What Is Sound Healing
You may have seen one of the many sound healing centers that have been popping up all over the place over the last several years. However, the use of sound for the purpose of healing and soothing has been going on for thousands of years.
In fact, the first musical instruments have been dated as far back as 43,000 years ago. There’s evidence of sound being used for therapeutic purposes in Egyptian temples.
Hippocrates was playing music for psychiatric patients as early as 400 B.C. Plato stated that music could influence the emotions and character of a person. Aristotle believed that music could purify the emotions.
The use of sound is now believed to be able to do much more than just benefit the emotional state of a person. There are real physical and psychological benefits to be gained from sound healing.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
– Nikola Tesla
Music Therapy versus Sound Healing
You’re probably more familiar with Music Therapy than you are with Sound Healing. Are they the same thing?
They are related, but there are differences:
- Music therapy has a formalized program of study. You can study music therapy in many universities and receive a degree in music therapy. Music therapists are licensed to practice music therapy professionally.
- Sound healing is unregulated.
- Music therapy uses the structure, melody, and rhythm of music to address a specific health issue. You can think of certain melodies that just make you feel good. That would be an example of music therapy.
- Sound healing uses specific sounds and their vibrations to enhance well-being. Sound healing advocates believe that every part of the body is in a constant state of vibration, and those vibrations can be used to create a positive change.
Music therapy and sound healing are closely related, but they are not precisely the same thing. Music therapy is well-established in the Western world, while sound healing is in an earlier stage of development in this part of the world.
What You’ll Discover
Even though this specific type of therapy is fairly new to the Western world, you’ll get to explore many facts, processes, and action steps in this eBook to enable you to take advantage of sound healing.
- Benefits of Sound Healing, including alleviating PTSD, stress, pain, depression, anxiety, and more.
- How Sound Healing Works
- 9 Ways to Experience Sound Healing, including Tibetan singing bowls, harp, drums, tuning forks, guitar, piano, flute, recordings, and electronically generated tones.
– Plus: Generating vibrations with your voice, including chanting, toning, and humming.
- How to Perform Sound Healing. Step by step methods to use toning, humming, drumming, tuning forks, and recordings for sound healing.
As you’ll see, you can receive many physical and emotional benefits from sound healing by learning these easy processes yourself! Enjoy!
“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.”
– Henry Beston
Sound Healing Benefits
There are many benefits from the use of sound therapy. There has been a lot of recent research in this area, and many of the touted benefits are substantiated with science. There are also many claims that have not been proven but may be accurate. One thing is for sure, there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself!
Sound healing is used as a treatment for many conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a syndrome that frequently affects veterans and others that faced traumatic situations, including abuse victims, law enforcement personnel, and firefighters.– Sound has been found to be an effective treatment in greatly reducing the symptoms of PTSD. Users listen to specific frequencies while recalling the traumatic event.- Researchers believe this works by disrupting the brain’s link between the traumatic memory and the stress response.
- Depression. Depression is one of the most serious and common mental disorders. Several studies have shown that listening to music, playing music, and singing can have an impressive effect on depression-related symptoms.
- Anxiety. Users of sound therapy report feeling less anxious and worried about the future. This is one of the most common reasons for people to give sound healing a chance.– Tibetan singing bowls are commonly used to produce sounds that minimize feelings of anxiety. If you’ve never heard the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl, be sure to look it up online. It’s a very unique sound!
- Autism. Soothing sounds, such as the Tibetan singing bowl, have been found to be very soothing to those with autism.
- Dementia. The mental stimulation provided by sound therapy can help to boost mental performance and memory in everyone, including those with dementia. The effects are greater when the symptoms of dementia are less severe.
- Cancer. Ultrasound is used to treat some forms of cancer, but that’s probably not the type of sound therapy you were thinking of. Sound therapy has been found to help patients deal with physical and emotional symptoms of cancer treatment.
- Immune system. Sound treatment affects the immune system in powerful ways. It reduces cortisol and boosts immunoglobulin levels. Immunoglobulins are antibody molecules.
- Hypertension. At least one study conducted at a medical school has demonstrated that regular use of sound therapy can reduce blood pressure significantly.
- Pain reduction. Those suffering from chronic pain report a decrease in the level of pain both during and after a sound healing session.
“The world is never quiet, even its silence eternally resounds with the same notes, in vibrations which escape our ears. As for those that we perceive, they carry sounds to us, occasionally a chord, never a melody.”
