Haven Yoga Meditation explores what sound healing is and how it can benefit you.
With sound baths increasing in popularity, it seems that people are becoming more curious about the practice of sound healing. One reason for this is that sound healing can provide a non-invasive way of improving your mental health and physical condition.
So what is sound healing and how does it work?
What is Sound Healing?
Simply put, sound healing is a practice that involves playing specific frequencies of sound to affect your brainwaves to encourage your mind and body to relax, restore and heal. It’s an incredibly old practice, with roots dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt. During a sound healing session, the electric cycles in your brain sync up with the sound frequencies being played, which means that your mental state can be altered through sound. While this can be used to put your mind in a state of relaxation, it can also be used to influence other mental processes that relate to your physical health and encourage healing.
How is Sound Healing Practised?
Although different practitioners will have their own sound therapy methods, all sessions will have some consistent activities. These sessions can be private or performed in a group. At Haven Yoga Mediation we have group sessions every Thursday at 6pm.
Firstly, you will be seated for a gentle spinal warm-up and presence meditation. Followed by a full sound bath whilst lying in Savasana.
If in a private session, your practitioner will discuss specific health concerns you may have so that your session can be tailored to meet your needs.
Either way, you will be encouraged to relax. Different frequencies on various instruments such as Crystal Bowls, Wind Gongs and Tibetan Bowls will be played.
Who Can Benefit from Sound Healing?
Because of the flexibility of treatments, and the passivity of the sessions needing no experience or physical strength, sound healing can aid almost everybody and really help people get into a state of meditation and peace.
If you suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, or cardiovascular issues, sound healing can be especially beneficial for you, as it can be used as a supplementary treatment alongside traditional medicine.
What Are the Benefits of Sound Healing?
Below we outline a number of benefits that individuals can experience through sound healing.
1. It is relaxing
Sound baths are most often used to help guide the body and mind into a state of relaxation. The crystal singing bowls and wind gong that we use in the Haven Yoga Mediation Studio allow a person to enter a deep, immersive, full body listening experience that can bring balance, relaxation, and a sense of calm to your whole being.
2. It stimulates calm brain waves
When the brain receives stimulus either through the eyes, ears, or any other of our senses, it emits an electrical charge, a cortical evoked response. If the brain receives a repeating stimulus, it responds by synchronising these electric cycles to the same rhythm. This is called Frequency Following Response or FFR. FFR is used in sound healing to stimulate special brainwave frequencies that are associated with positive well-being.
These are the binaural beats, a sonic phenomenon that is created when two sine waves (single tones) of slightly different frequencies are played together, one in the left ear and the other in the right.
3. It helps to reduce pain
When you relax with the sounds used in healing, your concentration improves and your emotional tensions and blockages are eased. The sound with its vibrations can ease mental or emotional pain including low self-esteem, worries, fear, anger, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
4. It can boost overall well-being
A fundamental principle of sound healing is that your body supports an underlying energy field that generates symptoms of emotional, physical, and mental behaviours; if you change the energy field, you change the resulting behaviours. Correcting and rebalancing this energy can enhance the resonant frequency of your body, restoring balance, health, and harmony to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves. This can help you sleep better and then manage your daytime in a more relaxed and settled way.
5. It assists with chakra cleansing and balancing
The notes of the crystal singing bowls correspond with each of the major chakras. Chakras can be described as energy centres of the body. Each energy centre has unique aspects and corresponds with specific tones of the musical scale. Keeping these centres in balance results in health and harmony throughout one’s body and mind.
How Effective Is Sound Healing?
Although it may seem too good to be true, a plethora of scientific research supports the benefits of sound healing. For example, a 2016 study demonstrated sound meditation done with Tibetan singing bowls significantly reduced muscle tension and depressive symptoms in participants*. Furthermore, a more recent study showed that low frequency sound could reduce symptoms of chronic pain*.
Who Can Perform Sound Healing?
While you can use singing bowls or audio therapy for your own healing without any training, if you attend a sound healing session it should be led by an experienced practitioner, who can monitor your progress and understands how to ensure the best outcome.
*Based on the 2016 study “Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study.”
**Based on the 2018 study “Treatment of chronic back pain using indirect vibroacoustic therapy: A pilot study.”