At some point in our lives we have all been moved, in one way or another, by sound or music. Those songs that just get you. The sounds or songs that touch you in ways you can’t explain. Sounds, melodies and harmonies have tremendous power to make us feel, to evoke all sorts of emotions and memories within us. And many times, this experience is healing.
Sound carries so much power that we may not be aware of how deeply we are actually being affected, we may not even realize the impact that the vibration is having on the very fiber of our being, or the powerful physical changes sound affects within our body. On the deepest level, that vibration impacts our vibration, which explains why healing with sound therapy is such an effective remedy.
Music has touched the human soul across all boundaries of time, space, and genre…Perhaps, in its vibratory nature, music opens us to a greater appreciation of our essential connectedness to the cosmos, our oneness with all that is.Balfour M Mount
The Healing Roots of Sound
The history of sound healing goes back to ancient cultures and civilizations. Percussion instruments date back to prehistoric times. Ancient Africans used drums to communicate and send signals. For thousands of years, the indigenous Aboriginal culture in parts of Australia have been using the yidaki (modernly known as the didgeridoo), an instrument made of hollowed eucalyptus trunks, to produce ceremonial sound vibration.
Ancient Egyptian cultures used rattles, drums and vowel sound chants in their rituals. Acoustic resonance was purposely built into architecture. Tibetan monks use vowel sound chants, gongs, singing bowls, tampuras, and monochords during meditation.
The frequencies of each of these sounds, many of which are drone tones, bring about actual physiological changes, positive energy shifts in the body and create states of consciousness conducive to well being and accelerated healing.
At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the place of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. We know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. Before we make music, music makes us.Joachim-Ernst Berendt
What is Sound Therapy?
Sound therapy almost disappeared in the west, but fortunately re-emerged in the 1930’s when researchers discovered its use for ultrasound, since then sound therapy has since received the attention of much more research and over the years has developed into a science. We are now aware of the therapeutic benefits that different sound frequencies have when applied to the mind and body.
Although our body is a self healing instrument that strives for natural and holistic balance, like many instruments it requires proper tuning and at times needs some adjusting to bring it back into its harmonious nature. Healing with sound therapy, a holistic therapy using sound vibration to solve imbalance in our mental, emotional and physical being has proven to be a highly effective method.
Just as certain selections of music will nourish the physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind.Hal A. Lingerman
Studies demonstrate that sound therapy can lower heart rate and blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, boost immune system, and increase endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers – benefits of induced alpha and theta brainwaves.
How it Works
Everything is energy and everything in the universe carries vibrations. Sound is the basis for form and shape. All matter emits sound, much of which is beyond our sense of physical hearing. Within our body this spreads across our entire being from cells to organs to thoughts to emotions and so on, each within energy points or chakras, each carrying its own resonant frequency.
Our body is a harmonious electromagnetic field when all these components are functioning unison.
But when an imbalance occurs, when something in our body falls out of tune, it will affect us on a whole causing dis-ease. Sound therapy allows our body to absorb healing sounds and vibrations that it needs to bring the imbalance to the same frequency as the rest of the harmony residing in our body, allowing it to heal naturally.
The term for this moment of healing is sympathetic resonance – when one vibrating object causes another to match its rate of vibration (resonance) and vibrate in harmony with it.
Self healing is possible with application of the correct sound toward ourselves, and can be applied toward others to help with their healing as well. Positive sounds from outside our body will stimulate sympathetic vibration in the molecules and cells of our body. In this way we can restore the afflicted parts to their healthy resonance and vibrational frequency.
You can look at disease as a form of disharmony. And there’s no organ system in the body that’s not affected by sound and music and vibration.Mitchell Gaynor
Countless Evidence Supports It
There is countless evidence in support of sound therapy, too much to site here but for starters, let’s look at the science of Cymatics (the study of wave phenomena). Scientist, Dr. Hans Jenny performed experiments that showed by placing different types of matter such as iron filings, sand, fine powders and liquids on a flat metal piece and vibrating them with soundwaves, the matter attracting to the areas where the sound was most dense, arranging itself into patterns.
WARNING: This documentation of those patterns might blow your mind…at least it did mine.
So, when that’s how these types of matter respond to sound frequencies, just imagine the physical changes that can be created within our human body, a living organism made up of all sorts of matter!
Dr. Masaru Emoto is well known for his work with the energy of water, played out in several different experiments. One such experiment was conducted by placing distilled water between two speakers playing a piece of music at normal volume, and then freezing the water. He discovered that the crystals formed differently depending on the type of music played.
Classical, folk, healing music and Tibetan mantras formed beautifully shaped crystals with slight color variations. Square shaped crystals were formed by Japanese pop, rather than the usual hexagonal shapes. And the crystals formed by heavy metal looked like they had exploded into a thousand pieces. Nice visual documentation here:
A few other studies resulting in physical changes of cancer cells and the molecular structure of human blood worth reading about can be found here, if you are interested.
