Sound therapy has been in existence from the era of ancient civilization to indigenous cultures that believe that sound is the key to heightened consciousness. From our natural spaces of the electric sounds of lightning strikes to flowing waves and rustling of leaves we venture on this soul journey of sound healing.
What is sound therapy?
Sound therapy or sound healing is a treatment that promotes human body wellness. Practitioners of sound healing believe that sound balances a body out of tune. Everything is made from matter that has a vibration frequency. Sound waves interact with vibration reaching every segment of the body from our head to our feet.
Sound therapy practitioners believe in energy centers, seven chakras in different body parts. Sound therapy promotes wellness by balancing these energy centers.
When energy centers are in perfect balance, energy flows, allowing a natural well-being state. Energies match and balance out like acupuncture removing blockages with sound instead of needles. The main tool in a sound therapy session is the human voice. Human voice vibrations that are applied consciously as a form of therapeutic instrument have resonating power that stimulates, releases and balances the healing energies that serve to create harmony and wholeness to our body, mind, and soul. The method is either a single tone vowel sound or over toning where multiple tones are used and voice harmonics are split. James D’Angelo, a renowned sound therapist, believes that a higher consciousness is reached with the sound of ‘mmm’. Toning is used to scan the body and source out imbalances. Chanting and sounds from metal or crystal Himalayan bowls will also create vibrations. Therapeutic treatment is sourced from percussion instruments (gongs, rain sticks, tuning forks and shakers and chimes) for relaxation.
Sound burst effects
Noises overload the brain and chemicals are released. From the booming sounds in the space of a teenager’s room to roaring engines and television chatter. There is a need to balance the effect with chemicals that tranquilize these cloudbursts of sounds to ease sound-populated brain cells.
Sounds convert to an electronic wave as it enters the ear. The signal journeys to the auditory nerve to the segment of the brain (auditory cortex) that begins to process sound. The sound journeys all over the brain triggering stress release, evoking our emotions and affecting the neural pathways. Fluctuating vibrations become weak and we literally get out of tune, and this kind of disharmony has even been linked to disease.
With resonant use of sound and voice, we can alter the vibration and lift our consciousness, which can make us well-tuned and possibly even improve health. The process of chanting and toning involves simple movements that are similar to tai chi as well as chi kung. We reach a state of meditation, which can lead to deep healing as the sound enters our brain and the consciousness expands into deep peace.
The medial prefrontal cortex is the control center of the brain linking emotion, sound and memories according to the National Institute of Health. Music is soul soothing and tunes emotions. A pediatrics journal study found out premature babies increased in weight gain when Mozart musical tunes were played. The soothing tunes of Mozart reduced resting energy resulting in weight gain . An advanced nursing journal indicated that those who took time to listen to music experienced lower levels of pain and depression. Music can lift the mood and alleviate the perception of pain .
Loud noise invokes an instinctive reaction in the brain to fight or move away. The Franklin Institute links the ‘fight or flight’ reaction to chemical releases that stimulate urgent action. It is a crucial tool in the wilderness and is just as important in the modern concrete jungle. For example, if you hear a sound of a hooting car you immediately steer out of the way. Once the danger is over, the brain releases tranquilizing chemicals counteracting the reactive chemicals.
We delve into the potency of vibrations that ritualize sound and group energy. Channels are opened. The quality of your voice is not the issue, the intention behind it is. Research has indicated sound therapy is a tool for:
- increased concentration
- relief from stress and anxiety
- enhancing creativity
- relief from headaches
- relief from stress-related illnesses
- helping behavioural problems
- helping tinnitus
Set aside time to tune in and heal with the rhythm of sound in your space.