Like a lot of wellness practices (think mindfulness meditation, crystals) sound healing is having a major moment. But unlike other trendy wellness practices, it actually has a long history. It’s been used by cultures as diverse as the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and Tibetan monks for centuries. What’s more, it offers an abundance of health benefits that have nothing to do with your mood.
If you’ve ever listened to a song that just hits the spot, or felt the calming effect of chanting during a yoga class, you’ve experienced what many call “sound therapy.” Basically, it works by using vibrations to balance your mind, body and soul. It can take place in a group setting (called a sound bath) or on your own, either by listening to music or trying out instruments such as gongs, tuning forks and Tibetan singing bowls. The effects vary from a general feeling of relaxation to clearing energetic and emotional blocks, improving mood and more.
The science behind it is based on the fact that sound frequencies and vibrations have the same effect on our bodies as the atoms and molecules in our universe. That’s why we respond to sounds as they affect our physical, emotional and mental state.
For example, the loud and jarring sounds of traffic or your neighbor’s new violin hobby make you feel anxious and stressed, while soothing sounds like ocean waves or wind chimes calm you down. It’s because our mood is tied to the frequency and vibration of the sounds we hear—and that’s true for both live and recorded music.
Sound healing uses various sounds to stimulate the ion channels within your cells, triggering a natural healing response in your body. These ion channels are the way in which your cells communicate with each other and receive nourishment. Sound healing can help reactivate these channels to support cell function and replication, and improve overall health.
It’s also thought that the vibrations from sound healing instruments activate your cells to release nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator—meaning it opens your blood vessels to improve circulation and lowers your respiratory rate. It can even help regulate your blood pressure at a cellular level.
In addition, the harmonies of sound can clear energetic and emotional blocks and increase your sense of well-being. Stress is the root of so many health issues, and by relaxing your body and quieting your mind, you can bring harmony back to your life.
It’s no wonder over 90 percent of doctor’s visits are due to stress-related conditions, and that’s exactly what sound healing helps with. So, next time you feel overwhelmed, just put on your favorite playlist and let the healing powers of sound work their magic. Or better yet, head to a local sound healing session and see how it can help you get to your happy, healthy place. What is sound healing