– Albert Camus
How Sound Healing Works
There are explanations for how sound healing works that are based upon scientific principles and those that are based upon ancient concepts from Eastern religions and medicine. Both are interesting. Which theory is more accurate isn’t really relevant. What matters is whether you receive benefits from practicing sound healing.
One of the ways sound healing is believed to work is through the unblocking of chakras in the body. In many cultures, it is believed that there are energy centers in the body called chakras. When these areas are blocked or dysfunctional, energy can no longer flow properly. Pain, disease, and various ailments can arise.
The traditional chakras include:
- Root Chakra
- Solar Plexus
- Crown Chakra
The chakras start at the base of the spine and move up to the head. Chakras are mentioned in Hindu tantra, Buddhist tantra, Qigong, and Silat.
“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.”
– Elton John
9 Ways to Experience Sound Healing
There are nearly an endless number of ways to experience sound healing. The use of recorded sounds is generally believed to be just as effective as the use of instruments. You could be driving your car during a sound healing session or lying on a mat. It’s really up to you to experiment and see what works for you and fits into your lifestyle.
Anything that creates a sound could be used for sound healing, but there are several commonly used devices and techniques.
Let’s take a look at them.
There are several commonly used methods for producing sound-healing sounds:
- Tibetan singing bowls. We’ve already mentioned these, but they’re worth mentioning again. These metal bowls were believed to be first used around 500 B.C. A mallet is used to strike the bowl and create a bell-like sound. The side of the mallet is also used to rub against the outside edge of the rim of the bowl.- Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Tibet to acquire your own singing bowl. There are many excellent options available online for purchase.– There are bowls of different sizes and constructions to create different frequencies.
- Harp. You probably don’t have a harp, but you could. The harp has a soothing tone that many people find pleasant and relaxing. A quality harp is about as expensive as a decent piano, but if your budget allows, go for it! A more feasible option for most of us is to make use of harp recordings.
- Drums. A good drumbeat is hypnotic. Notice how challenging it is to walk by a drum and not reach out and bang on it. It’s primal.- Fortunately, there are many affordable drum options and hitting a drum is fun. You can really feel the vibration of a drum traveling up your arm and through your body.
- Tuning forks. A tuning fork can produce a sound and also be used to apply vibration directly to a specific area of the body.
- Guitar. A well-played guitar is a beautiful thing to experience. There are benefits to both electric and acoustic guitars.
- Piano. The piano is a common instrument, and everyone knows the sound of a piano. There is some argument in the sound therapy community whether a digital piano is just as effective as an acoustic piano. However, a digital keyboard is always in tune, is easy to move around, and can be much less expensive.
- Flute. Like the harp or singing bowls, the flute has a soothing quality.
- Recordings. You don’t have to learn how to play the flute or the guitar to receive health benefits. Recordings of any instrument can be just as effective as the real thing.
– Even better, there are numerous free options available online for your listening pleasure.
– Of course, there are also options to purchase recordings specifically designed for sound healing purposes. It makes sense to try the free options first.- Good speakers or headphones can be helpful! If you’re going to spend some money, this would be a good place to spend it.
- Electronically generated tones. An instrument isn’t 100% necessary. Many sound healing practitioners believe strongly in the use of single frequencies, rather than music. A simple sound generator app or program can produce any tone you care to create.- Recordings are also available of the most commonly used frequencies.
Instruments, tuning forks, recordings and electronically generated tones are all viable options for creating sounds that can heal. You might be wondering about the human voice as an option. We’re going to discuss that next.
“I’ve had moments when I’ve thought about somebody, picked up the phone to call them and they are on the line already, and I think that maybe there’s some vibration, some connection.”
– Clint Eastwood
The Voice and Sound Healing
You don’t have to have an instrument or a recording to make noise. You can make use of your own voice! Your voice is capable of making a wide variety of sounds. More importantly, you can generate vibrations with your voice that can be felt in your body. This is considered by many to be the most effective form of sound healing.
See how you can use your voice to create healing:
- Chanting. Most people are familiar with the idea of chanting. The crowd often participates in chanting at a high school sporting event. And most of us are limited to such experiences with chanting. Consider these facts:
- Chanting provides the benefit of sound, but there’s also the benefit of the words being spoken.
- Any mantra can be used as a chant. You can create your own mantra or find one online that feels right to you.
- Chanting is believed to be more effective when done with others.
- Toning. Toning doesn’t use actual words, which can be helpful if you’re simultaneously playing an instrument. It’s not always easy to chant and play a drum at the same time.
