When we think of healing, we automatically think of prescriptions and medicine in the form of pills handed out to us by our well-meaning doctors.
Alternative healing isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been used from the days of the ancient Greeks to cure a multitude of medical disorders, but it’s only in the recent times that people have started to look at using different forms of healing opposed to the conventional medicines of the last couple of hundred years or so.
One such alternative healing therapy that is growing in popularity is the use of sound vibration healing.
The ancient Greeks recognized that sound, vibration, and frequency were powerful forces that influence life all the way down to the cellular level.
Therefore, the sound has an ancient kinship with meditation, spiritualism, and healing.
Sound healing has its roots in cultures all over the world, which include Australian aboriginal tribes who used the didgeridoo as a sound healing instrument for over 40,000 years to the Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowl in their spiritual ceremonies.
But while many people are only just discovering it, sound healing is actually a return to the ancient cultural practices that used chants and singing bowls to restore health and relieve pain.
So, vibration healing is one such alternative medicine that is becoming more and more popular as the practice employs the vibrations of the human voice as well as objects that resonate, which include tuning forks, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls to go beyond relaxation and stimulate healing.
Healers, who are sometimes called sounders, claim that sound can have physiological effects because its vibrations are not merely heard but also felt. And vibrations, they state, can lower an individual’s heart rate variability, relax their brain wave patterns and reduce a person’s respiratory rates.
It is thought that when the heart rate is relatively steady, and breathing is deep and slow, a person’s stress hormones decrease.
And that’s important because stress can depress every aspect of the immune system, including those that protect us against flu and against cancer.
It is thought that ultrasound, which employs vibrations in frequencies above the average human hearing range, has been used therapeutically and can bring an unbalanced, unwell body back into balance.
Another healing therapy that has become more popular is known as sound baths, which takes the practice of using Tibetan singing bowls, quartz bowls, and bells to guide the participant.
These practices highlight themes of how the experience of sound shows itself not only through hearing but through tactile physical vibrations and frequencies.
The Many Different Types…
There are many different types of sound vibration therapies out there, including the Bonny method, which uses imagery as well as vibrations and sound simultaneously. Then there’s the Dalcroze method, which is when participants focus on the rhythm and expression to create awareness.
The form of sound vibration healing therapy that includes meditation is the most commonly used. Chanting encourages the use of the vibrations within your own voice and is thought to improve sleep, lowers blood pressure, improves our mood, breathing, and circulation, calms the mind, and reduces stress.
Guided meditation is very similar, in that you meditate according to voiced instruction.
Then there is Neurologic Music Therapy, which is based on neuroscience and suggests that the enjoyment and creation of music has a positive influence on the brain. This therapy uses music as a tool that alters the brain to invoke changes in the patient. This benefits both their mood and cognitive and motor functions.
Some individuals prefer the Nordoff-Robbins technique, which is mostly aimed at children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, learning difficulties, mental and psychological disorders, or emotional traumas.
This method functions under the assumption that every single one of us can find meaning and therefore healing in music and its rhythms and vibrations and thus teaches patients to create music as a form of individual therapy.
Root Frequency Entrainment is a healing practice that comes with the belief that our bodies have certain frequencies at which they function when at full capacity, but that the noise and chaos of the modern world interfere with these inner frequencies, making us unwell and occasionally throwing our moods out of balance. To restore that balance, it is thought that we must vibrate at our original frequencies — something that is believed to be easily achieved with sound healing.
And then we have the more commonly known singing bowl sound vibration healing therapy. This is thought to date back as far as the 12th century. Singing bowls have been used throughout Asia for meditation, ritual, and ceremonial purposes, and the sound produced by these metallic bowls is quite similar to a gong or a bell.
Used in sound healing therapy, singing bowls are believed to calm and repair the disturbed mind, as well as reduce the individual’s stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve breathing and circulation, alleviate aches and pains, strengthen the immune system, and improve the overall mood of the patient.
Another well-known healing therapy is the tuning fork, which, just as with musical instruments, is believed to put our bodies’ dynamic back into sync by using calibrated tuning forks that are applied to specific parts of the body. This healing method is very similar to acupuncture but without the needles!
These forks will apply specific vibrations to some targeted regions of the body, which is believed to release tension and open blocked energy. This type of sound vibration healing with sound is thought to bring emotional balance and pain relief.
Vibroacoustic therapy applies sound and its vibrations directly to the body – speakers are strategically placed around the participant so that the sounds and vibrations penetrate them on a deep cellular level. It is thought that Vibroacoustic therapy can assist patients recovering from injuries, cancer, and even strokes.
How does it work?
Recent studies and published scientific articles on music as a form of medicine found strong evidence that music has relative mental and physical health benefits in improving mood and reducing various levels of stress.
