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This is a guest post by Vytautas Vaitkevicius, a regular writer for Mindful Souls
You’ve felt it before – music can provide all kinds of incredible experiences. A favourite song lifts your spirit. A violin concerto makes you shed a tear. A swoosh of wind through a stretch of the forest brings comfort to your worried mind.
As it turns out, specific sounds can have properties of healing and restoration. That means, if you’re looking to explore a new wellness modality, you came to the right place.
Can you remember what song they just played in the supermarket? Did you pay attention to a car alarm in the distance? We are constantly surrounded by sounds so often that we turn our brains on autopilot and choose to ignore the sonic environment. Yet even unconscious noise build-up can have a range of unwanted mental health effects. In a study published in BMC Public Health, researchers found that residents of Danish townhouses experienced ‘an adverse impact on a broad range of physical and mental health symptoms.’ The factor that triggered the stress response was simple exposure to a loud neighbour’s noise. Perhaps this story can serve as a hint about the source of your anxiety, stress, and fatigue.
Is There a Way To Escape It?
Yes! And even better! By connecting to nature and exposing ourselves to natural sounds, we can go beyond offsetting the negative influence of noise pollution. A healthful alternative goes a long way in battling “learned helplessness” and healing the brain. Certain sounds with specific tones, frequencies, and vibrations can relieve stress and anxiety, promote a sense of calmness and create a joyful attitude towards life. A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine showed that an hour-long sound meditation could reduce tension, fatigue, anger, anxiety and depression. At the same time, it can strengthen one’s sense of spiritual well-being.
Who is Sound Healing For?
Sound healing can be practiced by anyone. We are slowing down the breath and heart rate on a physical level, allowing the mind to enter a safe, quiet state. On a spiritual level, the more relaxed we are in body and mind, the better we can connect to ourselves, others, and a higher power. Until recently, sound healing was regarded as something you could only experience at a particular studio in an expensive neighbourhood. However, today it is widely used at home with the help of a range of tools. Now, this revolutionary new self-care practice can be an option for everyone!
What Does Sound Healing Look Like?
Sound can be used in a variety of ways to promote healing. Sound therapy typically integrates solfeggio frequencies, tuning forks, singing bowls and gongs into practice. Here are some standard techniques:
Listening Meditation: As we practice meditation, sounds are bound to be part of the experience. Instead of focusing on sensations or mantras, we bring our awareness to sounds in listening meditation. You may find it pleasurable and rewarding to settle into the present moment while paying close attention to nature's soundtrack, especially if you go outside and experience these sounds firsthand! For meditation, the goal is to notice sounds without getting caught up in identifying or assessing them. You’re not trying to discern whether that birdsong belongs to a robin or a downy woodpecker. Instead, relax and let go, noticing the sounds of nature and allowing them to act as your allies.
Gong: The Gong is one of man’s oldest therapeutic instruments. This holistic vehicle powerfully impacts your mental health by bringing peace and relaxation to your otherwise overwhelmed mind. It is hard to say what it looks like for everyone since each person’s spiritual odyssey is unique. Still, gong users can have a range of experiences from visions to creative solutions, epiphanies, and even psychedelic journeys. The healing sound re-tunes any spiritual disharmony within us. You may experience a range of emotional reactions such as laughing, crying, feeling scared or angry, and anything in between. However, most people feel a sense of bliss and peace afterwards.
Singing Bowls: Singing bowls are instruments that produce different healing and relaxing tones, depending on their size and material. You play them by striking them or swirling their perimeter using a wooden mallet, taking care not to get too close to the instrument. Using singing bowls requires a degree of mindfulness, intentionality and consistency. Your goal is to better understand the sounds you and your instrument can produce together. The sound of singing bowls harmonises and allows deep relaxation of both sides of the brain. It encourages stress relief on all levels and the elimination of toxins from the body. After sound therapy, the mind is clearer, and our emotions are calmer.
Tuning Forks: Tuning forks stand on the principle that everything in the universe is made up of vibrations. Sound healing is possible because our bodies are not solid. They have their own rhythms, vibrations, and harmony - illness signals discord in the body’s natural frequencies and tune rate. Using tuning forks allows us to synchronise natural cycles, which helps us to find our balance and homeostasis. Homeostasis is fundamental when healing the body, mind, and spirit. The sound-waves of tuning forks caused by the vibrations travel deep into the body and its energy, affecting human physiology. The forks stimulate the physical energy field of the body and promote healing and inner harmony, helping to connect the body, mind and spirit.
Solfeggio Frequencies: Solfeggio frequencies use specific sound patterns to stimulate the brain. These special vibrations help your brain waves reach a frequency with many benefits. This form of music is often used for transformational purposes and can help one deal with fear and change and awaken one’s intuition.
The 5 commonly used Solfeggio Frequencies:
396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear
417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change
528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles
639 Hz – Connecting Relationships
741 Hz – Awakening Intuition
Our bodies, minds, and souls naturally strive towards balance and contentment. But instead of surrendering to our inner needs, we let external stimuli and noise take over. Sound healing is a relatively simple way to achieve a better state of harmony and make your life more enjoyable. There is little risk to listening to music, so why not begin searching for the sounds that work for you?
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