Preceding the role intention has in sound healing, I would like to point out an incident in which monks of a monastery in France, who normally performed Gregorian chants for an average of six to eight hours a day, were stopped by a new abbot with the thought that the time could be used for other productive things.
As days passed, the monks became more sluggish. In an attempt to solve the issue, over the next several months the monks made dietary changes and adjustments in sleep patterns at the request of various visiting doctors. Yet the monks were more tired than ever.
At this point, Dr. Alfred Tomatis (an ear, nose and throat specialist) visited and after examination of the monks’ cells noticed that there was a slump in 70 of the 90 monks’ cells, which he described to be like wet dishrags. Chanting was reintroduced and shortly after, the monks re-gained their energy to return to their normal activities. It appeared that the chanting was energizing the monks on a subconscious level they weren’t even aware of.
Sound + Intention = Healing
On it’s own, sound is a highly effective tool, and even more magical healing takes place by combining sound with intention. The combination of the two allows us to raise our frequency by increasing the rate of vibration at the cellular level, greatly intensifying the chances of a successful outcome. I believe this is evident in the case of the Gregorian chants, the intention behind them adds tremendous power.
When the body has taken on a state of illness it’s prime time for the subconscious mind to start delivering fear based thoughts and self limiting beliefs based on programs downloaded into the brain from long ago. At the same time the conscious mind may be trying to create a positive outcome. The result is a state of internal conflict and negative intention and energy blockages that stunt success. So, what does this have to do with sound therapy?
Just as we’ve seen the visual proof of the physical patterns of matter created through sound and vibration, when our conscious and subconscious minds are aligned we dissolve negative patterns and emotions which have manifested as physical illness in the body, and actively engage our intention, manifesting well being.
Sound therapy and vibrational healing are able to clear these blockages and help us to open ourselves up to creating more intentional patterns. Even if there are no current blockages that need clearing, positive sound can dissolve crystallizations of potentially harmful energy long before they reach the physical body. Our health, quality of life and overall being are transformed.
Sound + Intention = Healing
Music as a Remedy
Many pregnant women experience steadied heart rates and less kicking from babies while in the womb while playing classical music. When rock music is played babies go on an intense kicking spree (I’d like to think that maybe they’re rockin out). So if you want to mellow the baby in your belly out, try some relaxing and soothing tones.
The human body, with innate intelligence, tends to match the frequency of music being played. Which is why healing music usually with a slower tempo, slows our heart rate and breathing. Slower music has the ability to change brainwave patterns to an alpha state which has a calming effect on our nervous system and assists our metabolism.
The limbic system, the nerve center of the brain that affects our emotions, is influenced by pitch and rhythm. Experiencing the positive feelings invoked by music triggers a release of hormones that promote wellness, and can slow the disease process.
Music has a positive effect on patients during medical and dental procedures performed with localized anesthesia. The general consensus is that it really helps patients relax and calms their nerves during procedures, and also helps to heal faster after surgery.
A person does not hear sound only through his ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.Hazrat Inayat Khan
Sound Therapy Can Do the Following for You:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Promote deep relaxation and meditation
- Lower blood pressure
- Relieve and manage pain
- Expand creativity, intuition and consciousness
- Improve memory and concentration
- Cleanse and balance Chakras
- Raise vibration and unlock potential
Music is a therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient.Yehudi Menuhin
Perhaps one of the most simplified ways to comprehend the effects of vibration is to visually see an opera singer vibrate a glass until it eventually shatters. This is classic proof of matching the frequency of the voice (sound) to the resonant frequency of the matter (glass), and literally shattering the matter with intense volume of sound, so intense that the force becomes too great for the glass to contain.
Sound waves are used to break up gallstones and kidney stones based on the principle that the resonance of the sound waves used are too great for the forces that are holding the stones together, therefore it has the ability to break up the matter.
Where to Find Sound Therapy
You can seek sound therapy from individuals trained in the practice, many of whom use it in sessions in conjunction with things like massage. However many people experience great results by way of self treatment with audios. I have personally experienced tremendous benefits with the use of sound healing audios. Sounds for Self Treatment offers an effective selection of audios embedded with the correct frequencies for specific ailments or purposes.
They also give you introductory access to different audios for free. It’s a great way to test drive the audios, as well as one of the audios is often recommended to use in conjunction with audios that suit the individual, for an enhanced experience and effect, so it gets plenty of good use.
Find out how others have benefited and healed using this therapy (testimonials here).
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Another wonderful program worth looking into is REST Therapy, which includes music encoded with binaural beats, guided meditations, and an audio-visual program using neuroaesthetic visuals to accelerate and sustain a relaxed state.
Yes, I want to find out about REST Therapy!
I leave you with one more cool video of an fascinating water and sound experiment..
Music creates a bridge for people to move out of thinking and into presence.Eckhart Tolle
Do you use sound therapy? What has been your experience and how have you benefited? Share in the comments!