On a day-to-day basis, we experience the benefits of sound in many subtle ways. And often without even recognizing it. Whether in the form of a soothing song, the calming sounds of nature, or a crackling fireplace, sound has the ability to captivate our minds and induce relaxation. When applied to therapy, this concept is called sound healing.
Sound healing is an age-old, holistic technique that involves the use of instruments to promote wellness of the body, mind, and spirit. During sound healing sessions, which are also called sound baths, instrumental vibrations help the body slip into a parasympathetic state. When activated, the parasympathetic nervous system helps the body heal itself by lowering heart and respiratory rates and blood pressure.
And while sound wellness has grown in popularity in recent years, the use of sound frequencies to foster healing is rooted in ancient practices. The origins of sound healing can be traced back thousands of years to cultures around the globe. From the Australian didgeridoo to the singing bowls of Asia to Byzantine chanting, sound has long held the power to heal.
So, what should you expect in a sound healing session? Typically, you’ll assume a comfortable supine position and simply listen to, or “bathe in,” soothing instrumental sounds performed by a practitioner. Instruments commonly used for sound healing include gongs, tuning forks, drums, bells, and chimes. But perhaps the most popular instrument used today is the Tibetan singing bowl.
According to one study published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, an hourlong Tibetan singing bowl meditation helped people experience improved spiritual wellness and decreased tension, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and depression.
The soothing impacts of singing bowls may be due in large part to their unique sound frequencies, which can elicit calming effects and balance energy in the body. Many believe that sound healing can clear energetic blockages and open the seven chakras, causing an equilibrium of energy that promotes harmony in the body. When chakras are in balance, you may feel revitalized, peaceful, and grounded.
Sound healing can also induce a deeply meditative state that has positive impacts on a person’s mental and physical health. Research has shown that certain tones, such as isochronic tones, alter the brain’s electrical activity in ways that can lead to reduced stress, anxiety, and physical pain as well as improved sleep quality, cognition, memory, and mood. Sound therapy may even benefit heart health by increasing heart rate variability and lowering blood pressure.
In short, sound healing gives people the opportunity to escape the chaos of their daily lives and turn inward so that they can clear their minds and restore their sense of self. When offered as a complementary therapy to traditional modalities, sound healing can help people achieve better overall health by supporting their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
If you are suffering from the effects of trauma or other disruptive mental health concerns, sound healing may be a beneficial tool for you. At Timberline Knolls, we are proud to offer sound therapy as a supplemental modality during treatment. To learn more about how integrative care or sound healing can help you find a renewed sense of well-being and inner peace, we encourage you to reach out to our team today.