- Toning maximizes the vibrations felt in the body. Here are a few examples and the parts of the body that are believed to be most affected by that particular sound:
- Eemm – eyes
- Kaa Gaa Gha – throat
- Wooo – kidneys
- Haa – diaphragm
- Eeeee – crown chakra
- Aaaayyyy – brow chakra
- Iiiiiii – throat chakra
- Ahhhh – heart chakra
- Ohhhhh – solar plexus chakra
- Ooooo – sacral chakra
- Uhhhhh – root chakra
- Note that the basic vowel sounds are more general in their application.
- Humming. Maybe you already hum to yourself. Have you ever wondered why you do it? It’s because it feels good! Try varying the volume and pitch and notice the effect it has. Rather than humming a song, try humming one long tone.
Singing and humming to yourself could be enhancing your health. The human voice can speak words that heal or harm. Choose healing! The sound of your voice has healing powers, too.
“Because I select my players from a feeling that comes to me when I am with them, a certain sympathy you might call it, or a vibration that exists between us that convinces me they are right.”
– Erich von Stroheim
How to Perform Sound Healing
While there are sound healing centers and experts you can utilize, there’s no reason you can’t do it by yourself at home. All you need are your body and the right sounds. Both are easy to come by.
Toning is a great way to use sound healing in your daily life. There’s nothing to buy and nowhere you need to go. Toning is easy to do, and many people feel it is one of the most effective ways to perform sound healing.
Use these steps to perform toning from the comfort of your home:
- Set aside the time. Give yourself at least 15 minutes and ensure that you won’t be disturbed.
- Have a list of toning sounds you wish to use. Exhaustive lists are available online. There’s not a lot of consensus, so you might have to do some experimenting to find the right sounds for you.
- Find a comfortable place to sit. Sitting is preferable to lying down while toning. Lying down allows the vibrations to more easily escape your body into the surface you’re lying on.
- Work through your tones one at a time. Take a deep breath and make the tone as you naturally exhale.
- Focus on the part of the body that you want to target. Try to feel the vibration spread to that part of your body.
Play around with your mouth position and find the most resonate way to make your tone. You’ll feel the vibration in your body increase when you hit the sweet spot.
Vary the pitch of your tone and experience the effect on the vibration.
Repeat each tone five to ten times.
Some believe that you should start at the bottom of your body and work your way up. Others believe it doesn’t make any difference.
- Focus on the part of the body that you want to target. Try to feel the vibration spread to that part of your body.
- End on a positive note. When you’ve completed your list of tones, take a few minutes to just relax or meditate. Notice how much better you feel physically and psychologically.
- Be confident. Doing something completely new can be a little unnerving and create self-doubt. If you’re feeling the vibrations, you’re doing it correctly. If you’re not, just keep trying. You’ll be surprised how easy it is once you’ve got it figured out.
Toning might seem a little odd. But it’s easy to do and can be accomplished on any budget!
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”
You can hum anytime you like, but it works better when you’re focused on what you’re doing. Doing other things while you hum can reduce the effectiveness of your humming.
Just as with toning, set aside time just for humming.
Follow a similar approach as you would for toning:
- Set aside the necessary time and take a comfortable seated position. While a seated position isn’t required, it can be preferable.
- Use your fingers to plug your ears. This isn’t required but give it a try. Try humming with and without your ears plugged. Do you notice a difference?
- Ear plugs are another option.
- Press your lips together and open your teeth slightly. You can also try keeping your teeth lightly together. Notice the differences and choose the style that feels best to you.
- Breathe in through your nose and hum as you exhale.
- Focus on maximizing the vibrations you feel. Vary your pitch and mouth position and see which combination creates the strongest vibrations.
- Remember to focus on the body part that you wish to address.
- If your reason for humming is more general, such as anxiety, focus on the part of the body where you feel the anxiety symptoms.
- Hum for at least three minutes. Three to five minutes seems to be the best duration for most people. Vary how long you hum and determine the best length of time for you.
Humming is one of the easiest ways to apply sound healing to your life. Humming is a skill you already possess, and it’s fun too. A few minutes of humming is easy to incorporate into your life.
“A dog’s heart chakra is always open; their aim in life is to please.”
– Annaleigh Ashford
Proponents believe that the brain slows down when it hears a repetitive drum sound. You’ve probably felt the hypnotic trance-like feeling that a drum can create in your consciousness. Fortunately, drums can be found quite inexpensively online and locally in many locations.
Check out a few drum-therapy videos on YouTube and determine which drumming sounds you like the best. Do some research and track down the type of drum you enjoy.
