Sound Healing has become quite popular in recent years but is actually an ancient practice. What is it all about and what are the benefits of sound healing?
Muisc speaks to the soul. Whether it is the tone, the words, the instruments or the beat, we all resonate to difference kinds of music. When are feeling down, music can bring us back up. When we need extra energy, music can motivate us. When we need to express our anger, music can help. We we are lost or alone, music can feel the void. So it should be of no surpise to know that music it good for you. In fact sound itself can be healing. In recent years, sound healing has become more mainstream and more popular. You have probably heard about it but don't really know what it is all about. Here is all you need to know about sound healing.
History of sound healing
The concept of sound healing is traced back to Ancient Greece where music was used to treat different mental disorders. Culturally, sound has always played a significant part. Nomadic shaman, the Tibetan Lama, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, African or Jewish priest, musician or cantor to name a few, Whether it is chanting, drumming or other means, sound has been used throughout time to balance a person's chakras and even heighten a person's state of consciousness. Most Ancient cultures used sound to heal in different ways. As the world developed, the concept of sound healing didn't quite disappear, but it was no longer a common method used to heal anymore - likely because we now had medicine etc. In the 1930's, researchers found that ultrasound had medical benefits. Most people attribute the term 'ultrasound' with a medical device used to see our insides on a screen but it stems from ultrasonic sound. Ultrasound is even used to shrink tumours and break up things like kidney stones.
It was Pythagoras that first made a link between mathematics and sound to 'heal the soul'.
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres. ” - Pythagoras
By listening to the sound of Blacksmith's hammers, Pythagoras discovered the foundations of musical tuning as the hammers would make difference noises each time based on weight distribution etc. He would go on to create different instruments which could be tuned - often with strings. By having more control over the sounds an instrument could make, you were there able to make 'harmonies'. He believed that by using various intervals of harmonic ratios, this would act as a medicine for diseases of the body, mind and soul. He called this 'soul adjustments'. Perhaps this is why we use terms like 'Music soothes the soul'.
Types of sound healing
Here are just some of the more popular methods of sound healing
In the spiritual community, you will hear the word vibration mentioned alot. Even when discussing the spirit world, people believe that different vibrations can attract different kinds of energy etc. It would come as no surprise that vibration can effect the human body. We know that infrasound and the right frequency can make us feel paranoid. It is why horror movies use certain notes in their soundtracks, as your body has a physical reaction. This type of therapy uses different sound vibrations to help reduce stress. It usually involves not just wearing headphones, but often lying on special mats where you body can 'feel' the vibration.
Singing bowl therapy
Otherwise known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, these have been used for centuries by Buddist Monks for meditation and healing. It is thought that the sound from the bowl can reduce stress and may even assist pain. Some people claim that the vibrations that are produced by the signing bowl produce changes within the body in line with the harmonizing component that Pythagoras theorised. Essentially they feel it can balance the body which has then has a flow on effect to the immune system.
To create sound with a singing bowl, firmly press the accompanying mallet in a circular motion against the bowl's outside edge or rim. When you hear a bright, clear tone, you can slow down the motion. Use your full arm to make the motion, rather than just rotating your wrist. You can also make the same circular motion against the outside belly of the bowl. Additionally, you can gently strike the bowl before beginning the circular motion. Bowls are available at most metaphysical stores and range in price.
I haev spoken about binaural beats in the past and even pondered if it could be a way to help unlock our unconscious. You can read the article here: https://llifs.com.au/blog/could-binaural-beats-help-us-unlock-our-consciousness/
Binaural beats is a form of soundwave therapy. The right and left ears listen to two slightly different frequency tones, however they perceive the tone to be the same. The frequency needs to be lower than 1000kz for the brain to be able to detect it. As an example, the left ear may register a tone of 200hz, while the right hear has a tone of 210hz. It supposedly produces an effect similar to meditation. Often this is done as a person is relaxing or sleeping using headphones and specially made tracks of music which have specific frequencies tuned in. It is said to encourage a relaxed state, renew focus and even enter a trance like state. Some studies may suggest that it can also help with anxiety and pain.
Tuning fork therapy
By using metal tuning forks which have been pre calibrated to a certain frequency, by banigng the fork on a surface or hitting it with a rod, it will make a sound and begin to vibrate. The fork is then held to a different areas of the body while it is vibrating for its healing properties. This is said to help release tension and some research has suggested that it can work in a similar way to acupuncture. Doctors also use tuning forks, but not for healing. Often a tuning fork is used for hearing tests or it can even help a DR to determine if a bone is broken before using an Xray device.
These are quite popular at the moment. It is usually a group experience where a group of people gather together in a room for an immersive experience. Often people will be lying down on a yoga mat, some wear weighted blankets or others just a regular soft blanket . Your head is often rested on a pillow. You are taken through a guided meditation first. Once everyone is in a relaxed state, different sounds will be played using many of the different tools mentioned above as well as using their voice, loud bells or gongs, drums and other instruments. The thought process behind it is that each sound resonates at a different vibration and frequency so you are given the full experience so to speak to help you heal and relax. These sessions are also often much cheaper than a private sound healing session and is something you can do with a friend if you feel shy or unsure.
Benefits of sound healing
According to healthline.com Sound healing is used to treat symptoms of a number of conditions, including:
- anxiety disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- autism and learning difficulties
- behavioral and psychiatric disorders
Some of the supposed benefits of sound healing include:
- lowers stress
- decreases mood swings
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers cholesterol levels
- teaches pain management
- lowers risk for coronary artery disease and stroke
- improves sleep
It is worth noting that there are little Scientific studies into sound healing and it is considered a New Age Therapy. As such this is not intended as medical advise and for any medical problem or health concerns, please consult with your Doctor.
Of course you can go out and goto a sound bath or do a group meditation healing etc, whatever works for you. I know myself, nothing works better than putting on my headphones and tuning out the rest of the world. Now I know why it works so well!
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