SOUND HEALING - How does it Work?
Sounds around us can affect and change our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being.
Sounds from our surroundings can have a significant impact on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being.
We can feel certain sounds as generally positive and calming in and of themselves. We are usually "naturally" drawn to nature and it's peaceful sounds. A gentle rain, a bird singing, waterfalls, or the ocean for example. That is one of the main reasons why – along with its beautiful natural timbres - I seek the many sounds found in nature, including animals or livestock sounds. They are healing to me. But yet again, so is thunder! That deep, earth shattering sound, and its vibrations that resonate though the whole body.
While “Modern world” sounds, like cars, subways, machinery, television, and so forth can be hip and inspired in creative music, they are rather intrusive, aggressive, and even jarring when they are imposed on us in our daily lives. The sounds of heavy traffic and congestion, for example, are a sonic pollution that is very aggressive to most of us, and can cause or aggravate tension and stress, which we can feel affecting us negatively emotionally and physically.
Like natural sounds, certain musical sounds or pieces of music can feel naturally healing to us. However, many sounds can be “neutral”, and the nature of their impact will largely depend on whether you set your mind to being receptive and let yourself resonate with them. When tired, stressed, or ill, even a harmonious combination of notes or a bird chirping can be unnerving. A proper mindset and careful examination of which sound can be healing is then essential. In other words, while we can feel “good” upon hearing certain sounds, we will feel “better” if our mind, heart, and soul are set to be receptive and connected with their positive vibrations. Then, the natural or instrumental sounds can ease you, prepare you, and then lead you to a maximum healing property.
We shouldn't assume and only seek "pretty" sounds and music however, as sounds can be counter-intuitive in their effects or properties. For example, listening to avant-garde or free jazz music can be very calming to some, uncluttering the mind, breaking tension, and fostering “awareness”. It also seems to relieve many physical zones of constriction, even though it’s a music that can be purposely devoid of harmony, melody, or rhythm. What does that mean? When we break or dislodge a bone, it often needs to be put back in place, sometimes with pain, before it can heal. When depression or anxiety cripples us, healing usually will only come after we go through and recall the hurt. Likewise, in Sound Healing, it often takes disharmonious sounds to “break through” and heal... disharmony! In the end, judiciously blending dissonance with harmoniously soothing sounds can bring greater benefits.
Sound Healing Performance can sooth and heal our body, and spiritual being.
If Sounds from our surroundings can have a significant impact, Sounds can be performed with a healing goal, so that the waves created by the playing, that is, the vibrations, can purposely affect the body, emotions, mind, soul, and spirit. The vibrations go to where they are needed and work in humans through various means, in particular:
- generating sympathetic resonance through "like vibration", that is, performing a sound that matches the original frequency a particular area of the body most naturally wants to vibrate at, thus restoring its most desirable frequency, and bringing back the affected area into balance with the rest of the body;
- brainwave entrainment, where ideal vibrations are harmonized and synchronized, and Frequency Following Response and creating sounds that stimulate certain brainwaves associated with positive, peaceful, and healing states;
- balancing the left and right hemisphere of the brain, notably thought use of two different frequencies;
- inducing relaxation to alleviate the symptoms of chronic stress;
- fostering the release of suppressed emotions associated with trauma from the past.
The Fascinating Brainwave Entrainment healing modality
The brain possesses five main rhythms within: Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta.
By activating any of the 5 brainwave frequencies, we can obtain certain “healing” benefits associated with each five, as each correspond to a particular state - or more accurately particular states of various levels.
For example, making sounds that are within the Gamma frequencies can lead to stress reduction, mood elevation and increased life expectancy of the mind and its cognitive functions; activating Beta within the brain is helpful when one has to deal with mental / emotional disorders including depression and Attention Deficit Disorder; Alpha activation can assist in overcoming stress and phobias. Activation of Theta waves are associated with deep states of meditation, peace and calm, all of which promote healing, but can also improve concentration and attention. Delta is the slowest band of the brainwaves and healing can take place there, when we are completely unconscious.
A particular and extremely beneficial brainwave frequency is 7.8Hz – or Alpha-Theta Border – where one can be in tune with the Earth frequency, leading to enhanced and natural ability to heal AND connect not only with the earth but also with other energies and higher spiritual forces.
SOUND HEALING - How can it help?
A good summary of what "sound healing" is and does, from The Association of Sound Therapy, a Spanish organization of professionals founded in order to establish standards in the practice of sound therapy in Spain.
Article published in Psychology Today on sound healing, discussing how vibrational therapy or meditation offers potential therapeutic benefits with low to minimal side effects.
SOUND HEALING - What can it help?
An impressive rigorous scientific study concluding, e.g., that singing bowl meditation significantly reduces feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, as well as physical pain, and increase spiritual and emotional well-being.
An interview with trailblazer Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a leading oncologist who has pioneered new strategies, including sound healing, for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
A 2005 official Resolution from the Arizona Congress (Resolution 6, by the Senate with the House of Representatives concurring), recognizing the teachings, wisdom, and compassion of Yogi Bhajan and his SuperHealth program, which incorporated Kundalini yoga with extended gong sessions, to treat thousands of recovering drug addicts. In its first year of operation, the Superhealth program distinguished itself as being in the top 10% of all treatment programs throughout the U.S, with an astounding recovery rate of 91%.
Remarkable scientific study that concludes that sound therapy can reduce autistic symptoms, increase social interaction, communication, and reduce stereotypical movements, and can be used as an effective treatment for autistic children
A rigorous scientific research concluding that Drumming has applications as beneficial complementary addiction therapy, particularly for repeated relapse and when other counseling modalities have failed.
A clinical study of people with fibromyalgia found that ten treatments (twice per week for five weeks) of low-frequency sound stimulation improved sleep and decreased pain, allowing nearly three-fourths of participants to reduce pain medication.
A scientific review concluding that tuning forks Sound Therapy, using calibrated metal tuning forks to apply specific vibrations to different parts of the body, may help relieve muscle and bone pain.
A scientific review by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that The live elements of music such as rhythm, breath, and parent-preferred lullabies may affect physiologic function (eg, heart and respiratory rates, O2 saturation levels, and activity levels) and developmental function (eg, sleep, feeding behavior, and weight gain) in premature infants.
GONGS & BOWLS - How Are they Made?
I play handmade (not machined) hand-hammered bowls from the Himalayan region, and use almost exclusively antique bowls (between 100 and 300 years old). This is a very good video showing the essence of this very specific centuries-old traditional crafting art.
Also hand hammered, traditional Gamelan gongs are incredible instruments. Here's a video of a gong making factory in Bogor, Java, Indonesia.
* * *