Sound Healing: A Complete Guide
We have all experienced the ability of sound via music to have a physical effect on our bodies. When you hear your favorite song you get excited and when you hear a piece of music for the first time it can send chills through your body. So it's not surprising that sound has been used in healing practices for eons.
There are many ways that sound has been used by different cultures to activate healing within the body, spirit, and mind. By using instruments or even vocals, one can clear energy blockages as well as improve overall well-being in all realms of their health, from physical to spiritual.
But for many, sound healing is something that is new and has so much incorporated in it that it could be hard to understand completely. That's why we wanted to take a look at what exactly sound healing is in this comprehensive guide so that you can understand the benefits and methods that you can use to work your way towards a more well-balanced wellness journey.
A Quick Look at Sound Healing Through History
Before we dive into really looking at what sound healing is and how it works within our body and interacts with our spiritual energies, it's important to understand the history of this amazing healing art. Sound healing has been found in a wide range of different cultures across the globe in some aspect or the other.
For instance, even back in ancient Egyptian sound healing was present. In this culture, one of the ways sound healing was used came with the use of the sistra to complete rituals of healing. Even ancient philosophers like Pythagoras who studied music noticed that certain vibrations created a calm in people and animals.
So you see, in every corner of the world at every point in history, sound and music have been key in healing practices. Though for some it may seem like a new idea, it has had eons to develop and even with that has remained true to its core beginnings to this very day.
Sound Healing: What Is It? How Does It Work?
When it boils down to the root fundamentals of this type of healing process, it simply uses vibrations and frequencies of music and sound to help heal your mind and body. Those that utilize this form of healing work with not only one's physical body, but their emotional and spiritual as well.
Sound healing can be executed in a wide range of different ways, whether that be through the use of an instrument or other sounds like chanting or vocalization. Using these, the individual that is being healed by the sound focuses intently on the sound to align their energies with the frequencies and tones of the sound.
How Does It Work?
It may seem strange for those that are more involved in a western style healing practice that sounds can affect the body. But sound is another form of energy that is created in the universe and in many different ways, in a very scientific way. This sound is created when objects vibrate, which then vibrates the air surrounding the object itself.
When that air has then been agitated via the vibrations, it then carries itself out into the world and can interact with different objects including the human body. Primarily where the vibrational sounds created by this agitation interact with the human body is in the ear. Our ears are specifically designed to take in these sounds. Starting with the outer ear, which takes the sound and funnels it into our ear canal.
This sound then radiates down the ear canal and hits our eardrum, which is then affected by these vibrations. This carries the vibrations deeper within our ears until the tiny hairs that line the cochlea are moved by the sound, and these hairs send signals to the brain. It's at this time that the brain translates those vibrations into sound.
Understanding how sound interacts with the human body is key to understanding why so many researchers have dove into studying how sound can affect humans. Many research projects have shown that music itself is capable of helping with mental stress and anxiety. Scientifically, this may be explained by the presence of nitric oxide in the auditory system. This compound has a mental and physical effect when it comes to relaxation.
Many research studies are going on in this field but on a spiritual level, the vibrations of the sound often interplay with the energies of the world itself as well as the energies within the individual. With certain frequencies, you can attune the sound to the frequencies of the energy within your body, and this can enhance them or remove any blockages present.
Principles & Benefits of Sound Healing
Sound healing has a wealth of different benefits that one can take advantage of. Before we really understand how sound healing can benefit our health, it's crucial to dive deep into the principles of sound healing.
Here are the main principles that will play a role in the amazing benefits one can see when incorporating a sound healing practice into their wellness journey:
Rather than focusing on modern scientific principles, sound healing focuses on utilizing the sound vibrations from an external world to move the vibration of the body itself into its best form.
Those who practice sound healing attribute unique frequencies to each part of the body, as well as the organs within it. They then utilize these frequencies to determine the sound vibrations they will use in the process to balance one's energies harmonically.
Any person who has taken even the most basic form of biology in school knows that the human body is made up of primarily water. Once you know that, you can understand why the vibrations from sound waves can affect our bodies so intensely.
After all, have you ever put a speaker right up to a glass of water and seen the vibrations from that speaker affect the glass of water? Because water molecules are denser within the human body, the vibrational frequencies created by the sound healing methods can cut into the body quicker and radiate through it much easier.
This may be a term that is unfamiliar to many people. The basic definition of what entrainment is is the act of using specific frequencies to tune the energies within the body to the desired result.
The last principle of sound healing is that of intention. A sound healing practitioner will create sounds for a specific purpose. Sound healers with their intention will affect the individual on many different levels according to this intention.
The world is full of hectic schedules and crazy things happening, and often this leads to us being stressed and anxious at all times. In utilizing sound healing, one of the biggest benefits you can garner from it is deep relaxation.
Because the vibrations of the sound radiate through your body, it brings everything back into alignment so that you can have a harmonious vibe. This harmony will allow you to go through the day and into your week feeling relaxed and ready to embrace the world, both within and without.
For those that go for a deep sound healing session, often times the vibrations and frequency used in it allow for energy blockages to be released. By utilizing specific vibrations, the sound healer will be able to open up chakras and clear out any negative energies that have been blocking the flow in order to give you a more harmonious and balanced spiritual body. Having a more balanced energetic flow and spiritual body will also bring with it physical health benefits as well.
