You’d be forgiven for believing that a bit of peace and quiet goes a long way when it comes to wellness, so it may come as a surprise to learn that sound healing – the practice of combining numerous ancient instruments such as gongs, crystals and Himalayan singing bowls to create a meditative journey of sound and vibration – is rapidly becoming the new way to unwind. “It’s a very easy therapy for people to experience and relax to, as it requires the receiver to simply lie down on a yoga mat with their eyes closed, while the practitioner plays the different instruments for around one hour at a time,” explains Harriet Emily, gong master at Yogi2Me (yogi2me.com).
How it works
“In order to receive the relaxing and healing benefits of these sounds, the practitioner uses instruments set to certain frequencies,” she says. “The instruments are also played in specific beats and rhythms, which help alter your brainwaves, so that you’re able to naturally enter a trance-like, meditative state. There are multiple ways to receive sound healing, but the most popular way to experience it is by attending a group sound bath session, which you can find offered at most yoga studios throughout the country.”
What are the benefits?
“One of the advantages of this practice is that it allows people to unwind and relax in a completely passive way – the sounds really do all of the work for you,” Harriet tells us. “As the gongs begin to play in the room, it’s common for people to quickly drift into a meditative state as soon as they close their eyes, making it a very accessible way to relax, which is why it’s becoming such a popular wellness experience. People are looking for a quick fix, and sound healing definitely offers this, while also providing long lasting benefits.” These include aiding stress-related disorders, improving immunity and balancing the nervous system.
“Outside of the studio, there are also thousands of sound healing recordings online which you can listen to anytime, anywhere,” Harriet adds. “These sounds make a great top up to keep your mind at peace throughout the day, but I definitely recommend using them in combination with physical sound baths – as when you attend a live sound healing, you receive the benefit of feeling the vibrations of the instruments being played in the room with you.”
Try this: Taoist healing sounds
If you don’t live nearby a sound healing class nor own a Tibetan singing bowl, don’t try to raid your kitchen and substitute in a pan or a wok – this definitely will not suffice! Instead, create your own noise. Taoist monk and meditation teacher David James Lees (wuweiwisdom.com) explains a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses different vocal sounds to stimulate healing in different parts of the body. “These sounds help to move internal qi energy blockages and rebalance wellbeing,” he says. “Focus on the sound related to the emotion you want to shift and rebalance.”