With sound all around us every day, it may seem surprising to think of it as a powerful healing modality. Yet the vibrations of specific sound waves can have profound effects. Reported benefits of sound healing — also called vibrational therapy — can include improved sleep, decreased anxiety, increased feelings of well-being and even relief from physical pain and tinnitus. Sound healing offers a low-impact therapeutic experience for people of all ages and abilities. Typically, sound healings are offered in group or one-on-one sessions, and require only passive participation to be effective. They can also be accessed through headphones from the comfort of home. Ready to start reaping the rewards? Here are our favorite forms of sound healing, along with their benefits.
For nearly 6,000 years, gongs have been used as a powerful tool for sound healing, meditation and communication purposes. In a gong bath, participants are encouraged to lie with their head nearest the gong in order to be “washed” in sound from crown to toes for emotional, physical and psychological rejuvenation. Gong baths produce a very strong sound, particularly during crescendos, leaving users feeling refreshed and focused. Through entrainment — the process by which brainwaves synchronize to a specific environmental vibration — a number of effects can be experienced, including improvements in disorders such as anxiety, depression and PTSD, as well as increased cognitive function, better sleep and reduced physical pain.
There are two types of singing bowls — Tibetan bowls and crystal singing bowls. Tibetan bowls are typically made from metal alloys, and work by striking or rubbing the bowl in a clockwise direction with a wooden mallet to produce a deep, resonant sound. Crystal bowls are cast from crystal glass and are available in a variety of sizes, colors and tones. Both types of bowls produce a deeply relaxing sound that causes subtle shifts in brain waves, promoting deep relaxation, decreased feelings of anxiety and nervous system soothing. For the ultimate crystal bowl sound bath, we like Integratron in Landers, California.
Tuning forks are handheld instruments typically made of steel that play pure tones tuned to ancient solfeggio frequencies. When placed near or on the body, the vibrations from the forks will help clear the mind, balance the emotions, relax the body and promote circulation, which can help with pain reduction. While there is little recorded data on the impacts of this therapy, it is generally thought to be a safe, low-impact way to relax the mind and promote well-being. Click here to find a practitioner in your area.
Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to listen to live harp music knows how impactful its effects are on mood. When offered by a Certified Therapeutic Musician (CTM), the benefits are even greater. According to Allison Sattinger, CTM, therapeutic harp music brings patients from a state of overwhelm to calm through entrainment, with applications in hospice care, cardiac care units, neonatal intensive care units and much more. For sufferers of migraines and neuropathy, users report significant pain relief during and after sessions. And for the everyday person, the calming effects of therapeutic harp music are unparalleled. Visit Right as Rain Harp to learn more about the profound and varied applications of therapeutic harp music.
Based on the belief that the body is hardwired to respond both physiologically and emotionally to human sound, HUSO delivers human toning at specific frequencies via headphones and ankle and wrist pads placed along the body’s meridians. HUSO claims that because its sounds are not digitally compressed, they retain subtle frequency ranges that promote healing that is not found in other modalities. The device includes access to 16 30-minute programs ranging from pain relief and deep relaxation to rejuvenation and spiritual connection.
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