Years ago — think way, way back to ancient Greece — people were very particular about the sounds around them, particularly music, believing that sounds had the power to influence both the mind and body. To them, sound could harm or heal, unify or tear apart, and to a broader extent, influence the morality of larger society. These concepts haven’t faded away.
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It’s what led people in the 1950s and 1960s to call rock ‘n’ roll “indecent”, for example. Today, so-called “sound therapy” is thriving, with practitioners holding steadfast to the notion that they can help where other medical and mental health professionals cannot.
The Theory And Science Behind Sound Therapy
Most sound therapists assert that the effectiveness of sound therapy comes from vibrations.
Everything in the universe, they say — even your body tissues — are made of atoms that flow and pulse with energy, creating vibrations at very specific frequencies.
Scientists acknowledge this assertion as fact, with even Albert Einstein noting that “everything in life is vibration.”
By using electronic devices and traditional instruments like didgeridoos, the human voice and even bowls struck with a mallet, sound therapists can interact with the vibrations happening inside you, magnifying or diminishing them to relax you or lessen pain.
In this way, in essence, the therapist’s job is to bring your vibrations back into balance.
These claims might sound ridiculously “new age,” but research studies are backing them up, suggesting that vibrations can trigger the body’s natural healing response mechanisms, influencing elements like hormone production and circulation.
Medical professionals have used ultrasound as a form of physical therapy for years.
Preparing For Your Sound Therapy Session
If you’ve never had sound or vibrational therapy before, it’s normal to be a little nervous. To stay relaxed and get the most out of your session, consider trying the following tips:
- Schedule your session so that you do not need to immediately rush anywhere afterward. The emotional and physical release you might feel can be intense, and you want to give yourself time to react to and enjoy it.
- Meditate. Imagine your muscles relaxing as the sounds wash over you, for example, or envision the vibrations lifting your pain away and breaking it up into pieces.
- Wear comfortable clothing and make sure your positioning doesn’t put physical stress or tension on you.
- Be open to any sounds your therapist might use. This openness allows the therapist to explore your energy more fully and see what brings about the strongest responses from you. Commonly, therapists use tuning forks, singing bowls and drums for their work, but there are no set limits on what they can use to interact with your vibrations, and most therapists have many options to accommodate the varying needs of their clients.
- Practice concentrating on sounds at home. Close your eyes and focus on the sound of your fridge, for instance, or try to isolate the location of the bird singing somewhere outside your window. This type of preparation will let you tune in better to the specific timbres, pitches or volumes of the therapist’s tools.
- Get rid of and plan for potential distractions. For instance, make sure your phone is silenced. Similarly, you might want to put on a siesta mask, sit away from the heat of the sun or nearby lamps or leave that book you’ve been obsessed with reading out of the room.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Certain foods and beverages contain substances that can have negative effects on the body. For example, caffeine, found in coffee and many sodas, not only produces an adrenal response, but also is a diuretic. Others can interfere with medications you might be on so that you aren’t feeling your best. It’s much harder to focus on the sounds you’re experiencing if you are ill, need to use the restroom often or feel heavy or bloated. Try to eat a balanced, light to medium-sized meal full of complex carbohydrates, lean meats and healthy fats such as those in nuts or olive oil. Eating this way is an excellent complement to your therapy, offering the nutrients, vitamins and calories you need to heal.
Although researchers are still gathering data on sound therapy, it is a practice that is hundreds of years old, having roots in ancient beliefs about vibration, energy and the mind-body-universe connection.
It is not a replacement for other treatments you could get, but rather one that you can integrate with other options your physician might recommend to you. With good preparation, your sound therapy session can be life changing.