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Sound Healing 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Practice

I became interested in sound healing after attending a yoga class in which the instructor played a set of “singing bowls” during Savasana. Because of the singing bowls, time stopped, and nothing existed except the sounds in the room. I felt the vibrations through my whole body, and I left feeling restored and uplifted.

After some research, I learned that what I experienced was called sound healing. It’s the idea that your mind and body operate at certain vibrations, and those vibrations can be manipulated with the help of sound waves.

Since our bodies are composed of about 60 percent water, they make fantastic conductors for the vibrations of sound waves. (Think: a pebble thrown into a still pond.)

The Science Behind Sound Healing

Sound healing is based on resonance, which is when matter is affected by external vibrations . . . aka sound waves. You can really feel this resonance at a concert or in a club when the bass is loud and you feel the vibrations in your body.

Your mind and body operate at certain vibrations, and those vibrations can be manipulated with the help of sound waves.

With sound healing, the principle of resonance is used to harmonize cells, and can potentially re-tune them to their baseline vibrational frequency.

How Sound Healing Helps Your Brain and Body

The general idea of sound healing is that your organs, tissues, and cells each emit a certain frequency. For example, the human brain produces a range of vibrational frequencies that change in different mind states, like relaxation, stress, love, etc.
Sound is one way to facilitate shifts in our brain state by using entrainment, or providing a steady sound frequency our brainwaves can “tune” to. By using rhythm and frequency in sound healing, we can entrain our brainwaves to “down-shift” our normal waking consciousness to relaxation or even sleep.
Sound healing goes beyond brainwaves to heal other parts of the body as well! A preliminary study conducted by the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) measured the effects of sound healing on the autonomous nervous system (ANS). This study suggests that sound healing has a deeply calming effect on stressed-out clients.
Sound healing can help with a variety of ailments including:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress management
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Pain management

Another study conducted by BAST found that 95% of clients suffering from stress-related disorders felt an increased state of calm following treatment.


Methods of Sound Healing and Where to Find It

There are many ways to experience sound healing. Sound healing is often offered at yoga studios or other holistic wellness centers as either regular classes or special events. You could also search social apps, such as MeetUp, to find sound healing groups in your area. If nothing else, a quick Google search will open up the world of possibilities for sound healing in your area!
When you arrive at a sound healing session, you may notice any of the following instruments around the room. These are the most traditional and popular methods of sound healing:
Voice: One of the most powerful and effective sound therapy instruments. A low pitch hum, like AUM, is an excellent way to unwind, or you can energize your mind by using chants (like in kirtan).
Gongs: The gong is one of the most ancient of the metal instruments in sound healing. It may help with pain in the body, release muscle tension and encourage mental, emotional and physical flexibility.
Himalayan or Crystal Singing Bowls: The Himalayan singing bowl also originated in the East, but is not as old as the gong. Crystal singing bowls are one of the newest instruments used in sound healing and are approximately 30 years old. A mix of the two is perfect for working with mental and emotional well-being.
Drums: Drum rhythms can alter brainwave frequencies and enable people to go into very relaxed trance-like states. You may have heard of or been to a drum circle before, and now we know that they are actually good for you!

How You Can Incorporate Sound Healing Into Your Life

Sound healing can benefit your brain, emotions, and physical body. Working with the concept of resonance, various instruments utilize different frequencies and can entrain the brain and body to regulate the vibrations inside you. Studies have shown that sound healing can be beneficial to all stress-related conditions and relaxing to the body.
So, how do you get started? There are several ways to experience sound healing for yourself, and you don’t even have to attend a yoga class!
If you would like to try sound healing on your own, but don’t have a singing bowl or other instruments, try incorporating chanting into your meditations or attend a kirtan session. You could also try listening to singing bowls through youtube videos while you meditate.
Have you experienced sound healing? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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Chanting and Kirtan: Everything You Need to Know (Plus a Few Chants to Try!)
Chanting and kirtan are two practices we see in yoga, but what is kirtan? Why do we chant in yoga? Learn the answer to these questions and more here.
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Teresa Adele

Teresa is a 200hr RYT, writer, and a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. As a teacher and coach, she focuses on self-love, body positivity, and embracing challenges. She loves writing about the science behind holistic healing modalities, creative sequencing, and making whole-body wellness more accessible for everybody.

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