Sound Therapy: What Is It and What Does It Do?

Ultrasound has been used for many years by the medical profession both for treatment and diagnosis. It is used to break up the plaque on our teeth, for example, and to follow foetal development in a non-invasive way. We are all quite used to these applications of sound, so we should not be surprised to find that sound and vibration can be used beneficially for a whole host of other conditions, from the relief of tension in muscles to the management of quite chronic pain.

If you have ever seen the effect of sound vibrations being passed through a tray of sand, and the beautiful patterns that emerge, you will certainly be aware that sound waves are not random. Music is a part of most people’s everyday lives, and we all know how different styles of music can affect our emotional, and physical states. Sound therapy uses sound waves to target specific areas of concern, and can be tailored to your individual needs.

sound waves

Types of Sound Therapy

There are many different applications of Sound Therapy and you may already have a preference. Gong Baths, Himalayan Singing Bowls, Tuning Forks and Shamanic Drumming will all work to achieve a state of altered consciousness (which is not as extreme or scary as it sounds, we are not talking about 60s psychedelia here!) Not happy with your general mood? Change it with the application of sound. You can do this yourself, through chanting personalised Mantras or by listening to, and absorbing, sounds made by others.

A qualified Sound Practitioner will have a whole host of alternatives at their disposal to adapt and apply to each individual’s needs. Drumming, for example can be used to great effect within groups to strengthen bonds and build a collective consciousness. CEOs and bosses please take note: It certainly beats paint-balling for team building!  Families and partners can benefit from these activities, done together, and the effects can be surprisingly long-lasting. Clinical psychologists now use sound to address learning difficulties, and it has long been accepted that the use of rhythm can make a dramatic difference to people who are trying to cope with a stutter.

frame drums are often used in Sound Therapy

The effects of sound on different conditions varies so much between individuals. Have you ever experienced that “Oh that’s better!” feeling simply through switching off your tumble drier/dishwasher or washing machine? You didn’t even realise it was putting you on edge until it stopped. The same is true in reverse. Sometimes, the absence of sound is the “problem”. By filling that gap you are able to bring your body and mind into a state of harmony and relaxation.

There are so many different ways to use sound for healing that it is impossible to list them all here, let alone explain each one in detail. The best way to determine whether Sound Therapy is for you is to give it a try!

 

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