Healing With Sound
Sound healing is an ancient way to optimize your sense of wellbeing, find inner peace, and unlock vitality. In more recent times, research has documented the tangible benefits of healing with sound. Integrated energy therapist, Anita Alig, tells us why she has found working with sound a powerful way to bring about effortless healing.
What is Sound Healing?
Many different types of sound healing exist. The origins date back to ancient societies in Greece and Egypt, while we also know that native Americans chanted and danced for healing. In biblical times, people sang hymns for the same purpose. If you fast forward to the 20th century, you’ll find that sound and music therapy has become a tried and tested therapeutic method. Can science back up the benefits? Recent research has documented the proven benefits of music therapy, singing, chanting, drumming, and using instruments for healing.
How Can Sound Heal?
Each sound has a frequency and travels wave-like to our ear. There, it transforms itself into an electrical current and reaches the part of our brain that is in charge of hearing. When a sound reaches the auditory cortex, the brain produces different responses, including hormone release, emotional reactions, and trigger responses.
Scientists have discovered that different sound frequencies each create a different response. Each frequency stimulates one or more specific aspect of our physical and emotional being. Through the choice of these frequencies sound healing therapists bring about health benefits.
So, let’s look at the most common sound healing methods.
Chanting and Singing
Among the spiritual practices of all world religions, chanting plays an important role. Chanting repetitive sounds or words alone or in groups helps participants to seek spiritual wisdom, deepen their faith, and find a sense of peace and belonging. From Gregorian chants right through to mantra and yoga chanting this practice has always been and still is central to many people’s spirituality.
You may be familiar with om chanting, or traditional Christian chants, the fact is that countless cultures have a chanting tradition. While throughout history, people practised chanting for spiritual purposes, scientific research has since proven its health benefits.
A 2016 study into the effects of chanting OM for then minutes to determine its effect on mood and feelings of social cohesion confirmed findings of earlier studies. Experienced and inexperienced chanters engaged in vocal and silent chanting. Before and after doing so, they carried out a series of tasks aimed at determining their mood and sense of social cohesion. Scientists concluded that chanting impacts positively on mood and social cognition.
In brief, chanting helps to improve your mood and gives you a sense of belonging.
In a 2018 University of Limerick, Ireland, study, researchers found that singing in a choir has multiple benefits. Although the benefits were self-reported, researchers confirmed that choral singing has a positive impact on mental health, physical health, social connectedness, and cognitive stimulation.
Drumming is another ancient practice, with the oldest drum dating back to 6000 BC. People of all nationalities and cultures have used drums to communicate, celebrate, heal, and for pure enjoyment. But has drumming therapeutic benefits?
Researchers in the UK published a study of the effects of drumming classes for mental health service users in 2016. Participants took a ten-week drumming class to determine its impact on inflammatory immune response, anxiety, depression, and social resilience. Each week, they took part in a 90-minute group drumming session. Although some participants missed some of the classes, the results were still conclusive.
Over the ten weeks, participants showed a significant reduction in depression and anxiety, while they increased their social interaction capacity and saw a switching of their bodies pro-inflammatory immune response to an anti-inflammatory response.
Singing Bowl Therapy
Singing bowls date back to pre-Buddhism Tibetan culture. While today they are known as Tibetan singing bowls, a more accurate term would be Himalayan singing bowl as they are equally well-known in Nepal and India. Today, you’ll also find singing bowls in Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan.
Resembling a metal food bowl, some people call them standing bells. To play a singing bowl, you strike it with a mallet or run the mallet along its rim.
In singing bowl therapy, sound therapists use the singing bowls to stimulate a chi-energy response, calm, and invigorate clients. If you’ve ever had a sound bath, you’ll know the powerful positive impact of singing bowl therapy, but what about scientific evidence of the benefits?
In a study published in 2016, scientists examined the impact of Tibetan singing bowl therapy with 62 participants focusing on anger, pain, spiritual well-being, mood, and tension levels. They found that after a singing bowl meditation, participants showed lower levels of stress, anger, and fatigue, while they also saw their mood improve significantly. The study also highlighted that the strongest benefits were among people who had never before taken part in a singing bowl meditation.
The Solfeggio Frequencies
The Solfeggio Frequencies date back to the start of the last millennium when an Italian monk crafted a six-note scale and wrote a hymn which later laid the foundation for Gregorian chants. In the 1970s, an American herbalist worked with sound frequencies to bring about healing and discovered that they were akin to the ancient Solfeggio frequencies.
In more recent times, sound therapists combined the Solfeggio frequencies with vibrational work on the different human energy centres, the chakras. Each Solfeggio frequency helps to clear and invigorate one specific chakra. The results are powerful. In my work as an energy therapist, I found using the Solfeggio frequency as a backdrop to the treatment is powerful. Clients can experience significant benefits without having to make an effort.
Even listening to clips featuring the Solfeggio frequencies once a day can have a marked positive effect. Try it for yourself by clicking here.
The Solfeggio frequencies tie in with the Tibetan singing bowls as the frequencies you get from some singing bowls are the same as the Solfeggio frequencies. The science is also the same.
These are the best-known sound healing methods with science-backed benefits. In contrast to some therapies and meditation, sound healing is effortless. Anyone can benefit without prior knowledge or skill.
Take part in a singing bowl meditation, join a drumming class or choir, or listen to the Solfeggio frequencies online, you’re bound to reap the rewards.