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About Sound Therapy

Sound instruments emit vibrations that allow the cells within you to break, reshape, and rearrange, helping you reach balance and harmony physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies.” – Dr. Mitchell Gaynor states

Benefits 

The practice of sound healing has been shown to have several benefits, including:

  • increased relaxation

  • a more positive outlook

  • a more accessible meditative state

  • reduced or healed physical pain

  • heightened consciousness

  • reduced stress

  • lessened exhaustion

  • increased energy levels

Effectiveness of Sound Healing

Researchers have found that while an individual is reciting mantras, the frontal lobes of the brain as well as the limbic system are being stimulated. As such, the “neural maps” of the brain and limbic systems are reorganized. If this practice is continued for an extended period of time, the neural maps can reorganize, leading to the “habitualization of mystical states” and overall more positive thinking. People who accomplish this will often experience theta waves, creating drowsiness, dreaming, and sleep states, and therefore be healthier and more relaxed.

 

Emotional intonations voiced sounds that convey particular emotions, can also stimulate theta waves. They can affect the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory, and altered states of consciousness. Theta waves are also involved in kindling mechanisms, the continued exposure of cells to stimuli. Emotional intonations can influence and alter these cells in the hippocampus to generate more theta brain wave patterns and increase relaxation.

 

Maman’s research in the 1980s at Jussieu University in Paris used cancer cells such as HeLa cells to test his theories about the efficacy of sound healing and tuning forks. Maman sought to show the effects that acoustic sound has on the energy fields of human cells. He discovered that, when exposed to the acoustic sounds, the cancerous cells became unstable and disintegrated or “blew up,” while healthy cells were unaffected, or in some cases, strengthened.

Additionally, several case studies have shown, on an individual level, the effectiveness of sound therapy. Stephanie Hiller, a UK sound therapist trained at the UK College of Sound Healing, used sound healing to help a client, who had arthritis and old injuries in both knees and led a high-stress life. Hiller used tuning forks, Tibetan bowls, an Otto tuner (a specialized tuning fork), and a Shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese bamboo meditation flute). After this treatment, the client reported that she experienced high energy and several days with minimal knee pain and requested that sound healing be a part of her regular treatment.1

Julia Moore, a homeopath in the UK, used sound healing with her client, who had a neck injury that caused constant neck pain, pain and numbness in his arms and fingers, headaches, lack of sleep, a herniated disc, and knee pain. Moore used her voice by toning to heal the areas where she felt blockages, particularly the lumbar area. After this treatment, the client reported that he had increased capacity for movement in his neck, felt alert, experienced a reduction in the constant pain, and even found that a lump he’d had since adolescence was gone.

Sound healing can have many physical and mental benefits for one’s health. It is a non-invasive treatment and is safe to try. 

How it works

Sounds are made up of vibrations, which affect the world around them. Organisms have their own vibratory rates, and objects have their own resonant frequencies. When an object is struck and placed next to or touching another object, the other object will begin to vibrate too. These vibrations affect people as well, at even an atomic level. The right combination of sounds can organize neural activity, stimulate bodies, and retune emotions, leading to calmness and productivity.

Certain neural regions of the brain respond to different sounds and different properties of sound. The sound vibrations travel through the ear and get transformed into nerve impulses, which are interpreted by the auditory cortex, or the hearing center of the brain, and react differently with each region. For instance, the right side of the auditory cortex interprets the pitch of the sound and some aspects of melody, harmony, timbre, and rhythm, while the left side is affected by quick changes in the frequency and intensity of the sound. 

Because sound vibrations profoundly affect the brain, brainwave patterns will often change to match aspects of the sound vibrations, including pitches and tone sequences. The brain mirrors the sound— when the tone sequence grows coherent and sounds like a melody, parts of the brain interact more coherently.

Effects of sound vibrations:

  • Changing brainwaves: Because human brainwaves can vary based on the sound vibrations, certain sounds will cause the brain to relax. The brain can switch from producing beta waves in an agitated state to producing theta or delta waves when more relaxed.

  • Binaural beats: When tones at different hertz levels are played in either ear, the brain often syncs to the difference between the two. For instance, if a sound were played at 300 hertz in the left ear and 305 hertz in the other, the brain would sync to five hertz. This can be measured with an EEG, but when testing this hypothesis, results have been mixed.

  • The body’s biofield: Some researchers have proposed that there is an energy field, referred to as the biofield, surrounding the human body. In this case, the sound vibrations may interact with the biofield to create the desired effect in the person.

History of Sound Tharepy

Sound healing therapy is an ancient practice originating in Tibetan and Himalayan cultures. Sound healers use Tibetan singing bowls, metal bowls that were once used in spiritual and healing ceremonies conducted by monks in Nepal and Tibet. Sound healing traces its roots back to ancient civilizations such as Greece and Egypt, also. These societies believed in the transformative healing power of sound and used methods such as singing bowls, chanting, and tuning forks to promote a harmonious environment for the body to heal itself. Sound healing using the human voice has been around since the beginning of recorded history,

Sound healing as a scientific and medical practice in the Western world was pioneered by English osteopath Sir Peter Guy Manners in the mid-20th century. In the 1960s, his research focused on using audible voice frequency in several different treatments. He believed that his sound healing methods stimulated the human body’s natural healing abilities. He used these methods to study and treat chronic inflammation, arthritis, and bone calcification. Manners discovered over 600 healing frequencies and coordinated them to related body parts.

In the late 20th century, Fabien Maman emerged in the sound therapy field. He was a French musician, acupuncturist, composer, and bioenergetic researcher. He wrote and performed pieces at large concert venues like Carnegie Hall as a musician and composer. In 1977, he turned to acupuncture and used his musical background to link music and sound to his new field. He discovered and shaped the use of tuning forks in sound therapy. Tuning forks are now commonly used in sound healing and can communicate vibrations to the body, DNA cells, and the magnetic field.

In 1996, Simon Heather, an acupuncturist based in the United Kingdom, founded the UK Sound Healers Association. This group aims to promote sound healing in the UK and contributed to the 2005 founding of the College of Sound Healing. Two years after the association was founded, Heather began teaching healers and therapists to be sound healing practitioners and, in the following decades, spread his theories about the practice across the globe.

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