Sound is created through vibration. Vibrations infiltrate our senses … even our bodies. Sound vibrations are powerful and each of us react to them differently.
While a soul-stirring ballad may make you feel pensive or romantic, rock music may help you feel ready to dance and have a good time.
For your neighbor, that same ballad may put them in a sour mood, and that same rock song might leave someone else restless and uneasy.
No matter what our differences, it is true that sound affects everyone in some way. Even deaf people can feel sound vibrations. They can touch an instrument while it is being played, or even feel the vibrations through the floor. These vibrations, with their varying frequency, density and speed affect you.
Sound therapy uses sound vibrations to soothe and heal people. It can also be used to help you attain deeper levels of consciousness.
An example of how sound vibrations can help you achieve a deep level of meditation is a mantra. Mantras can be used as a form of sound therapy.
Sound may be used as therapy merely by listening to soothing tones and relaxing music. Sound vibrations can be applied to sore muscles. Sound therapy can even be nature sounds or words spoken in a certain way.
Sound therapy is all around us, if you look. It can be delivered by CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes or other equipment that produces the desired sounds.
Simple and effective, sound therapy does not take a lot of effort. You sit back or lie down and relax. You can even listen while you physically do some other activity.
Many indigenous peoples have used sound in healing rituals for generations. In 1896 the first formal description of sound as therapy was written when a few American doctors discovered that certain music affected a patient's thoughts and increased their circulation. Ever since then, studies have been done that repeatedly show how sound can affect a person's physical and mental health.
It is common today to hear music playing in the background at hospitals, corporations and even schools. Sure, it could just be background noise, but the music may help patients heal faster, it may make workers more productive, or it may help students remain alert and eager to learn. And what about that music we all hear when we're on hold? Maybe they're telling us they really do not want our business, since a lot of that music seems to be irritating to our senses, putting our teeth on edge.
Advocates of sound therapy believe that besides helping eliminate stress, it can aid people suffering from anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, pain and tension. Sound can create a sense of well-being, it can re-energize you, and can help you sleep if you suffer from insomnia. Sound therapy can create positive reactions, which in turn influence the rest of the body.
How Sound Therapy Works
During sound therapy, the sound is kept at a low volume at a continuous rate. Perhaps you've chosen the sound of a waterfall or ocean waves. Headphones may help exclude outside noises.
Sound therapists suggest that adults listen to sound therapy at least three hours each day. Children can see results listening for 30 to 60 minutes per day. With some forms of sound therapy, you can listen while you do other things.
Somewhere within a few days to a few months, you'll begin to see results from this practice. When your program is complete, keep it handy in case your stress returns.
For example, if you are a person with a stressful job, it may be suggested to use sound therapy for at least an hour every day after getting home from work.
You can develop your own sound therapy at home, or you can get more formalized treatment from a trained therapist familiar with sound therapy.
Formal sound therapy uses sound to balance your system. The sound affects the frequency of your body and gets it back into balance. Think of tuning a guitar … when out of tune, they sound unpleasant … when properly tuned, they can make beautiful music.