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The Surprising Ways Sound Therapy Can Make You Mentally Stronger

The Surprising Ways Sound Therapy Can Make You Mentally Stronger

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.

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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 splitJames 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.

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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.

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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.

Emotional rhythms

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 [1]. 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 [2].

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Noise-invoked stress

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:[3]

  • 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.

Reference

[1]http://www.child-psych.org/2010/01/mozart-effect-the-effect-of-music-on-premature-babies.html
[2]http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx
[3]http://www.jbbardot.com/studies-confirm-sound-therapy-heals-arthritis-cancer-tinnitus-autoimmune-disease-and-more-using-vibrational-frequencies/

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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