Since everything has a vibrational frequency, including ourselves, it makes sense that sound frequencies affect how we feel. This is why particular songs and types of music often evoke specific types of emotions in us. Sound healing, which is an ancient healing technique that uses tonal frequencies to bring the body into a state of balance and vibrational harmony, also plays into this.
So how does it work? During a sound healing session, also known as a sound bath, you typically lie on the floor or on a yoga mat, perhaps snuggle up with a comfortable blanket and just listen to how a practitioner plays various instruments and you are “bathed” in relaxing sounds and vibrations. Roxie Sarhangi, a Certified Sound Healing Practitioner based in Los Angeles, describes it as a “meditative acoustic concert.” The sound frequencies then slow down the brain waves, bringing them into a deeply restorative state, which activates the body’s self-healing system.
Tibetan bells, gongs, Tibetan bells, tuning forks and drums are the tools that practitioners use most often during sessions.However, says Susy Markoe Schieffelin, sound healer, Reiki teacher, and yoga and meditation instructor, “when used with the right intentions, almost any tool can be used in sound healing.”
Each tool has a different purpose. Crystal bowls, for example, says Sarhangi, “are tuned to the notes of the seven chakras.” The gong, he adds, would help release tension in the body and stimulate the glandular and nervous systems.
And although sound healing has become popular in recent years, it is a healing modality that dates back a long time. “From vocal singing to instruments like Tibetan bells, shamanic drums and more, you’ll find some form of sound healing in every culture on Earth,” says Schieffelin. “Sound healing is said to date back 40,000 years, when Indigenous Australians used ancient didgeridoos for healing. One of my favorite historical examples of sound healing are the sound chambers created by the ancient Egyptians in the pyramids.” .