They say “sound” is the vocabulary of nature. Whether it’s hearing wind in the trees, rustling leaves, sea waves crashing on the beach, water lapping the shore side, or falling rain, natural sounds consciously or subconsciously help us relax. More than we realize, they’re a part of our daily lives.
We are greatly affected by natural sounds around us. Over the years, numerous researches and studies have shown how sound vibrations and human emotions are deeply interlinked. They aid in the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in our bodies. Lately, “sound bathing” has gained popularity as a form of passive meditation where instruments like gongs, drums, singing bowls, and others are played, at different frequency levels to put the mind into a deeply relaxed state.
Sound healing is based on the idea of shifting frequencies. Practitioners believe that during a session, sound vibrations entering the human body stimulate the brain pathway in a way that low energy associated with emotions such as grief, fear, or anxiety transforms into high vibration energy of love and joy. Those suffering from constant stress, anxiety, migraines, and in some cases depression and insomnia, can benefit from this method of therapy.
Unique forms of sound healing techniques have been developed primarily based on the instrument in use – the gong, tuning fork, and singing bowl. Depending on their level of expertise, some sound healing practitioners may begin their session with a chakra reading to identify problems unique to you. “Chakra” in Sanskrit means a wheel, as per the Hindu tradition. The seven main chakras present in the body represent the energy centers within them. For a healthy life, all the chakras should be open and in balance with each other. It’s when they are blocked, that we experience physical and emotional discomforts. One of the simple ways recommended to unblock the Chakras is by chanting “OM” (AUM), which is also a form of sound healing. When done properly the sound of OM helps calm the nervous system and relax the body as it creates a frequency of 432 Hz, which is similar to the one found in most things natural.
Gong is a disc-like percussion instrument made of metal with a turned-down rim. When struck with a mallet, it produces low-frequency sound waves. When these sound waves pass through the body, they help stimulate the red blood cells and the limbic system enabling the body to enter a deeply restorative state.
Sound waves and vibrations produced by singing bowls are said to have a profound positive effect on us. These vibrations help the listener move into different brainwave states (from beta to alpha). The mind moves from an active external attention state to a relaxed passive attention state which helps it slow down and stops racing thoughts. This brings the mind back to its natural resonant vibrational state of being, one which is aligned with nature.
There are two types of signing bowl- one made of metal and the other of Crystal. Metal singing bowls, also known as Tibetan or Himalayan bowls. are made of five to seven precious metals like silver, gold, tin, lead, iron mercury, and copper representing different planets.
Crystal bowls are mostly pure crystal (99.8% silicon quartz) and sand. Quartz has physical properties that help transform and transfer energy, which is why they are used in various equipment like microphones, computers, and laser tools. The human body is supposed to have a natural affinity to quartz; at a molecular level, cells in the human body contain Silica which helps balance electromagnetic energies.
This sound healing tool comes in two variations — weighted and non-weighted. Weighted ones are used for healing physical complications, while the non-weighted ones are used for relaxing the mind. During a session, the professional calibrates the fork to the required vibration and then places it on different body parts to ease pain or release stress. This therapy works much like acupuncture.
Sound healing therapy may sound new to many but it’s an age-old practice. The experiences may be subjective and require regular use to truly experience the benefits. However, done properly it can achieve its purpose: synchronizing the brain waves to relax the nervous system and consequently calm the mind.