Sound has an ancient kinship with meditation and healing. Sound healing has ancient roots in cultures all over the world, including Australian aboriginal tribes who used the didgeridoo as a sound healing instrument for over 40,000 years to ancient such as Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowl spiritual ceremonies. Sound meditation is a form of focused awareness type of meditation. One kind that has become more popular is called “sound baths,” which uses Tibetan singing bowls, quartz bowls, and bells to guide the listener. These practices highlight themes of how the experience of sound manifests not only through hearing but through tactile physical vibrations and frequencies
.Science is still catching up to understanding how sound heals, but the current research is promising. A reviwof 400 published scientific articles on music as medicine found strong evidence that music has mental and physical health benefits in improving mood and reducing stress In fact, rhythm in particular (over melody) can provide physical pain relief.
One theory is that sound works through the vibrational tactile effects on the whole body. Sound could stimulate touch fibers that affect pain perception. One study of people with fiboromyalgia ten treatments (twice per week for five weeks) of low-frequency sound stimulation improved sleep and decreased pain, allowing nearly three-fourths of participants to reduce pain medication
Sound-based vibration treatment has been shown to help people with pain from arthritis, menstrual pain, postoperative pain, knee replacement pain. Sound-based treatment has even been found to improve mobility, reduce muscle pain and stiffness, increase blood circulation, and lower blood pressure.
Another theory on the benefits of sound rests on the concept of “binaralbeats” or “brain entrainment” which hypothesizes that listening to certain frequencies can synchronize and change one’s brainwaves.
Electrical activity in the brain is displayed in the form of brainwaves, or rhythmic, repetitive frequencies. These rhythms can be measured using a device called electroencephalogram (EEG).
There are four categories of brainwaves, which range from frequencies that occur during the most activity (beta) to the least activity (delta). Different states of alertness and consciousness in different parts of the brain generate varing frequencies of brainwaves
- Beta waves are the fastest type of brainwave and occur when the brain is active and engaged mentally.
- Alpha waves occur when the brain is in a state of non-arousal, such as when a person has finished a task and is resting or when one meditates.
- Theta brainwaves are associated with daydreaming and rapid eye movement (REM) dreaming phase of sleep. Theta brainwaves occur when you are in a state like driving on the freeway or are running for a long time. This kind of state often is associated with times when ideas and creativity flow.
- Delta brainwaves are the slowest and associated with deep dreamless sleep.
WHAT IS A TREATMENT LIKE
A sound therapy treatment is both a passive and participatory experience. The passive aspect is that you become more relaxed by laying down and slowing your breath. By doing this, you prepare yourself to become the receiver of sound. It’s in this place of stillness that you participate by becoming more open and aware of each sound that comes in. Sound helps create the pathway to this place of stillness the same as a mantra helps you to arrive at the still point of meditation.
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