Now previously I would have looked at myself with a raised eyebrow and an ‘are you serious’ kind of sneer if I’d suggested such a thing. But the much freer thinking me was very open to this experience. What I’m talking about is sound healing. The session I attended was an hour-long meditation with sound incorporated into this.
What exactly is sound healing? Where did it originate?
Music (which at its root is sound) has been used for celebration, expression, communication and ceremonies for many centuries. It is something which manages to connect all humans regardless of where they are from or what they believe in. You don’t even need to speak the same language to understand each other and connect over music!
Music is played at weddings to celebrate love. Music is played at funerals to celebrate a loved one’s life and to say goodbye. We listen to music when we want to dance or if we just want to have some fun. Music has a lot of uses. One of the most important uses is as a tool for healing.
Think about it….
If you’re going through a tough time and need a good cry. What do you do? Listen to emotional melancholy songs and tear up! You bet that you’re going to feel much better afterwards.
Or, you need a good smile and want to reminisce about some happy times. What do you do? You play that song that brings back the fond memories and puts a smile back on your face.
Music is therapy!
If we look back throughout history, sound has been used for centuries in various cultures as a tool for healing. The mantras of the Hindis or the Icaros of the Central and South American indigenous people all had the intention to move people from a place of imbalance to that of balance. In other words – to heal them through sound.
So…How does it work?
Sound therapy works by facilitating shifts in brainwaves from fluctuating to a more stable frequency which the brainwave can attune to. It can shift us from a normal waking conscious (Beta state) through to a relaxed consciousness (Alpha); and even into a meditative state (Theta) or sleep state (Delta). Healing is said to occur when the body reaches these other states.
This is the same concept used in meditation through regulating breath, however in the case of sound, it is the frequency which is the shift agent.
Can sound actually heal you?
Essentially everything we experience in the universe is our perception of waves. When sound waves reach our ears, they are converted into electrical signals and processed by our brain as sound. These sound waves trigger responses in our bodies which release hormones and chemicals, affecting our emotions and moods.
Whilst the full answer to question moves beyond the bounds of my knowledge, I’ll let you in on my experience instead.
How did my session go?
After arriving and entering the room, the group sat on yoga mats with our blankets for warmth. Our practitioner explained what to expect. We were advised not to overthink the various sounds or try sleuth which instrument was making each noise. Instead, he would explain at the end of the session how and why he was playing each sound.