Maybe lately you've seen crystal or Tibetan singing bowls in some of your favorite Instagram feeds and found yourself wondering how they work.
Maybe you have even used "sleep sounds" to play in the background while you fall asleep.
Or you could have recently learned that your favorite musician has been hiding healing vibrations in their music out of the kindness of their heart, and your interest peaked.
Whatever led you here, I'm glad you've arrived because you're about to gain access to one of the most tactical, and affordable, methods of healing that exists.
what is it?
Sound healing, also commonly referred to as sound therapy, is a modality that helps the human body get into alignment by emitting attuning vibrations into whatever the present energy is. So fun fact: there is actual science behind "creating a vibe" and it is not as much of a new commodity as most people think. Communities all over the world have been using sound therapy for centuries to restore congruence to the body on a holistically energetic level.
how does it heal?
This practice promotes healing by tapping into the ever-present vibrations that exist around us at all times and connect us to all things. While this seems a little woo-woo, on a basic level it's important to remember that we are electrical beings and therefore energy informs how we navigate the world.
Through the use of a process called entrainment, our brainwaves become synchronized with a particular rhythm which allows us to heal at a deeper level depending on which brainwaves are activated in a specific sound. Our brainwave frequencies include: gamma (when we're most perceptive at 32–100 Hz), beta (when we're at our basic level of consciousness at 13–32 Hz), alpha (when we're most relaxed at 8–13 Hz), theta (when we're most curious, creative, and insightful at 4–8 Hz), and delta (when we're sleeping/lack awareness at 0.5–4 Hz).
Research suggests that sound healing has the power to reduce stress levels, increase relaxation, and help restore healthy levels of sleep. It has also been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, minimize impulsive moods, and even prevent dementia. By feeding off of the frequencies that we are already operating from, sound healing is able to gently guide us to a state that better serves us.
(photo by: thghtsnctry on Instagram)
what types of sound healing are there?
While there are likely hundreds of types of sound healing and thousands of ways to incorporate them, we will stick with five of the more popular styles and allow you to follow your curiosity from there.
• Binaural beats: A specific type of rhythm that includes sounds similar to throbs, used repetitively, send messages to the brain that communicate to our waves to get in formation. So basically, these are the Beyoncé of sound healing.
• Solfeggio frequencies: These sounds are composed of six frequencies that are individually correlated with spiritual messaging, thus a scale is formed by which music is made, the music played then creates room in the brain's neural pathways to receive the messages.
• Singing bowls: By creating sounds with bowls (made of metal or crystal), vibrations are emitted that synchronize with the brainwaves in need of attunement with the rest of the energetic body.
• Tuning forks: Feeding off of the metal fork's (pictured above) vibration, the immediate energy surrounding matches that vibration, followed by placing the fork on specific body parts in need of healing within a particular wavelength of the brain.
• Chanting: Most often associated with Buddhism and/or meditation practices, chanting is the process of utilizing a sacred word or mantra to create a specific sound vibration that brings forth energetic balance with the self and others if practiced in community.
how can I get into it?
There are several different ways to engage in sound therapy, and like I mentioned initially, it is one of the most easily accessible modalities the wellness world has to offer.
From the #soundhealing hashtag on social media outlets to gather some new favorite singing bowl vibes, to youtube videos to help you fall asleep with binaural beats, to solfeggio sounds that help align the chakras, to guided meditations that include chanting, and eventually even to spaces that teach you how to tangibly practice, there is something for everyone and a way for each of us to engage with our healing in a natural and conveniently relaxing way.
Now that you have the basics, you can find ways to implement sound healing into your self-care routine and strengthen your alignment.
Ready. Set. OM!
photo by: @soundbathworld on Instagram