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Sound Therapy

Sound Therapy is a deep, immersive practice that uses the power of sound to reduce stress and improve relaxation in the body and mind.

 

An Introduction to Sound Therapy

Sound Therapy uses the vibrations from sounds, music and instruments to help you relax. A variety of instruments such as gong baths, tuning forks, singing bowls, drums and our voice can be used. Relaxation and healing happens when sound frequencies slow down our brain waves – but how exactly does it work?

 

How Sound Therapy works

Growing evidence shows sound can be used to stimulate our brainwaves and align them with a particular frequency to bring us into a different state of mind. Fast upbeat music is thought to make you feel more focused and engaged, while music with a slower tempo can help quiet and soothe the mind.

 

The five main brainwave states are:

Delta (0.1 – 3 Hz) – The brainwaves in the delta state have high amplitude and low frequency, characteristic of a very deep, dreamless sleep.

Theta (4 -7 Hz) – Your brainwaves are in theta state when you’re meditating, relaxing, or doing repetitive tasks that require almost no conscious effort.

Alpha (8 -13 Hz) – Alpha state does require low conscious effort – the brain is in the alpha state when you’re reflecting on the day or visualizing, although still in a relaxed state. It is considered the ideal state, as this is when we’re fully present and clear-headed.

Beta (16 – 30 Hz) – Characteristic for engaging in everyday activities like teaching or having an interesting conversation, this is a state we spend most of our time in during the day.

Gamma (31 -100 Hz) – The fastest of all the waves, they produce the feeling of being in the zone, highly focused and engaged. This is the state our brain is in when we’re learning and our consciousness is at its highest.

 

Sound Therapy shifts our brainwave state through entrainment. It provides a stable frequency which the brain can attune to and shift from the beta state to alpha, theta or delta. The objective of Sound Therapy is to bring the body and the mind back in balance.

How can you benefit from Sound Therapy?

How can you benefit from Sound Therapy?

Sound Therapy can be a wonderfully experiential therapy, beneficial for self exploration. Many sound healing techniques stem from eastern cultures and have root in the concept of lifeforce – also known as Qi, Chi or prana.

This lifeforce flows through the body. When we experience pain or illness in our body, it’s root cause is down to an imbalance or blockage of our lifeforce. To regain balance, practitioners may use instruments to unblock this stuck energy.

People who use Sound Therapy techniques often report the following benefits:

  • Improved mood and mental wellbeing
  • Better ability to cope with stress
  • Feeling more balanced and harmonious
  • Increased happiness and vitality
  • Finding empowerment & motivation
  • Improved awareness & clarity
  • Increased creativity
  • Spiritual growth & healing
  • Detoxing the body
  • Improved relaxation and feeling well rested
  • Increased intuition

 

Vocal sounding may also help with vocal confidence and improving communications skills.

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Further Reading / Sound Therapy studies

Sound Therapy requires further studies and clinical trials to validate its efficacy, however preliminary studies are quite positive.

 

Mental and spiritual well-being

An interesting study was conducted on adults between the ages of 20 and 40, to examine the effects of vocal exercises on their mood. Vocal toning brought them to a meditative and relaxed state, shifting the states of awareness and consciousness.

Another study examined the potential effects of Tibetan singing bowls on mood, tension, anxiety and physical pain. The therapy showed great results in all areas, decreasing pain and relieving anxiety, with an increased sense of spiritual well-being.

 

Chronic pain and fatigue

Sounds and vibrations have been effective in decreasing levels of pain in patients with chronic pain. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia – a syndrome characterized by body pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues, showed significant improvements based on a study done with low-frequency sound stimulation.

 

Muscle tension

Resting muscle tension is common and can be anxiety or injury-related. Over time it can result in debilitating conditions such as chronic neck pain. A study in 2018 concluded that Melocura Sound Therapy has proven efficacy in the improvement of muscle efficiency and coordination.

 

Emotional trauma 

A small study on drumming therapy with post-traumatic soldiers showed some reduction in PTSD symptoms following drumming. They noted an increased sense of openness, togetherness, belonging, sharing, closeness, connectedness and intimacy, as well as achieving non-intimidating access to traumatic memories, facilitating an outlet for rage and regaining a sense of self-control.

Most common types of Sound Therapy

What are the most common types of Sound Therapy?

Several different styles and types of sound therapy exist. Some are more spiritual, whilst others focus on the scientific. Likewise, some may call for active participation, whilst others just require you to be passive and listen.

 

Therapy with tuning forks

Typically used to tune other musical instruments, tuning forks have healing powers of their own. A practitioner holds them close to specific parts of the body to send relaxing vibrations that open blocked energy channels. Tuning forks can be used on reflex points, articulations and meridian points, as well as over and around chakras.

 

Gong baths

Gongs have been used as a form of healing since around 4000 BC – a gong bath is a style of meditation where the practitioner creates tones and patterns to produce strong vibrations with the whole body bathing in sensations. Due to their size and structure, gongs produce richer sounds that can put you in a deeply relaxed theta state in a matter of minutes. They improve mental clarity and force your muscles to relax.

 

Singing bowls therapy

Singing bowls have their origin in ancient Buddhist practices. They are either made of metal (Tibetan singing bowls) or quartz and come in different sizes. Each one produces a unique vibration that works on separate parts of the brain. Different sized bowls are often used together, and they can be placed on or close to certain parts of the body. Vibrations move through the water in the body promoting healing and deep relaxation.

 

Vocal toning

The human body is the ultimate healing tool when we know how to use it. Vocal toning uses voice, the most powerful instrument, to relax the body and the mind. It is intuitive – like releasing an audible sigh of relief. One of the many techniques used in sound and music therapy is vocal toning based on vowels, each connected to a particular chakra.

What does a typical Sound Therapy session look like?

What does a typical Sound Therapy session look like?

Sound Therapy comes in many forms and it can take place in a group or with one-on-one sessions. Some practitioners will use a single tool or many different tools during the session. A session can be both a passive and participatory experience.

The session may begin with breathing exercises to slow the mind and prepare yourself to focus on the sounds. You may be asked to sit or lie down in a comfortable position, with a blanket or an eye mask.

Sessions can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours and longer, depending on the type of therapy. Therapists may place instruments like tuning forks around certain energy fields on the body, while gongs create a sound bath for an immersive whole-body experience.

 

Who is Sound Therapy suitable for?

Sound Therapy is considered a generally safe practice. However, pregnant women are not advised to participate, and anyone with tinnitus or a serious mental health problem. If in doubt, consult your doctor first before receiving treatment.

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Medical concerns

Holistic disciplines can assist you in your wellbeing, though they are not a substitute for medical care. This information should be used as a guide only to help you explore which holistic disciplines may assist you. We recommend researching the discipline and speaking with a practitioner before choosing to book any service.

This information is not, nor is it intended to be used as a medical diagnosis. Any information provided must be considered as guidance only, and not a substitute for obtaining a diagnosis from a medical professional. Please see the full terms and conditions of use. Always consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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