This amazing post was written by Jenn Ryan, a freelance writer, and editor who’s passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. You can read more of her work at thegreenwritingdesk.com.
When I first heard about sound baths, I imagined taking an actual bath in which some type of music such as a Tibetan singing bowl or perhaps chimes rang out in the background while I lay underwater, taking in the sounds through a watery cocoon.
Sounds pretty silly, right? (Pun intended!)
Actual sound baths are way cooler than this, and they don’t involve water. Sound can be extremely healing and encourage internal healing both emotionally and physically through a technique called sound therapy.
If you haven’t heard of sound therapy before, it probably sounds pretty strange. However, just in the way you breathe in the scent of a summer rose or enjoy a beautiful photograph, our sense of hearing can also encourage deep inner healing through sound and its various vibrations.
So what is a sound bath, and how does sound therapy work to help you heal?
What Exactly Is a Sound Bath?
A sound bath is typically a session you attend with other people (or you may find a sound therapist to work with you individually) where you either lay down or make yourself comfortable while sound—along with silence—is used to generate healing in the body. A sound bath is typically done in a dim-lighted room and is meant to be a deeply relaxing, peaceful experience.
When we feel overwhelmed by sound or another stimulus, our relationship with sound becomes a negative one—think of a car alarm, a baby screeching, the sound of glass shattering on the floor when you drop a dish. Sound therapy and sound baths can help you to reestablish your relationship with sound and tap into a positive experience in which healing is generated through sound.
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Instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls, drums, tuning forks, gongs, and temple bells may be used in order to create vibrations that stimulate healing within the body. However, you should not be concerned with the instruments used nor analyzing them when you attend a sound bath. Rather, you should focus on your body’s reaction to the sound as well as any emotions generated by the sound bath.
How Sound Is Healing
You may not have known that sound has a long history of being used to heal, dating back thousands of years ago .
But how exactly does sound influence our bodies and brains?
Sound is able to do this by harmonizing the frequency of our brain waves, therefore restoring us to a place of balance . Our normal brain waves tend to be heightened via beta waves, but this doesn’t mean we’re conscious. Establishing a relaxed yet conscious frequency is possible through sound .
Sound therapy can even be used to generate deep relaxation and sleep in the body. Research indicates that different frequencies of sounds are received differently by the body, and may help regulate stress as well as chronic pain .
This is similar to what happens during meditation as well—beta waves decrease and alpha waves (those of consciousness) increase . This means we’re more relaxed, yet more aware, and better able to receive and manage emotions and stress.
Experience a Sound Bath
Finding a sound bath to attend should be either facilitated by a sound therapist or featured by musicians who keep the experience focused on their audience rather on themselves. A sound bath is very different from a concert you attend (which typically tends to be overwhelming to your ears) or even a party with a DJ. This is not the same thing.
When you experience a sound bath, you should experience deep relaxation and be in harmony with your body. The experience is very similar to meditation, but you don’t have to know or like meditation before you attend. Sound baths create a unique experience for you to feel your inner body and know peace through sounds and their unique frequencies and vibrations.
Finding a sound bath near you could be tricky depending on your location, but ask around and search for ones in your area!
DIY at Home
Maybe you’re thinking, “a sound bath doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.” I get it—you may opt to experience sound healing at home, or maybe you feel more comfortable alone rather than in a room full of people (trust me, I’m right there with ya!)
If you want to experience sound healing at home, you can take advantage of some relatively inexpensive instruments in order to create your own unique sound experience at home—or better yet, take advantage of sound healing on YouTube to opt for a totally free sound healing experience !
Some instruments you may choose are Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, or a small gong. Don’t go overboard—give a small pair of chimes or bells a try, or a Tibetan singing bowl to see how your body experiences the sound.
Do try to make it to an in-person sound bath, though—the vibrations and actual listening experience simply won’t be the same when you hear sounds from the Internet, or even quite the same as doing your own instruments in person. At a genuine sound bath hosted by professionals, all you do is relax, breathe deeply, and let the sound wash over you!
Here are a couple more ways to help you relax:
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