Integral Sound Therapy
“The body is held together by sound. The presence of disease indicates that some of the sounds have gone out of tune”
– Deepak Chopra
What is sound healing?
Sound healing is a form of healing that uses different vibrations to heal the body, mind and spirit. It works on two principles: That different emotions vibrate at different levels, and that blocked, or unexpressed emotions, are the main source of dis-ease.
The vibrations of emotions
We all learned in our elementary science classes that everything is made of atoms. Quantum physicists discovered that atoms are made of subatomic particles, which continually vibrate at certain frequencies. In fact, at the quantum level, what we think of as a quantum particle is really that particle’s vibration. Physics carried this to its logical conclusion and found that the entire universe is just a consequence of many infinitely large fields vibrating.
Objects aren’t the only things that vibrate. It has been proven that our thoughts and feelings produce energy, which trigger vibrations. Everything vibrates at a different level, including feelings. Emotions that we consider uncomfortable, or unpleasant, vibrate at relatively low levels. Emotions that most people find pleasant and joyful vibrate at higher levels.
The source of dis-ease
For most people, it is easy to express positive emotions like happiness and joy. However, many people don’t want to feel negative emotions, so they stuff them inside. If this is done over years, the lowly vibrating trapped emotions stagnate in the body and cause disease.
How does sound healing work, on the energetic level?
As you probably also recall from your basic science classes, human bodies are 75% water, which is a great conductor for vibrations. Sound healers use instruments, such as Tibetan bowls, crystal bowls, glasses, gongs and even tuning forks, that vibrate at specific frequencies when struck. These vibrations correspond to specific emotions.
Many people don’t want to feel sadness or grief, so they close their heart chakras rather than allowing themselves to feel these uncomfortable emotions. When the sound practitioner strikes this bowl, they release the healing vibration of the heart chakra into the body of the person being healed. This opens the heart chakra, allowing it to release the trapped negative emotions.
The science behind healing
From a traditional medical perspective sound is perceived through the ear. However, as more scientific evidence has emerged, researchers have found that sound is felt physically via vibrations in the body. These vibrations can have a multitude of effects on a person. Sound healing works in four ways:
Scientifically speaking, sympathetic resonance is when the vibrations in one object produce vibrations in another. For example, if you have two tuning forks close to one another, if you strike one, it will cause the other tuning fork to vibrate at a similar frequency.
This is the principle that causes the body to vibrate at the same frequency as the sounds produced by crystal bowls, gongs, tuning forks and other sound healing instruments.
Brainwave entrainment refers to the capacity of the brain to naturally synchronize its brainwave frequencies with the rhythm of external stimuli. In practical terms, this means that your brainwave frequencies synchronize with the frequencies produced by sound healing instruments. The positive frequencies allow your cells to operate in harmony with each other, healing organs, bones and uncomfortable emotional states.
Frequency Following Response
Brainwaves are directly linked to mental states of consciousness. There are different types of brainwaves: delta, theta, alpha and beta waves. Relatively slow delta waves are emitted during sleep, faster theta waves are emitted during meditation and beta waves (the fastest) are emitted when we are problem solving or focusing on particular tasks.
Sound waves that correspond to these four types of brain waves are generated when the sound healing practitioner strikes specific bowls. For example, the sound healer uses instruments that produce vibrations corresponding to the brain’s theta waves (4-8 hertz) to induce the positive feelings and healing experienced during meditation.
Balance the brain’s left and right hemispheres
The left and right sides of the brain are very different. The left side of the brain is associated with logic and problem solving. The right side of the brain is associated with creativity. In most people, the right or left side of the brain is dominant. Sound healing works on both sides of the brain to develop areas where we might be weak and improve communication between the hemispheres.
Benefits of Sound Therapy
Some of the most common benefits of sound therapy are:
Triggers the relaxation response
Reduces blood pressure
Alleviates symptoms of chronic stress
Releases and harmonizes the mind, body and spirit
Types of sound healing experiences
There are both private and group sound healing experiences.
Private sound healing sessions
Typically, these are tailored to one’s individual needs. The sound healing practitioner starts the session with an intake form and discussion of the client’s expectations for the session. Thus, the session becomes a joint effort towards wellness and the recipient is as much as a participant in the healing as the facilitator.
Nicole Zornitzer, Niyama’s Founder, is a Certified Diploma Level 2 Integral Sound Therapy Facilitator. She graduated from the renowned Sound Healing Academy. If you would like to book a private sound healing session with her, please click here.
Group sound healing sessions
Group sound healing sessions are commonly called “Soundbaths.” During a group experience many instruments are played to bring a sense of relaxation, meditation and wellness to the group.
Sound Therapy is one of the fastest growing forms of healing in the United States. They are excellent for those new to yoga. They can experience the profound states of bliss generated by a traditional asana practice with little to no prior experience on the yoga mat. Click here to book a soundbath.