As healing modalities go, Sound Healing isn’t one of those things that jumps to the top of the mind for most people. It’s a bit obscure and unclear as to what it is and what a person gains by pursuing a session of “Sound” other than to step into the great unknown.
While there can be some variations to the approach based on the practitioner, there is four primary activities you will encounter. Keep in mind that labels are tweaked for a variety of reasons but what you are looking for as a consumer is the activity itself despite whatever the label variations might be. Most practitioners will use some form of these labels.
Sound Bath: This generally includes a meditation. The concept is that you are “bathed” in sound. It is done as a group and group size can vary. During a Sound Bath, the bowls are struck continuously while people meditate either laying down or in a sitting position. The vibrational sounds emitted enhance and deepen the meditation experience. The sound tools used can include crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, drums, and gongs but not necessarily all of those. The tools used are dependent on the person holding the Sound Bath. Some practitioners will provide a guided meditation while others will simply do an introduction to the event and say a few words to begin and allow meditation to proceed in silence. Length of time may vary slightly but most tend to be about an hour. The benefits of a Sound Bath are that the sound will create an extremely relaxing environment to meditate in and give you something to focus on at the same time. Additional benefits can be numerous including transcending but minimally a person can expect stress reduction and relaxation.
Sound Therapy: This is an individual, private one-on-one session with a practitioner. In the truer sense of this term, there should be an intake interview where the emotional and physical state of being is ascertained prior to treatment along with any goals, needs or expectations a client might have. Together, the client and practitioner agree on a course of action and a goal for Sound Therapy which will be accomplished over a period of time along with milestones along the way. Treatment deploys specific sound frequencies to address the goal along with very light psychotherapy in combination. Sound treatment is administered fully clothed on a massage table with Tibetan singing bowls applied to the body or near the body and struck to induce relaxation and specific change in the mind, body and energetic field. Session length varies depending on a number of variables but is usually 1.5-2 hours in length. A client can expect short term benefits of stress reduction, pain reduction, relaxation, heart rate reduction, blood pressure reduction, serotonin, oxytocin, and potentially sleep improvement. Long term benefits will be determined by intake goals.
Sound Massage/Healing: Many times, the term Sound Therapy gets blended into this as well but hopefully breaking it out this way will make you a good consumer and understand that Sound Therapy is very different as noted previously. Sound Massage or Sound Healing has become a very broad term and within it, can also include simply listening to recorded vibrational sounds. That is being broke out separately because there is a very big difference.
Sound Massage/Healing is done as an individual, private one-on-one session with a practitioner and the goal is to address whatever is taking place for the client at that day or time. The session is done fully clothed on a massage table with sound tools used on or near the body. The tools used can vary based on the practitioner as well as session length. Benefits can include stress reduction, relaxation, heart rate reduction, blood pressure reduction, pain relief, and potentially improved sleep.
Recorded Sound Healing: There is an important distinction because recorded sound healing and in-person healing sessions. There is also an abundance of sound healing frequencies and very little cross reference or credible labeling about the healing effects of the Hz. For sake of this article, the definitions will be made, and another article provided to help sort out Hz/healing. The main difference between recorded sound healing and in-person healing is that with in-person the practitioner is able to make contact with a person’s energy field and body with both sound and vibration. Recorded sound is primarily an auditory experience and may not result in all of the benefits an in-person experience can provide. That said, many people can and do report all of the same healing effects along with the control and convenience of the recording. There may be other things like intuitive or energetic readings that occur with an in-person session that would also be missing with a recording along with the personal touch that many people prize with energy work.
Sound Healing has an ancient tradition and is identified all over the globe for centuries to help usher in a state of wellness and harmony in the body, mind and soul. Now, studied by science, we now know what the ancients knew that sound energy can free us from pain, drive stress from our body, make our heart perform well and have our body naturally emit its own chemicals to feel joy and heal. It doesn’t get any better than that.
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