What is Sound Therapy?
If this is a question that you’ve been thinking about recently then you are not alone – We’ve been in the exact same boat. We have a natural curiosity for alternative healing methods and sound therapy just has that ring to it, a ring that peaks your inquisitiveness and makes you want to adventure further into the subject. So, for your peace of mind (and ours), we got speaking to people that could tell us exactly what sound therapy is and have compiled all of their words of wisdom into this article for your reading pleasure.
Everything That You Need To Know About Sound Therapy
These helpful pieces of information come from a composer with a passion for sound and music…
What Does Sound Therapy Mean?
Sound therapy is utilizing music, sound and vibration as a vehicle to move our bodies, minds and spirits into a more relaxed and less stressful state. Once our bodies are in this state (Parasympathetic state) we may experience cardiovascular benefits, more energy, better sleep and a host of other health benefits. Many people utilize instruments such as crystal bowls, tuning forks, native American drums or the human voice, but using relaxing music can be just as powerful.
How does sound therapy work?
Research has shown that music composed between 60-80 Beats per minute can be used effectively for relaxation, meditation and sleeping challenges. Think of your heart as the drum that sends out the tempo to the rest of your body. When we utilize music at these slower tempos, the internal clock of your heart, has the ability to synchronize with the external beat of the music. This is called entrainment. When you entrain to these slower tempos your heart is producing smooth orderly rhythms and your body has the ability to move to more coherent and optimal states.
How is it practised?
There are numerous studies that document the benefit of using music as sound therapy and a host of benefits and objective findings that include improved immune function, diminished pre and post-operative pain, lessened nausea in chemotherapy patients, and improved behaviours in Alzheimer’s patients. In addition, relaxing music can be used to improve sleeping challenges.
Contributor: Barry Goldstein
Organisation: Barry Goldstein Music
Sound Therapy for Emotions
This helpful piece of information comes from someone that believes sound therapy can help psychological and physical illnesses…
Noises are closely linked to emotions, feelings, and mental states. Think of hearing a loud noise, a baby crying, or a loud siren and the feelings that you have immediately afterwards. Sound can cause physiological changes to us, it is natural and evolutionary. The same effect sound has on us negatively can be used to better our mental states as well. There are ample examples of noises that calm people down, but they are difficult to recognize because they do not exhibit as extreme of a response as negative noises. Sound therapy plays calming sounds to people who have anxiety, stress, and depression and over time these sounds help to alleviate some of the negative symptoms of their possibly debilitating disorders.
Contributor: Jamie Bacharach
Organisation: Acupuncture Jerusalem
The Importance of Sound Therapy
This next piece of information comes from someone that believes sound therapy is something that should have much more attention paid to it as it has the ability to heal…
The clinical relevance of sound is very much under appreciated today, just like many other environmental influences such as light and air.
To give some examples: air pollution can dramatically affect your overall health, and breathing in clean forest or mountain air has the opposite effect. Getting some sunlight exposure throughout the day can boost your health – because of vitamin D’s benefits, among others. Sleeping in a bedroom that has lots of bright light has the contrary effect again.
Sound is similar. Noise pollution can cause a chronic low-level stress on your body. With noise pollution you’ll have higher arousal levels, create more stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and your brain won’t perform as well as it could. Sound therapy has the opposite effect.
Simply put, sound therapy uses sound in such a way that it has healing benefits. The simplest way to imagine that benefit is to imagine you listening to your favourite song. If you really like listening to a certain artist, you’ll become more relaxed and achieve greater peace of mind.
Sound therapy often uses specific instruments to affect the human body, such as singing bowls, tuning forks, and gongs. The principle of that methodology is somewhat similar as music though: you a certain pitch or sound, you’ll get in a trance state which is really relaxed and which may help you deal with certain emotions, or to de-stress.
While rudimentary, science even suggests that playing an instrument at a certain pitch may change your brainwaves in a similar way that it’s activated during meditation. Unfortunately, much more science is needed on this topic–but the mechanism of sound therapy is very plausible because tens of thousands of studies on noise pollution already show that sound has a profound effect on the human body.
Contributor: Bart Wolbers
Organisation: Alex Fergus