The Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Sound & Vibration.
Most of us know that a nice hot bath is great for stress relief.
But the bath I’m talking about today isn’t filled with water & bubbles…
It’s filled with healing sounds & vibrations!
Now, if you’ve heard of “sound baths” before, you might know they have a reputation for being a little…“woo-woo”.
But the truth is, the benefits of sound baths are actually rooted in science!
And, I’m all for a little “woo-woo” if it’s evidence-based 😉
So, let’s chat about them!
First, What is a Sound Bath?
A sound bath involves immersing yourself in the sound & vibrations of musical instruments, typically played by someone who is trained in, or at least familiar, with sound healing.
Oftentimes, sound baths are offered at yoga studios, where people set out blankets on the floor and close their eyes as someone plays music in the middle of the room, or up at the front.
It’s a therapeutic practice meant to promote deep relaxation, relieve stress and depression, and rejuvenate your mind, body & spirit.
It’s truly a whole-body listening experience!
If you’re not familiar with the science behind sound and healing, this may sound sort of funny to you! But if you think about it, we’ve been using this type of healing for centuries.
Sound & Vibration as a Natural Stress Reliever & Healing Modality.
Healing and vibration are really just… music!
Australian aboriginals played music to heal people when they fell sick, and they’re not the only ancient group to have done so.
Even today, music therapy has been proven to restore lost speech, improve invasive procedures, aid pain relief, and improve the quality of life for dementia patients.
Pretty cool, right?!
To be clear, music therapy refers to a lot more than a sound bath. But the healing benefits of both are rooted in the same science, called “sound healing,” which shows that musical sounds have a profound healing effect on the body.
So, how does this work?
Certain sounds and vibrations bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. And it’s thought that while in this restful state, the body’s natural healing abilities are activated on a cellular level.
So, What Are the Proven Benefits of Sound Baths?
Now that you understand some of the science behind sound baths, let’s take a closer look at the specific healing benefits.
1. Relieves stress, depression, and anxiety.
As I mentioned earlier, sound baths send the body into relaxation mode and a restorative state. In this state, your heart rate slows down and your blood pressure lowers, giving you a sense of calmness. This is why sound baths are a natural stress reliever, and can be helpful for both depression and anxiety.
2. Improves mood and mental well-being.
In this study, it was found that people who attended a sound bath felt less tension, anger, and an overall more positive mood. Because of these findings, it may also be helpful for improved sleep. And there’s a mountain of evidence on how getting quality sleep supports your mood and mental health.
3. Reduces physical pain.
People who participated in this same study ^ found that they experienced less pain after the sound bath. It’s not clear as to why, and more research is definitely needed to explore the physical effects of a sound bath, but these results are exciting nonetheless!
But beyond these proven benefits, people in various alternative healing communities rave about the way they feel after a sound bath!
Potential benefits that have been reported include:
- Increased focus & energy
- Improved sleep
- Feeling rejuvenated
Sounds good, right?
What to Expect During a Sound Bath.
I don’t know about you, but I love trying new things like this!
So, if you’re ready to give it a shot, here’s some helpful info to get you started.
Sound baths can take place in various settings, from museums to music festivals, but the first place I’d look is a yoga studio near you.
If you don’t see anything listed at your local yoga studios, try typing in “sound bath” + your zip code into Google, and I bet you’ll find several options 😉
As far as what you’ll see when you show up, some of the instruments include…
- Crystal singing bowls. The frequencies produced by these bowls promote deep relaxation.
- Chimes. Its sounds can help lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and restore balance to the nervous system.
- Gongs. This can slow down our brain waves, putting us in a meditative state.
Sessions are generally 60-90 minutes long, and you’ll want to wear comfortable clothing. Some yoga studios let you use their blankets & props to get comfortable on the floor before the session begins, but if not you’ll want to bring those items (blanket, small pillow, etc..) with you.
Sounds Baths at Home.
If you’d rather experience a sound bath in the comfort of your home (where we can do almost anything these days ;)) consider trying a sound bath virtually by searching for videos online!
You’re likely to experience natural stress relief & other wonderful benefits, although it isn’t exactly the same as being in-person, where you receive the healing benefit of vibration.
Another way to get the full experience at home is to go the DIY route by purchasing a crystal singing bowl and mallet. You can find guided videos and instructions online through a quick Google search.
A Natural Stress Reliever Worth Trying!
While I don’t advise sound baths as a replacement for proven medical treatments, I do believe they offer a wonderful way to lower stress & promote wellness.
If you decide to give it a try, be sure to let me know your thoughts.
I love hearing from you!