Though many might think sound healing is one of those fads and alternative medicines that don't really have a foundation in science, that would be the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, as we stated above, there are many research projects that show that there are a ton of benefits that can help you with your physical health in regard to sound.
Among these benefits include better blood pressure thanks to relaxation, improved sleep, and reduced chronic pain, and it has even been known to help decrease the chance of heart disease. All of these have to do primarily with the fact that utilizing frequencies and vibrations in sound healing helps relax the body and reduce stress, thereby reducing the number of stress hormones our brains release into our body.
Though there are a wealth of other benefits, the last major benefit is going to be an impact on your mental, and spiritual health. Because of the intention set by the sound healer as well as the sound healing process itself, those who execute this type of therapy end up with less stress and anxiety, which means less chance of depression and a clearer mind for you to be able to stay in the present moment and remain calm.
Can I Do Sound Healing At Home?
There are plenty of sound healing professionals out there that are waiting to help you find a new path to a happier and healthier life. But perhaps you don't want to work with an individual, rather you'd like to take on the task of doing sound healing in the safety and comfort of your own home. This is actually quite simple, so yes you can do sound healing at home.
In fact, we're sure you already do this without even knowing that that's what you're doing. Utilizing sound healing can be something as easy as putting on some relaxing music or music that you love and relaxing with a good book. If you want to take it one step further, you can incorporate music and sound into meditation while you're having a self-care day. It's even advisable if you're having trouble sleeping to utilize sound to help relax your body into a state where it is easy to drift off to sleep.
Whether you're choosing to use meditations or visualizations to any number of the instruments utilized in sound healing, you will find the same results can be had as paying for a professional session. When utilizing sound healing at home, though, make sure you pay attention to the environment as well and create as a relaxing one as possible. This may include adding in incense or even dimming the lights and lighting a few candles.
Tools Used & Methods of Sound Healing
Now that you have a firm understanding of the benefits, principles, and how sound healing works, we can take a look at the methods and instruments that a sound healer, or you, can use to incorporate a sound healing routine into your self-care regimen.
Though there are many different and more scientific methods out there, the primary methods of executing a sound healing process come in three forms. These three forms are:
Using voice is one of the three methods of sound healing utilized in a wide range of ways. Oftentimes, these chants utilize sacred words or phrase that are repeated over and over again in order to create certain vibrations that interact with the brain on a different level. The repetition of these chants and the tones used in them help create a sense of calm and peace that relaxes the mind and allows energy to begin flowing properly.
This method can be done as a solitary practitioner or in a group. Though some will state that a group offers more energy exchange and thereby could be more potent when it comes to sound healing.
Vocal toning is very similar to chanting, except for you're going to elongate the vowels for a longer time. In other words, you're utilizing your vocal cords to mimic the sound of an instrument. This technique allows you to have a deeper breath as well as relax your muscles and stimulate the energy within your body.
This form of sound healing is very easy to do, as you don't need any external implements to help you. It is also very simple to do on your own and, in fact, maybe more potent when done solitarily. The key is to make sure that you are doing proper breathwork and sitting upright so that your chakras are aligned, so the vocal toning will have better access to them.
Maybe one of the most common methods of sound healing is the use of instruments. Whether that be a Tibetan singing bowl or an Aboriginal didgeridoo, all of these instruments offer frequencies and vibrations that can be very beneficial in a sound healing process.
Tools & Instruments
In order to give you a little advantage when it comes to finding a sound healing professional or choosing to do it at your home, we thought we'd take a look at some of the most common tools and instruments used in this process.
This percussion instrument comes in a wide variety of sizes, which means that you can choose the one that has the right vibrational frequency for the healing you're looking to do. It is simple to play and doesn't take any prior knowledge, as you simply hit it with a mallet. For those that are a little more advanced, you can also prime it by stroking the gong or spinning it so that the vibrational tones can be warped in new ways.
Gongs can be used as the instrument utilized during a sound bath meditation session. This of course will take more than one gong, but you might find that the interaction of the vibrations gives you a more energized and better result.
Tibetan Singing Bowls
Though gongs are very common, when most people think of sound healing they probably think of the Tibetan singing bowls. These are, at their core design, simply inverted bells made most often from copper, quartz, or bronze. These bowls utilize a mallet that creates the noise as it is circled around the edge of the bowl and strikes the rim of the bowl.
For those that are experienced with this, eventually, they will be able to create rhythms and vibrational harmonics that allow the energies within the body to be moved and cleared appropriately.
Most people look at tuning forks and think about tuning instruments. When struck, the prongs of the fork create a specific tone and vibration, and this is utilized for the musician to tune their instrument in order to get the right note.
Because it does have vibrational qualities, it is often used in sound healing sessions. This is done by striking the tuning fork near the area where you are looking to have healed. The vibrations from that react with the chakra location and help generate healing within the energy in that area.
The instrument mentioned in the section about the history of sound healing, the sistra, is a rattle-like instrument that the Egyptians used. But you can find instruments like this throughout, including the Native Americans in the United States and other tribes across the globe.
The rhythmic shaking sound that is created by them has been used to help contact spiritual energies to find the source of the health issue and remove them.
Sound healing is just one of the many ancient healing practices that have become more prominent in the last decade. Utilizing these ancient techniques brings us back to our core roots and allows us to address things in a symbiotic and harmonious way with nature.
There are a multitude of different types of sound healing practices that you can take advantage of, and we hope that this complete guide has helped you find the one that'll guide you up on the path to that happier and healthier life.