Sound Therapy utilizes sound from instruments, the natural world and the voice to provide healing to the body and mind. It is an ancient approach to healing that has been used around the world for millennia.
How does Sound Therapy work?
Sound Therapy works through resonance and entrainment. But what does that actually mean?
What is Resonance?
Every cell, organ and bone in our body has it’s own unique frequency. When our body is healthy, all parts are vibrating in harmony, much like an orchestra. However, when one part of our body is impacted due to mental, emotional or physical reasons, it influences the whole system, creating disharmony.
Our body literally goes out of tune.
Sound Therapy helps the body find its way back to the correct vibration and frequency guided by the outside sound, bringing the body back into its natural state of harmonic vibration.
What is Entrainment?
Brainwave Entrainment happens when the brain naturally synchronizes its brainwave frequency with the rhythm of an external source. Sound Therapy uses sound waves and harmonics to slow the rhythm of brainwaves, helping your brain transition from a Beta (consciously engaged) to an Alpha (rest/meditative) or a Theta (drifting off to sleep/dreaming) brainwave state.
In Alpha, your mind is calm and creativity and visualization are heightened.
In Theta, your mind is deeply relaxed and in a state between wakefulness and sleep = the gateway to the unconscious.
What are the benefits of Sound Therapy?
Sound Therapy, unlike music, does not have a destination, it doesn’t go anywhere. The sounds are not written, it is all in the present moment. Even practitioners do not know what sounds will come next as they play.
These sounds happen without our brain needing to anticipate the next note, allowing the mind to relax and expand.
Sound Therapy benefits for the mind include:
Improved Attention Span
Greater Clarity of Self
Sound Therapy also has positive impacts on the body:
Reduced Chronic Pain
Lowered Blood Pressure
Sound Therapy’s Ancient Beginnings
Sound Therapy has roots in cultures spanning the globe.
The aboriginal people of Australia are credited with being the first to use sound for healing. The Didgeridoo, a wind instrument made from a eucalyptus tree hollowed out by termites, produces low frequency sounds and vibrations helping with muscular and skeletal related issues and energetic stagnation.
The Indigenous tribes of North and South America used chanting, singing, drums, flutes and rattles to induce a trance state in order to journey into the “otherworld” to access healing.
It is theorized that some of the Ancient pyramids of Egypt were harmonic structures that used sound to heal illnesses. “Every chamber within the pyramid has a specific harmonic, replicating the harmonics of the cavities of the human body. Sound healing techniques were then used to restore the patient’s body to the correct harmonics.” - Late archaeologist, Abd’el Hakim Awyan
Ancient Greek physicians used the sound and vibration of flutes and lyres to heal their patients suffering from mental health and digestion problems.
Ancient Indian Yogis used their voices for healing: chanting sacred sounds, syllables and mantras. Each syllable was intended to vibrate at a sound frequency that would resonate with certain organs in the body.
A Pre-Buddhist shamanic group in Tibet, known as the Bon-Po, was believed to be the originators of the now widely known singing bowls. They were used in ceremonies, for healing and for private meditation.
What types of Sound Therapy are there?
There are a variety of Sound Therapy modalities. The more popular approaches in the United States are:
A standing bell made of metal or quartz crystal used for meditation and relaxation. It is played by striking or stroking the top rim of the bowl with a rubber or silicone mallet. It produces vibrational waves and harmonics which calm the body and mind.
Singing Bowls come in a variety of sizes and musical notes which are sometimes associated with the seven chakras found in the body.
A metal disk usually suspended off the ground vertically by a stand or rope. Once struck with a felt or leather covered beater, the gong produces sound and vibration from the center. It can produce a wide variety of acoustic tones depending on how it is played. It is used for deep relaxation, healing and meditation.
A steel instrument with two prongs that acts as an acoustic resonator. There are two main types of forks, weighted and unweighted. The weighted forks do not have an audible sound, but hold a strong vibration and are therefore used directly on the body. Unweighted forks produce both sound and vibration and are used around the body.
Tuning forks help your body respond to the vibration by aligning and balancing energy flow.
There are a variety of drums used in Sound Therapy from hand drums to Djembes to steel tongue drums. Using your hands or mallets, a continuous rhythmic beat is produced which invokes a deeper state of consciousness.
Drumming can be done in groups, known as drum circles, or by a single drummer creating the sound and vibratory beat for meditators.
While these are only a few of the most popular Sound Therapy methods, there are numerous other options becoming more and more mainstream. Each modality is different based on the practitioner and their approach. Try out a variety of Sound Therapies until you find one that works for you.
You are unique and your healing process will be too!
If you have any questions about the Sound Therapies I offer, please don't hesitate to reach out via email or phone. I am always happy to answer any questions.
Looking forward to hearing from you!