If you have ever been lulled by the rustling of wind through the trees or relaxed on the sand listening to waves lap the shore, you’ve experienced the healing aspect of sound. Perhaps in the morning as you awake you hear the birds singing and it causes you to smile, to feel safe, to ponder the gifts of life.
Notice how particular songs, rhythms, or melodies have the power to lift and renew your spirits. Other sounds or vibrations can be irritating or cause you to lose focus, the unrelenting sound of a jackhammer for example. Sound has the power to set an emotional mood, be it romantic, sultry, festive, or relaxing.
Sound has been utilized as a healing modality for thousands of years in a myriad of cultures. Many indigenous people use drums, flutes, spiritual songs, chants, and rhythms to promote health and healing.
Simple physics tell us that everything has its own sound or vibration and resonance, that the frequency in which it moves varies. Although we can’t hear the music of a wood table or a rock their molecules are moving, they have an energy that is creating vibrations, sounds.
Part of PTSD from being in battles is from the constant barrage of noise. Even pets respond to bad vibrational sounds such as fireworks, gunshots or loud squealing of tires. When a person is overexposed to abrasive sounds, this wreaks havoc on the nervous system, which in turn can cause dis-ease.
Good vibrations or soothing sounds, on the other hand, calms and comforts us. In an article The Healing Power of Sound, Karen Olson describes how sound therapy can heal everything from headaches to chronic pain. Diane Mandler, a certified sound healer in California, writes that her clients obtain: “relief from pain and discomfort, clearing of sinuses, shifting out of depression, [improved] ability to sleep . . revitalization and clarity, feeling of well-being, great connectedness, and deep personal transformation.” Using Tibetan singing bowls; Mandler believes these healing sounds and vibrations bring the body back to balance. Sound medicine ascertains that realigning your vibrations will keep you physically and mentally healthy.
How exactly does sound heal? The healing quality or vibration in particular sounds resets or synchronizes with our brainwaves, allowing us to quiet the mind. Similar to meditation where the breath is the vehicle, healing sounds allow the fluctuating brainwaves to find a steady vibration that takes you into a relaxed state of being. When your body is in harmony it is able to heal. Sound healing can allow stuck energy to flow again by penetrating blockages.
Children respond to soft, soothing sounds as well. Take a crying baby outside (if it is peaceful of course) and watch as they stop and listen to the wind, the birds. A roomful of rowdy toddlers can be tamed with a bit of relaxing music or singing.
Learn to be aware of sound in your life. If you live in an urban environment, you may be overly exposed to the squeal of subways, the constant roar of traffic, the buzz of never-ending conversations or people’s music, which may be abrasive. Just like being mindful of your diet or getting enough exercise, being aware of noise is essential to your well-being. Carve out time to close your eyes and listen to healing music; Spotify and Pandora both have a plethora to choose from.
Try a sound therapist if you have insomnia, migraines, or chronic pain as a way to heal. Seek out natural sounds as often as you can, and let the healing vibrations bring you back to balance.