How should you drum? However you please!
Consider these suggestions to enhance your drumming experience:
- Vary the volume. Loud drumming can be quite stimulating. Softer drumming tends to be more soothing. Try both and everything in between.
- Experiment with different methods of striking the drum. Open hand? Fist? A stick? A mallet? A wooden spoon? It’s up to you.
- Try different drums. Different drums have different tones and will give you a different physical and emotional sensation.
- Vary the tempo. See how you feel when you drum faster and slower. How does each make you feel?
- Consider using more than one type of drum at a time. You probably have two hands. Even if you only have one hand, it can move back and forth between multiple drums. Use online videos for inspiration.
Drumming can be done comfortably for a longer period of time than most other types of sound healing. It can take a long time to get sick of the sound of a drum.
As always, remember to focus on your body while drumming.
“If you believe in chakras – head and heart – I think singing opens them up, like a wide open door.”
– Cynthia Erivo
Tuning forks are considered to be one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the relationship between vibration and sound. There’s no doubt that a tuning fork makes a distinct sound. If you’ve ever looked closely at one or touched one while it was making a sound, there’s no doubt it vibrates, too.
Tuning forks are unique in that they generate pure tones without any harmonics. Tuning forks were originally produced to create pure tones for musicians to use as a reference for tuning their instruments.
A tuning fork can be an interesting way to perform sound healing!
Use these ideas to see how a tuning fork might benefit you with sound healing:
- Tuning forks come in different frequencies. Tuning forks are quite inexpensive, so the average person can afford to own several. There are sets of tuning forks designed to be used for sound therapy purposes. A typical set commonly includes eight tuning forks:
- Root Chakra – Note of C – 256 Hz
- Sacral – D – 288 Hz
- Solar Plexus – E – 320 Hz
- Heart – F – 341.3
- Throat – G – 384 Hz
- 3rd Eye – A – 426.7 Hz
- Crown – B – 480 Hz
- Higher Octave of Root Chakra – C – 512 Hz
- Strike the tuning fork on something that won’t damage it. The best surfaces for striking your tuning fork are a block of hard rubber or wood that’s covered with a softer material, such as leather. Tuning forks often come with a rubber mallet for striking the fork.
- Try holding the tuning fork near different parts of your body. Not only can you hear the fork, but you can also feel the vibrations if you hold it close enough to your body.
- Experiment with holding the tuning fork directly on your body. The stem of the fork can be held directly on your body without significantly impacting the continuity of the vibrations.
- Try holding the fork against the part of your body that you want to target.
- Try holding it against a bone. How does it feel?
A complete set of tuning forks can be found for under $50. You’ll be the only person you know with a set of tuning forks!
Tuning forks have the potential to be one of the most beneficial ways of using sound healing because the vibratory nature of a tuning fork is so obvious.
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
– Albert Einstein
Recordings can be a highly effective method of administering sound healing, too. With a pair of earbuds or headphones, you can benefit from sound healing even if you can’t be alone. Imagine stretching out on the floor and just listening to the peaceful, healing sounds. It’s relaxing just to think about it.
Follow these steps to use recorded sounds as a source of healing:
- Determine the part of your body that you want to address. If you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or another negative emotion, where do you feel it in your body?
- If you’re suffering from physical pain, you can certainly locate that.
- Get comfortable. Make yourself comfortable. Just be certain that you can stay awake!
- Focus on the relevant part of your body while you listen. Try to feel that part of your body being affected by the sound. Having big speakers can help, especially if you position yourself in front of them.
There are thousands of recordings on YouTube and other websites. Search until you find something that appeals to you. You might have to experiment until you find the right recording for your purposes.
This is a great way to check out how your body and emotions respond to different instruments and tones.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
– Billy Joel
Sound can be used to alleviate certain physical and emotional ailments. Many of the benefits of sound healing are supported by scientific research. There are bound to be even more benefits yet to be discovered.
There are many ways to generate the sounds needed for sound healing.
- The voice
- Various instruments
- Tuning forks
- Electronically generated tones
- Recordings of any of the above
Many believe the vibrations of certain sounds affect the vibrations of different parts of the body in positive ways. The reason why sound healing works isn’t as important as the fact that it does work.
Those that wish to participate in sound healing in a group setting can seek out similar-minded people. There are businesses, informal groups, and sound healing experts available for group work. Sound healing can be a great bonding experience.
Give sound healing a chance. You might find the relief you’ve been searching for!