mental vibrational harmony.
As a result, sound baths can produce similar effects to meditation by increasing clarity, focus, inner calm, improved memory, deeper sleep, and a more robust immune system. While the idea may sound farfetched, there is scientific research and discussion to back up these effects on the body and the resulting benefits, as do the thousands of years of history where sound bathing, or similar sound-based practices, have been used regularly as part of healing and religious meditation.
Sound therapy’s regrowth in popularity only goes to further highlight our need for inner connection and calm in our highly technological, vibrationally disruptive world. It can be a very beneficial practice for those who are willing to attempt to make the connection with the sounds, the vibrations, and their internal mental image of themselves and the world around them, to use the sound bath as a way to begin physical and mental healing.
For further information on Sound Baths, or any other alternative treatment reach out to some of the Worlds Best Rehabs here.