Ever notice how a certain song can lift your mood with just one listen? The music we listen to, and the way it makes us feel, can have a profound effect on our health. The same goes for sound healing, a form of meditation that uses calming music and sounds to bring balance to the body and mind.
You may think this is a bit woo-woo and New Agey (right up there with crystals) but research shows that the power of sound can indeed have physical benefits. It can even help alleviate pain and lower blood pressure, according to studies. In fact, some scientists have even found that certain frequencies can help the body heal itself. So what exactly is it?
A sound healing session can be a meditative experience where you’re “bathed” in waves of soothing sounds. Typically, these sounds come from a variety of instruments and voices including singing bowls, gongs, chimes, tuning forks, and the human voice. It’s not the kind of music you would hear at a rock concert or at a symphony but a carefully selected wash of instrumentation and voice that has a resonance and overtones of its own.
Basically, it’s like a chanting or relaxing choir that soothes your soul. You can have a sound healing session at a wellness center or a spa or listen to recordings on your own. You can also incorporate it into your regular meditation practices or even yoga sessions. There are plenty of recordings available on youtube or in apps like Spotify or Apple Music to choose from.
The goal is to calm the nervous system, which in turn can help lower stress levels and blood pressure, as well as boost immune function and relieve chronic pain. This can help with everything from autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression and insomnia to migraines, muscle tension, PTSD, and digestive issues.
In terms of why it works, researchers believe that sound can stimulate the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that promotes feelings of reward and happiness. It can also activate gamma aminobutryic acid, or GABA, which is another neurotransmitter that suppresses anxiety.
It’s also thought that the vibrations of the instruments can help to reopen closed ion channels within the cell. These ion channels are the means by which the cell receives nourishment and communicates with neighboring cells. When they’re shut down, it can lead to dysfunction and disease. This is where the belief that sound can be used to treat illness stems from.
Sound therapy can also be a great way to reduce the stress of daily life and can help you deal with issues like fatigue, chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions. But, like anything, it’s important to talk to your doctor about adding this to your wellness routine to see if it’s right for you. You should especially avoid it if you have a pacemaker or other metal implants, or have epilepsy since the vibrations of sound can cause seizures. What is sound healing