Sound healing therapy is one of the top wellness trends at the moment. It has been practised for thousands of years to realign the body's vibration, improve mental health issues and emotional wellbeing, or even ward away evil spirits (chanting).
Sound therapy was hugely popular in Ancient Greece when music was commonly used to treat or even cure mental disorders.
Throughout history, we've seen music and sound used in a plethora of ways. From boosting morale in military troops to improving productivity in workers or even aiding people living with dementia to remember their 'golden years' and feel calmer.
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If you're not sure you believe in the magical curative powers of music and sound healing therapy, just think about your favourite song or musical track and how it immediately works as a mood-booster.
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A good upbeat track can instantly make you feel more energised and happier, while a slow, sad song may hit all the right notes to let you have that good cry you really needed.
But the science shows that sound therapy goes far beyond lyrics that hit the spot or the strange calming properties of chanting. The same vibrations that cause sound can have a significant impact on our physical health too.
What is Sound Healing Therapy?
Music or sound healing therapy is pretty much what it says on the tin: the practice of using different sounds to improve your physical health and emotional wellbeing.
Music therapy is often practised with a healing practitioner and can take multiple forms, from guided meditations to dance to sound baths. Using the various aspects of sound to focus on your physical or mental health.
A sound healing therapy session is usually carried out with the participant sitting or lying down. Music might be played through speakers, or instruments could be used in the room.
You may also experience vibrations applied to the body using a tool such as a tuning fork.
In some music therapy sessions, you might be encouraged to actively participate.
This can involve singing, moving, or using an instrument yourself. In other sessions, you may be asked to remain quiet and relaxed to allow the sounds to take effect.
Benefits of Sound Healing
Sound and music healing therapy has been growing in popularity in recent years, and it's definitely a wellbeing trend to keep an eye out for!
It's been found that sound and music can be effective healers for a range of mental, emotional, and even physical ailments, and has been a valuable treatment for several conditions such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- People with learning difficulties
- Those with behavioural and psychiatric disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Aches and pains
- Some cancers
Some of the most highly reported benefits of music therapy and sound healing include:
- Reduced stress
- Fewer mood swings
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Better pain management
- Reduced risk of strokes and coronary artery disease
- Improved sleep
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The History of Sound Healing
Using sound healing to promote healing and wellbeing has been around for as long as humanity has records. Still, some of the earliest detailing of 'sound healing therapy' in a formal sense is probably the indigenous Australians (40,000 years ago), who used ancient didgeridoos in healing rituals.
The ancient Egyptians also utilised sound healing, with pyramids designed to create sound chambers.
But sound and music therapy is far more wide-ranging than this. From Tibetan singing bowls, shamanic drums, vocal chanting, and so much more, there's a form of sound healing to be found in every culture worldwide and throughout history.
The Science Behind Sound Healing Therapy
But while modern medicine might be more effective than these chanting circles or music therapy for many diseases and ailments, science has shown that these healing practices aren't the voodoo some may have us believe.
In fact, there's plenty of evidence supporting the healing powers sound vibrations offer. And these go well beyond an upbeat track giving you good vibes.
Mark Menolascino, MD explains that "everything in the universe has a vibrational frequency… Those vibrations interact with every cell in your body." In order words, the vibrations made by instruments or vocals can actually interact with your body's cells to create specific results: in this case, to encourage healing.
These vibrations can also affect your brainwave frequencies.
There are scientific studies to back up these claims, too:
- Research into tuning forks showed they could be effective at relieving muscle and bone pain.
- A 2006 study found singing bowl meditation can lower blood pressure, improve circulation and breaking, relieve aches and pains, and even strengthen the immune system.
- A study into vibroacoustic therapy (sounds and vibrations applied directly to the body) discovered the practice could be effective for treating chronic pain and speeding recovery from injury.
More research is needed to establish just how effective sound healing therapy can be, but so far, plenty of evidence suggests it is an effective option to help people suffering from pain, injury, or stress.
Relaxation for Healing
Even without the science of sound vibrations, there's also evidence that sound baths and music therapy can be effective for healing, as it encourages relaxation and brings your body into a parasympathetic state.
In this state, our bodies produce nitric oxide, which opens blood vessels, increases the efficiency of our cells, and regulates blood pressure… All things that will aid your healing response.
In other words, anything that helps you enter a more relaxed state will help reduce inflammation and boost your healing response, which will immediately benefit your physical and mental health.
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Sound Therapy at Home
If you don't want to visit a specialist to receive the wonderful benefits of sound healing therapy, you'll be pleased to learn that this is one of the easiest practices to replicate at home.
Whether you add some relaxing music or play a guided meditation track while enjoying a home spa idea, or add some music therapy to your bedtime routine to help you drift off, the benefits of using sound to help your body and mind relax cannot be overstated.
That's why all our self-heating eye masks come with a free audio track to promote relaxation and aid healing.
From guided meditations and visualisations to singing bowls and more, each gift has been carefully chosen to help you create the perfect atmosphere for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
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