What is Sound therapy?
Updated: Nov 26, 2022
Given that everything has a vibrational frequency, including ourselves, it makes sense that sound frequencies impact how we feel. That's why particular songs and types of music often bring about specific types of emotions from us. Sound healing, which is an ancient healing technique that uses tonal frequencies to bring the body into a state of vibrational balance and harmony, plays upon this as well.
So, how does it work? During a sound healing session, also known as a sound bath, you'll typically lie down on the floor or a yoga mat, perhaps cuddle up with a cozy blanket, and simply listen up as a practitioner plays a variety of instruments and you "bathe" in the soothing sounds and vibrations. Naresh Devnani, a certified sound healing practitioner based in Dubai, describes it as a "meditative acoustic sound concert." The sound frequencies then slow down brain waves to a deeply restorative state, which activates the body's system of self-healing.
Singing bowls, gongs, Tibetian bowls, tuning forks, and drums are the instruments that practitioners most often use in sessions. However, says sound healer, Reiki master, and yoga and meditation teacher Susy Markoe Schieffelin, "if used with the proper intention, almost any instrument can be used in sound healing."
Each instrument serves a different purpose. Crystal bowls, for example, Sarhangi says, "are tuned to the notes of the seven chakras." The gong, she adds, is said to help release tension in the body and stimulates the glandular and nervous system.
And although sound healing has grown in popularity in recent years, it is a healing modality that dates way back.
"From vocal chanting to instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls, shamanic drums, and more, you will find some form of sound healing in every culture on Earth,"
Schieffelin says. "It is said that sound healing can be traced back 40,000 years to when indigenous Australians used ancient didgeridoos for healing. One of my favorite historical examples of sound healing is the sound chambers created by the ancient Egyptians in the pyramids."