Who hasn’t felt embraced by music and transported to a place far away from everyday worries. As the music plays, we feel something good happening inside of us. It is not for nothing that we associate memories of magical moments with music. It is the power of sound that can be used as medicine.
What is a sound bath?
Many yoga rooms, spas and alternative therapy centers offer sound baths as an experience of relaxation and deep reconnection with yourself. They are performed with traditional wind and percussion instruments that create vibrations and resonances in the body.
With your eyes closed, the sounds of gongs or singing bowls create space around you. You feel like you are in a cave made up of layers of sound, some closer and some further away. It is perceived how the vibrations arrive and resonate in the brain and throughout the body.
How do you take a sound bath?
The mind and body must remain relaxed to receive the effects of the deep, resonant vibrations of the Metal or glass bowls, bells, gongs or tuning forks. It is not surprising that during a sound bath, suppressed emotions come up. It can therefore help to process complicated emotions.
the sound baths They can be done alone or in a group. Live sound is always more effective than a recording, and on the other hand, like in meditation, when the experience is shared, it’s usually deeper. The environment created by the therapist and the commitment to the other members of the group – we will not get up to do anything else – encourage us to let ourselves be carried away and enveloped by the sounds.
Benefits of the sound bath
A study at the University of California, San Diego, led by Dr. Tamara Goldsby, found that a Tibetan bowl sound bath can do thise reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression.
In another study from the University of Foggia (Italy), the authors wondered whether the low frequencies prevalent in sound baths could have a direct effect on the body. They came to the conclusion that they act on the endocrine system and the central nervous system and are able to induce relaxation and analgesia, so much so that they are useful in preparing for surgical interventions. Their study confirmed the effect on pain perception, heart rate, blood pressure and other vital functions. But the implications may go much further.
Sound alters the state of consciousness
according to dr and researcher Elvira Brattico from Aarhus University, sound has always been used to induce changes in the state of consciousness. Sound baths rich in overtones lead to a positive and relaxing experience because “they allow you to detach from the cognitive part of the brain.”
The sounds that create an immersive and repetitive soundscape activate the so-called «Default Neural Network», a set of brain regions that work together and are responsible for much of the activity that occurs while the mind is at rest. This activation creates a pleasurable experience that relieves us of the tension and explains why we don’t want the sound bath to end.
Expose yourself to noise It is a meditative practice that helps detach from the mind and connect with the body and subconscious. Sound can take us far. Spiritual experiences can be had by listening to Hindu mantras, Gregorian chants or those of Tibetan monks. Sound baths can be used simply to relax and come out of a session refreshed or, in the context of a spiritual tradition, to move closer to enlightenment.
What are binaural beats?
Another technique that uses sound to induce relaxation and altered states of consciousness uses binaural beats, which are created when a different frequency is directed into each ear via headphones.
By receiving different frequencies, the brain creates the illusion of a third sound that we are not aware of. For example, if your left ear receives a frequency of 100 Hz and your right ear receives a frequency of 90 Hz, the brain perceives a 10 Hz binaural beat. The interesting thing is that this beat can affect brain wave patterns corresponding to different states of mind, concentration and awareness.