Soak It Up!
Sound baths offer a sensory journey immersed in calm
Music as therapy is nothing new. In ancient Greek times, sound frequencies were used to treat everything from indigestion to insomnia, while Tibetan singing bows and Aboriginal didgeridoos were purposefully created for healing and awakening consciousness. Sound bathing, the practice of surrounding yourself with harmonious sound waves to enhance physical and emotional well-being, has become mainstream for good reason.
(Photo Minnie - THIA Wellness Instructor)
Energy healing practitioners use a variety of tools and instruments to create frequencies that tend to an area in an individual that requires attention or rebalancing. A sound bath can comprise different singing bowls (Tibetan singing bowls and crystal singing bowls commonly), sometimes accompanied by tuning forks, chimes and drums, each forming a unique frequency inducing a meditative state.
A way to instil relaxation, sound baths offer an escape from stress, as sound and vibration can have a powerful effect on our emotions, reducing tension and even depression, while instilling a sense of peace and tranquillity. Beyond that, alternative health practitioners believe that when we are unwell, the vibrations in our cells become less effective, and therefore raising this frequency through healing sound offers health benefits.
These benefits are similar to those of meditation as harmonic vibrations produced by singing bowls and other sound bathing tools encourage deep restoration. Studies indicate that this can reduce anxiety, while other research finds these practices to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, balancing the nervous system. Sound bathing creates a safe, relaxing space in which you can take a restorative pose, let go of thoughts and simply allow yourself to be recharged and at peace.
What to Expect
Most sound baths last for an hour to 90 minutes, held in a dimly lit room to create a serene atmosphere. Whether you attend an individual or group session, just follow your instincts when finding a comfortable position. It may be helpful to set an attention at the beginning, but otherwise try to keep an open mind and let yourself experience any feelings that arise, and then allow yourself to release them.
Most session begins with a breathing exercise to quiet the mind before instruments are played to create ‘sonic space’ — or the frequency range an instrument omits to create the theta brain waves which are associated with therapeutic benefits. Singing bowls are often used for grounding, while bells and gongs are believed to move blocked energy.
The experience is different for everyone: some feel extremely relaxed, others are transported to a deep meditative space, and falling asleep is common too. The practitioner will ease you back into present awareness gently, preparing you to return to reality feeling rejuvenated.
· Arrive early to give yourself time to settle
· Stay hydrated
· Eat light before the session
· Wear warm, comfortable clothing
· Clear your schedule after the session so you can spend the rest of the day relaxing
· Eat a healthy dinner and head to bed early afterwards