What is sound therapy?
Sound healing therapy is one of the leading wellness trends, but many may be asking, ‘what exactly is sound healing therapy?’
Using the power of sound to elicit a specific response has been practiced for thousands of years across a range of different cultures. From its use in Tibet to reach a heightened state of awareness, to boosting an army’s morale before battle, and even improving dementia patients’ cognitive performance. It is undeniable that sound has played, and continues to play, an integral part in our lives. Simply turn on an upbeat song and notice how you are feeling. Notice what impact the beat of the song has on your current state of being. It is truly remarkable.
However, sound therapy goes beyond simply feeling energized while listening to your favourite workout song. Many scientific studies have shown that various sound vibrations don’t only alter your state of being (feeling energized while listening to an upbeat song, or calm while listening to peaceful classical), but actually have a significant impact on your physical wellbeing as well.
Benefits of Sound Therapy?
Sound Therapy has been found to improve a variety of both mental and physical conditions, such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Individuals with learning difficulties
- Individuals with various behavioural and psychiatric disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Physical aches and pains
- Some cancers
- Reduced Stress Levels
- Decreased mood swings
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Improved sleep
How Does Sound Therapy Work?
Now that we are getting familiar with all the amazing benefits of sound, how exactly does it all work?
‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’ Nikola Tesla
Many people are familiar with the notion that everything in the universe has a vibrational frequency. Therefore, it is not so farfetched to extrapolate that surrounding vibrations may have an impact on your mental state of being, your body, and even the individual cells that reside within your body.
“Neurons that fire together, wire together”
Sound, which includes music, is in essence a variety of vibrations. These vibrations are molecular compressions in the air that flow into your ear or even hit your skin. When the vibrations enter your ear, they hit your eardrum, which vibrates depending on the specific sound waves. The eardrum vibrations are sent to three tiny bones, which amplify the sound, and then pass them through to the cochlea (a snail-shaped structure filled with fluid located in the inner ear). These vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to ripple, causing hair cells to move depending on the size of the wave. Hair cells near the wide end of the snail-shaped cochlea detect higher-pitched sounds, and those by the centre detect lower-pitched sounds. These waves get transferred into electrical signals, and carried by the auditory nerves to the brain, which we process as sound.
So now that we understand how we process sound, how does this impact our mental and physical wellbeing?
These sound vibrations being processed by the auditory cortex interestingly impact your brainwave frequencies using entrainment. The process of entrainment synchronizes one’s fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which brainwave actually attune to.
Through the use of various rhythms and frequencies, it is possible to entrain our brainwaves and shift them from our normal beta state (what we use in waking consciousness) to alpha (when we are in a relaxed state), and even reach theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep state).
Therefore, if you are stressed, playing calming music shifts your brainwave frequency to a more relaxed and calmer state. Thus, having a ripple effect of lowering your cortisol levels and allowing you to enter a more ‘rest and digest’ state of being.
There is obviously more studies needed to establish the full range of sound healing benefits and treatments, but so far it seems very promising.
What happens in a sound therapy session?
Usually, a sound healing therapy session involves a participant sitting or lying down. Music may then be played using a variety of instruments, vocal sounds or displayed through speakers. Some may even experience sound vibrations being applied to the body using tools such as a tuning fork.
Although the techniques used in these therapy sessions vary, they all fundamentally use sound waves and harmonic vibrations to help heal the body and mind.
So with all of this in mind, when are you going to give sound healing a try?
Check out our range of Crystal Sound Bowls here.