The Science behind Sound
I'm so very excited to be holding monthly sound baths at Santosa Wellness Centre, such a nourishing environment and space. I thought I'd share a little about the science behind sound, for those who are curious but have not yet experienced the power of sound therapy.
There are some sceptics out there. Hiya! I always find it tricky when confronted with the ‘scientific’ questions. I am dyslexic and get a bit stuck on relaying lots of information. I have always been an experiential kind of person. If something resonates with me and it works and does what I intend or need, then I’m in.
Over the years, I've learnt to trust the process of an array of therapies that I leant on to help shift chronic physical pain and emotional stagnation (more on this another time). I needed to go through the process of letting go, trusting the practices and allowing myself to be held in a process I didn’t fully understand. This said, I get that there are right-brained people who want the facts, stats and evidence .... so here goes.
Sound and Healing. How? Why? What?
The World Health Organisation has called noise pollution “one of the most important environmental risks to health” and a promoter of heart disease, mental health disorders, and other stress-associated conditions.
Have you ever watched a horror film and had to turn the sound down as the music strikes through to the core and terrifies you more than the visuals? Horror movie sound editors know what they’re doing.
Walking down the street and you get startled by an ambulance as it starts its piercing siren right next to you. It cuts right through you and can leave you feeling uneasy and in a light state of shock.
Sound has the power to unsettle and evoke emotion negatively, so clearly it can have the counter effect and relax, soothe, and even heal. Sound is used globally in hospitals and medicine to interrupt cancer cells, cut through chronic issues and disease using radiotherapy, sonography, ultrasound, acoustical energy and can focus on tumours to treat and cure. Sonography uses high-frequency sound waves and their echoes. Similar to the echolocation used by bats, whales and dolphins, as well as SONAR used by submarines. The reflected waves are picked up by the probe and relayed to the machine.
So what does sound therapy actually do to the body?
“Sound healing counters the stress response by invoking the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and activates healing in the body,” Tamara Goldsby Research Psychologist UCL
“For a 2017 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Goldsby and colleagues asked 62 men and women to undertake a one-hour sound bath. This involved lying on a yoga mat and listening to sounds made by a combination of Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, gongs and other instruments. No formal meditation was required; the people in the study were allowed to let their minds wander and were told it was okay if they fell asleep.
Before and after the sound meditation session, the study participants completed questionnaires designed to measure their levels of tension, anger, anxiety, depression, pain, and other physical and emotional well-being aspects. Following the hour-long session, each of these measurables had improved significantly, but sound meditation was particularly effective at countering tension, pain, anger, and confusion.”
What happens in Sound therapy sessions or Sound baths with me?
Don't worry there is no water or actual baths involved. Instead, you will be bathed in sound and may feel like you've been cleared, cleansed and just stepped out of something refreshing and invigorating, see photo :).
Using my voice and other instruments to tone different sounds into the body can allow the exact frequency for healing and deep relaxation. This can be very effective for restoring resonance to that which is vibrating out of harmony. We can actually tune the human body like an instrument and in sound therapy, I use tuning forks to do just that. As well as group sound baths and meditations, I also offer 1:1 sound therapy sessions.
Don't hesitate to contact me for more information about 1:1, to have a chat about how sound can work for you or ask any questions.
I'm running group sound baths with limited spacing at Santosa on Friday evenings 7-8 pm on 16th July, 13th August, 10th September. I look forward to seeing you there.
Many thanks, Charlie x