Sound for healing may seem a little woo-woo and new agey, but it has been used in many cultures throughout history to heal the body, mind and spirit. Ancient Egyptians believed musical incantations could treat illness, and the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras discovered that certain harmonic frequencies had healing powers. Even today, yogis use the practice of nada yoga to calm the mind and release stress.
If you’ve ever felt a certain song elicit a specific emotion, from goosebumps to cathartic tears, it is because music can have healing properties. Scientists are now discovering that specific sounds and vibrations have the ability to alter your brainwaves. They can move you from a beta state of thought to an alpha state where creativity and daydreaming occur, or even theta, which is a similar brain wave to that of deep sleep.
These meditative states are known as a relaxation response and have many health benefits, including reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also aid in pain relief and encourage the natural healing process, as well as promote feelings of peace and wellbeing. It is these soothing vibrations that are at the heart of sound healing, which can be done in a number of ways from Tibetan singing bowls to chanting.
When the body is exposed to resonant tones it begins to vibrate at its optimal frequency, much like an instrument in a classical orchestra. The principles of resonance and entrainment are what give this form of healing its power.
If you have ever felt your favorite upbeat track lift your mood, it is because the sounds and vibrations of the music are affecting you physically. This is because your brainwaves start to synchronize with the rhythm of the beat. It’s a form of entrainment and the same is true for healing sound therapies.
This is because the vibrations created by instruments such as gongs, singing bowls, chanting, and tuning forks can actually change your brainwave patterns. When you hear these sounds they take you from a beta state, where you are focused and rational, into an alpha or theta state, which allows for creative flow and relaxation.
You can try out these sound healing techniques at home using an app or a piece of your favorite music on your phone or by going to a wellness practitioner. But the most important thing is to simply listen and relax.
Here at The Healthy Hub, we believe in the power of sound and have included a calming audio track with each of our self-heating eye masks. We hope you enjoy it!
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Featured image by Pixabay, credited to Javier Rojo.
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