So, if we accept that our bodies are continually vibrating on a cellular level by heard and unheard sound frequencies, partly because the theory is that the whole planet is in the form of constant vibration and movement.
Sound vibrations have a considerable influence over human functionality as sounds touch and influence our emotions.
If we accept that sound is made up of vibration and we know that vibration encompasses every part of our physical body, then we can assume that sound is heard not just through our ears but also our skin, bones, and every cell in our bodies.
So, the sound waves or vibrations which are created by certain tools, such as the gongs, tuning forks, and singing bowls, can actually alter the human brainwave frequencies.
Vibration is generally measured in units of hertz (Hz), which is the same unit in which we measure sound—humans usually hear frequencies from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz, but that doesn’t mean those outside the limits don’t have some effect on us.
When you have two vibrating objects next to each other, the stronger vibration will affect the weaker ones, and eventually, they’ll synchronize.
That’s fundamental physics, folks!
And according to these laws of physics, everything vibrates – the chair you’re sitting on, the food you eat, the rocks, plants, and trees.
So, whether we hear it or not, everything has a sound and a vibration.
A study found that if someone takes part in an hour-long sound mediation, it helped with stress, tension, anger fatigue, and depression as well as increasing a sense of spiritual well-being.
The sound meditation for the study used a variety of Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, gongs, Ting-shas (tiny cymbals), dorges (bells), didgeridoos, and other small bells.
People have tried to explain how it works by suggesting a theory that sound works through the vibrational effects on the whole body – this sound could possibly stimulate touch fibers that affect pain perception.
What are the benefits of sound vibration healing?
Healers, also known as sounders, believe that sound can have a substantial psychological effect on an individual’s well-being.
Sound-based vibration healing has been shown to help people with several pain-related illnesses.
Pain that is thought to have been relieved includes suffering from arthritis, menstrual pain, postoperative pain, and knee replacement pain. The sound-based treatment has even claimed to have been found to improve mobility, reduce muscle pain and stiffness, increase blood circulation, and lower blood pressure.
Another theory that supports the benefits of sound is based on the concept of binaural beats, also known as brain entrainment.
These binaural beats which hypothesize that listening to certain frequencies can synchronize and change an individual’s brainwaves.
Electrical activity in the brain is shown in the form of brainwaves, or rhythmic, repetitive frequencies and these rhythms can be measured using a device called an electroencephalogram (EEG).
In a nutshell, by using specific rhythms and frequencies, you can downshift your brain from the beta state (which is ordinary consciousness) to the theta state (which is the relaxed consciousness) and even the delta state (which is where internal healing can occur).
Humans are hard-wired to have the sound be part of us. In the human brain, all our neurons fire at different frequencies based on the data they receive from the things around us, and it’s those vibrations that interact with every cell in your body.
So, what benefits are there of vibration sound healing?
Well, think about it – if by using different sound frequencies, which can stimulate cell production of nitric oxide, and, therefore, a vasodilator that opens up blood vessels, and helps cells be more efficient, and mediates your blood pressure at a cellular level must be beneficial.
Because anything that helps nitrous oxide will help your healing response, and anything that calms your mood down will reduce inflammation, which also benefits your overall health.
Come on – let’s be honest, although the scientific studies haven’t caught up with the evidence to prove these alternative healing therapies actually work, there’s a lot of positives…
The great thing about these sound vibration healing treatments is that they’re not invasive, and they’re typically not expensive, which surely means there’s no danger in giving it a try if you’re interested.
Treatment is also relatively easy to find as one-one-one sound therapy treatments are also increasingly being offered at all kinds of wellness centers, therapist’s offices, spas, and even yoga studios, and it’s not hard to find centers providing treatment on the internet.
The bottom line is that if listening to Tibetan singing bowls or using a vibrating tuning fork makes individuals feel better, whether they have a broken arm, multiple sclerosis, or even cancer, indeed anything that puts that individual in a more peaceful and calm state will promote better healing all around.
We can all be affected by music – a sound sets a mood, and wither promotes that good feeling and gets us moving or promotes calmness and relaxation.
Just think how annoying a hammering banging away for hours can set our nerves on edge, but how restful a trickle of stream water can be…
Whether we know it or not, our bodies and minds are affected by those sounds and rhythms.
So, the sound is used for healing – we all have favorite pieces of music we listen to for different moods, and the idea behind sound vibration healing isn’t so different.
It can also bring about:
- Clarity and balance
- Improved memory and concentration
- Improved sleep
- A stronger immune system
- Heightened awareness, both of the self and of the environment
- And improved creativity.
It, therefore, appears that there are mixed feelings about healing therapies that involve sound and its vibrations – but that is usually because there is no real scientific research to prove what works and doesn’t work.
And does that really matter?
Indeed, anything that leaves you calm and relaxed in a peaceful, less anxious, and stressed state is good for you, especially as this is a non-invasive type of healing – so people, what’s not to like?
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