Human beings are driven by an innate sense of curiosity. They thrive to know more about themselves, the world they inhabit, the other creatures who share the world about them and the universe beyond the planet. Human beings have discovered so many different species of animals, plants and insects. They have unearthed multitudes of minerals and resources from the planet’s stock and have put them to use in almost all ways the mind can imagine. They didn’t stop the conquers of their powers to merely the planet but have strived to expand it to outer space, exploring the surfaces of our moon and Mars.
In their travails of learning and discovery, perhaps the object that has garnered the highest attention and learning from human beings has been their own body. To the normal eye, the human body is a mere collection of bones, nerves and muscles. However, the workings of the body extend far beyond the narrow definition. The body functions in ways that have been the subject of human interest since times immemorial and continue to be so. A major part of related studies has been the role of the human mind and the part it plays, not only in the mental functioning but also its contribution to physical attributes and healing. It is this branch of research from where the basic principles of sound healing therapy take roots.
Sound Healing Therapy – Meaning and Origins
Sound healing is a medical practice wherein the practitioner, not necessarily belonging to the medical field, uses musical tones, beats and rhythms to bring about improvement in the emotional, mental, psychological and physical health of their patients. The patients’ role in the process varies from merely listening to the music being played or produced to participating by singing along or meditating or chanting to the sounds. It derives its origins from medieval practices of playing musical instruments to heal ailments. Its origins and current execution depend on the psychological effects of any type of music, particularly the ones that help the body and nerves relax.
It has been hailed, all the more in recent times in the Western world, for its effectiveness in reducing stress, relaxing nerves, improving sleep and decreasing blood pressure levels. These benefits are immensely helpful in the physiological treatment of injuries and mental ailments such as anxiety, depression, dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Method and instruments in Sound Healing therapy
Sound healing therapy employs a lot of methods in its mission to provide comfort and healing to the body. It is worth noting that more methods are being conceptualized and attempted with each passing day as sound healing is an ever-growing practice. Some of the prominent methods are:
- Bonny Method: This method involves the usage of imagery along with music, seeking to combine the usage of auditory and visual senses to soothe the mind of the patient, often followed by a conversation on any issues the patient might be undergoing.
- Guided meditation: Meditation has been one of the most prominent methods of self-administration of healing for a long time. The process, coupled with chants or music, is said to enhance breathing and blood circulation. Guided meditation is the process of meditating to a record of instructions and serves great benefits.
- Nordoff-Robin Method: Administered by only professionals who’ve completed a course in the studies of the method, this is used primarily on children with autism, emotional trauma and psychological disorders. The method encompasses curating or creating a separate set of music for each patient, designed for them to learn and listen so as to heal their ailments.
- Singing Bowl Therapy: Producing soft sounds similar to a gong or bell, this method uses metal bowls in a bid to heal. The sounds produced, as well as the process of producing the sounds, is said to help monitor levels of anxiety, stress, pain and is of great help in building up the immune system.
- Tuning Fork Therapy: Tuning fork therapy is performed in a way quite similar to acupuncture, except for the instruments applied. The process involves the placement of tuning forks at certain spots on a patient’s body and using the vibration ensuing from them to release tension and provide relief from pain.
Apart from these methods, sound healing therapy also involves processes such as vibroacoustic therapy, neurologic music therapy and brainwave entrainment.
Almost all methods of sound healing therapy involve the use of one or the other instrument, with some procedures requiring the usage of multiple tools. Some of the tools prominently used in sound healing therapy are:
- Rain stick
- Singing Bowl
- Tuning Fork
Sound healing therapy has been subject to its share of criticism and skepticism (again arising out of human curiosity). However, it has nevertheless managed to carve a niche for itself as a treatment method, often working as a complement to medicine. In recent years, the Western world has been increasingly receptive to it, akin to Yoga and meditation. In the Eastern world, the method has been popular for long and has faced a tremendous rise in patients. Hence, it is a highly recommended and advisable method and is legitimately worth a try.