Sound Healing for Meditation, Relaxation, Energy, & More
"You can look at disease as a form of disharmony. And there's no organ system in the body that's not affected by sound and music and vibration." ~ Mitchell Gaynor
Whether you’re new to meditation and having a hard time getting into the practice, or have been meditating for a while and want to try something different, sound healing might be the perfect therapeutic technique to try.
Though using sound as a tool for healing has been utilized throughout various cultures for thousands of years, the science community has only relatively recently started to research and document its potential. Its benefits have been compared to those of meditation, with the ultimate intention to create a place of balance, both physically and mentally.
What is sound healing?
Also known as vibroacoustic therapy, sound healing works by using vibrations from various instruments (such as gongs, drums, Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks) to relax the mind and body. In turn, this state of deep relaxation elicits many different positive responses in the body, from relieving anxiety and insomnia to lowering blood pressure.
Sound healing essentially taps into the natural energies of the body. Eastern medicine often refers to this as Qi, Chi, or prana, where life force energy exists. It is believed that certain areas of the body can experience blockages, in which imbalances are formed and held. By stimulating these energetic flows via vibroacoustic sound, it is believed that balance and healing can begin.
Making sound healing work for you
If you struggle to meditate, sound healing can provide an ideal pathway to accelerate your practice. Sound healing can simply be used for relaxation, or as a complementary practice to meditation and other healing modalities such as reiki. Look specifically for sound baths in your local area, as well as sound healers and therapists. Sound healing events are often held both indoors and out, and offer a unique experience each time based on both the setting and instruments used. For best results, it is best to engage in sound healing directly through a live session. True sound healing relies on the vibrational experience via instruments and their natural sound wave radiations. However, recordings can still be mildly effective to help promote meditation, relaxation, and introspection.
In addition, sound healing can also be utilized in energetic ways, stimulating creativity and focus. An upbeat rhythm can strongly enhance either a work or artistic endeavor, inspiring new direction and sharp concentration.
Experiencing sound and vibration on another level
Group sound baths with acoustic instruments can be beautifully orchestrated as well as organically and spontaneously played. The instruments often harmonized together as well as individually throughout various performances may include singing bowls, Native American flutes, chimes, gongs, sitars, drums, didgeridoos, harmoniums, and crystal bowls. Each time, the vibrational experience is different, producing different sensations and reactions. Nevertheless, the ultimate feeling is nearly always positive.
How to use a singing bowl for healing
Even for people who appreciate music and sound, but have never been inclined to play an instrument, a singing bowl offers a unique way to gain the benefits of vibroacoustic therapy.
A singing bowl benefits the body in very specific ways, shifting brain wave frequencies and thus inducing deep meditative and peaceful states, clarity of mind, and heightened intuition. In addition, unlike other instruments like the guitar or piano that require years of training or practice, singing bowls provide smooth, harmonic sound, and ease of playing right away.
Singing bowls are also highly portable compared to many larger instruments, and are easily carried along when traveling, to gatherings, campgrounds and festivals, teachings, and when meditating outdoors. Singing bowl benefits are extensive, and they can even be utilized in various healing applications, such as chakra balancing sessions.
Distinct from other instruments which require learning notes and reading sheet music, playing a singing bowl is quite literally your own unique beat. Singing bowls can’t really sound ‘off key’, and they offers a deep, resonating vibration that can be felt not only for the user but anyone else nearby in the room as well. If you’re looking to recreate a vibrational sound healing experience at home, a singing bowl is an ideal choice to begin your personal sound journey.