What about having a massage with sound? How does it feel to get soaked in the shower of pleasant notes and tones? We get attracted by the sound of raindrops, cascading waterfalls, crashing waves or the ripples of rivulets. It isn’t strange that the song you like gives an instant feel-good experience.
Music and resonance have deep and lasting impact on our mental and spiritual wellbeing. We just need to get the right ambience and perfect settings of tones and vibrations to tap the healing power of sound.
Since quite some time, people are opting for soothing sounds of wind chimes, artificial desktop waterfalls and the like to lift their mood and spirits. Healing with sound has a deep-rooted history which is gradually reemerging supported by scientific studies.
Time to rediscover the healing power of sound:
Let us look back to the post World War II scenario when music therapy was clinically adopted to heal soldiers from post-traumatic test disorder (PTSD). Since then, it has been widely applied in different clinical settings and rehabilitation centers to help clients improve their overall physiological and psychological performance.
Healing with sound (alternatively known as vibration medicine) is not restricted to music therapy alone. It takes into consideration myriad resonant notes and vibrations channelizing them properly all throughout our physical and mental entity. It may employ human voice as well. Chanting of hymns and mantras in a specific bass has also a significant influence on healing.
This unique treatment modality has been existent since thousands of years. Ancient therapies with Tibetan Singing bowls, sonorous bells, forks or gongs are emerging in new forms. These typical sound-generating objects seem to create a magical wave helping in alleviating anxiety, tension, sleep disorder, high blood pressure etc.
Healing with sound – does it have any scientific ground?
Science and acoustic studies delve into establishing the cause-effect relationship in this long-standing observation.
- An NIH study states that sound waves can be felt through our skin. Water, a prime constituent of our body conducts sound at a much faster rate than sound.
- Studies have established that most effective music therapies are based on resonance and brain entrainment principles.
- Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT) alleviates stress and helps in pain management. It recognizes the effect of external vibrations on our physiological functions.
- The leading oncologist, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, Director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Strang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York and the author of the book “The Healing Power of the Sound”, is a pioneer in incorporating new strategies of sound healing in preventing and treating cancer applying ancient “Tibetan Singing Bowl” method.
Entrainment of the brain – basis of healing with sound:
Different parts of our body have different resonance frequencies all working harmoniously when we are in an absolutely perfect state. Ailments arise out of disharmonious functions of our body.
Imbalance sets in when any part of the body goes out of tune and thus the consequent suffering and ailments. Sound therapy delivered by resonating bowls, bells, tuning forks or any other objects produce vibrations can be felt to the core of ourselves.
Much of the scientific basis of healing with sound can be attributed to the works of a biophysicist Gerald Oster in the early 1970s. If two different tones slightly varying from each other are played in the two ears, the difference in the tone creates a third internal tone in the brain known as the binaural beat. This helps in synchronization of the brain waves in both the hemispheres, a process termed as brain-entrainment.
Shifting of brain waves through different stages:
A sequential shift in brain waves occurs with the rhythm and frequency of sound vibration as follows:
Normal waking conscious state (beta) -> relaxed consciousness state (alpha) -> meditative state (theta) -> sleep state (delta) that fosters internal healing
It has some resemblance to deep-breath meditation but instead of breathing it is the vibration frequency that leads to the shift in brainwaves. In most of the therapeutic applications, the person is required to lie down in a relaxed position with heightened attention to sound perception.
He receives the sound vibrations of varied tones and frequencies generated by the therapist from specific sonorous objects amidst a calm ambience. This may be accompanied by specific hand-to-body contact actions.
Sound vibration facilitates releasing energy blockage:
Sound vibrations generated by specially designed instruments subtly massage the body penetrating deeper into our soul and mind helping in easing of stress and pain. Ancient Chinese medicine considers our physical entity an energetic body holding our force of life, which is referred to as Prana (life) or Qi, Chi.
It is the natural flow of energy through countless energy meridians in our body that drives us in performing various functions. Any obstacle in the energy flow through the meridians leads to diseases and sufferings. Sound vibrations help in releasing the energy blockages, which is very effective in pain management.
Sound therapy – innovations in modern wellness:
When the global population is immersed in stressful situations, vibrational acoustics can help in restoring the perfect mind and body harmony. Visiting an experienced practitioner can be greatly helpful but modern age believes in consumer empowerment where consumers can maneuver their wellbeing through various sound and resonance therapies.
Advancements in Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy have led to the creation of innovative products which can be installed at home, spas and resorts, hospitals and clinics and even in corporate workplaces.
Specially designed loungers, mattresses, platforms, chairs or treatment tables embedded with high-end audio systems generate the specific tone enabling you a deep mind-body relaxation. As the sound and music combo from acoustic resonators reach your ears, you get immersed in a soft sound massage that eases your stress.
Not a medical requirement but a vital add-on to wellness:
The wellness industry is abuzz with modernized forms of sound therapies. People are aware of the dangers of stress and are therefore inclined to explore the preventive therapies to enhance their wellness and productivity.
People are readily accepting this holistic approach because it is non-invasive and does not compulsorily demand body movements. You can get it anywhere according to your preference. Just by lying on a well-cushioned lounger or ergonomically-designed chair keeping your ears open, you can get that fresh dose of rejuvenation.