Sound healing is a type of holistic therapy that uses vibrations to balance the body and bring the mind, body and soul into a state of well being. While this may all sound a bit New Age-y (right up there with crystals and healing music) there are actually scientific studies supporting the physical benefits of Sound Healing.
Our bodies are 75% water which makes us a great conductor of vibrations. Whether it’s from a vibrating Tibetan bowl, the vocal tones of a practitioner, or tuning forks used to relieve pain in the body, sound therapy is thought to promote cellular health and restore our natural ability to heal.
As humans we tend to be surrounded by high-vibe frequencies which can trigger the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness and motivation. In fact, just 30 minutes of listening to music can boost dopamine levels in the brain. So it’s no wonder that so many of us feel calm and at peace with a little help from our favorite tunes!
While there are many types of sound healing modalities, all share the same goal to create harmony and balance through vibrations. From chanting and kirtan to the ethereal sound of the hang, these sound techniques are often a combination of ancient practices with modern technology.
The science behind the healing power of sound is based on the principle that our energy field, or chakras, can become unbalanced through illness, injury and stress. Our energy can then affect our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, leading to illness or dis-ease. Sound therapy works by using vibrations to rebalance our energy field and chakras, allowing the body’s natural healing process to take place.
From the earliest days of human civilization, sound has been used to promote wellness and heal the body. Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered the neurological effect of binaural beats in 1839, and American doctors found that musical therapy could improve blood flow and enhance thought processes in 1896. A British osteopath later developed a machine to produce therapeutic sounds for healing cells in the body in the 1950’s.
Today, sound healing is a popular practice in yoga studios around the world and at wellness retreats like Miraval in Arizona. It’s also available for use at home with the help of online sound healing services and a growing library of YouTube videos.
During a session of Sound Healing you will likely lie down while the sound waves are played over your body. The sounds are designed to reach deep into your muscles, bones and organs creating an overall calming effect in the mind, body and soul. This type of meditation is safe for most people, but those with certain medical conditions should consult their doctor before receiving any sound therapy treatment. For instance, pregnant women should avoid any sound therapy that involves instruments placed on the body, and anyone with a pacemaker or stent should be cautious as vibrations could cause seizures.