Tiff B Music

How Sound Therapy Works

(The Sciencey Bit)

The Importance of Energy Balance

You are energy. Our life energy, known as Prana in Indian traditions and Chi in Chinese philosophy, needs to flow between our physical body and subtle energy bodies, or we become out of sync.

We have seven main energy centres in our body known as chakras (Sanskrit, meaning spinning wheels) connected by nadis, a network of channels through which energy flows around the body.

Our chakras can become blocked for many reasons, from stress to poor sleep. When this happens, imbalance and illness can occur in our physical, mental, emotional and subtle energy bodies.

Through the healing frequencies of sound and music, we can bring our chakras and whole being back in tune and feel healthy and grounded (see chakra energy chart).

How Do Sound Baths Work?

When we feel stressed or anxious, our sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” mode) kicks into overdrive, which can cause a rapid heart rate, irregular breathing and the release of harmful stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.

This makes us feel unbalanced on an emotional level and can harm us on a physical level.

The therapeutic instruments used in a Sound Therapy experience produce complex harmonic frequencies that trigger the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest” mode). They also help your brainwaves sync with and mirror the relaxing sound frequencies.

This ability of one frequency to change another is called entrainment.

Similar to entrainment is the phenomenon of sympathetic resonance. Everything in the Universe vibrates at its own natural frequency, and we call this resonance. When an external vibratory energy (physical or non-physical, such as sound waves) comes into contact with another object of similar frequency, it stimulates the object to vibrate at its natural frequency.

A classic example is if you pluck a string on a guitar the vibrations travel through the air and cause the identical string on a nearby guitar to vibrate. 

So, when we are exposed to vibrations from sounds selected for their known therapeutic frequencies, they help stimulate our brain, organs, and chakras to vibrate at their unique natural healing frequencies.

We’ve all met someone who felt draining to be around, right? This is their low energy vibrations trying their best to resonate with yours and suck away at your Chi. 

On the other hand, we all know someone who lights up our day and has an infectious aura about them.

Gotta love those good vibes – positive entrainment at its best!

Entrainment and resonance are key to how Sound Therapy has the potential to restore and reinvigorate us.

Through resonance, we can vibrate at our natural frequency of positivity, gratitude and love.

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Vocal Toning – Your Hidden Superpower

Vocal toning is where we use self-created sounds, such as humming and chants, as a type of resonant vibratory massage for our physical and energy bodies that help to restore.

Furthermore, we can direct these sounds to specific parts of the body, such as our heart centre, which can help us release stuck emotions and feel tranquil.

When we hum, in particular, the vibrations help to stimulate the vagus nerve, which triggers the calming parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in therapeutic effects for your organs, circulation, lymphatic system and more.

According to Jonathan and Andi Goldman in The Humming Effect: Sound Healing for Health and Happiness, humming also increases the flow of oxygen, nitric oxide and endorphins, improving the immune system and reducing stress hormones; the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Your voice is one of the best sound healing instruments on Earth.

And it doesn’t matter if you think you “can’t sing”. We can all hum, right? That’s all you need! There you have your very own healing superpower. Go team YOU.

Using an instrument, like the note of a singing bowl, to guide the voice makes it easy for anyone to try vocal toning. I typically like to use my heart or third-eye chakra tuned Singing bowls to help us hum along to at the start of a Sound bath. Doing this helps us relax and downshift into restoration mode.

Calming Frequencies

We measure sound frequencies in Hertz (Hz), the number of wave cycles per second. The audible range of human hearing is between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. But did you know we can hear only a narrow bandwidth of the gigantic spectrum of sounds playing around us? Dolphins, for example, can hear sounds from around 20 Hz to 160,000 Hz.

Even though we may not hear certain frequencies, we can feel them and benefit from their powerful effects.

So, just as food nourishes our physical body, there are sounds (audible and inaudible) that nourish our physical AND subtle energy bodies. Sound Baths can help restore the balance with sound frequencies we are deficient in.

As already mentioned, the frequencies you hear and feel from the instruments played in a Sound Healing journey change your brainwave patterns to a mix of frequencies that make you feel relaxed and peaceful. These include:

  • Alpha: 8 – 12 Hz (calm, relaxed, in the zone)
  • Theta: 3 – 7 Hz (peace, deep meditation, REM sleep, higher consciousness)

It’s worth noting that when we feel anxious, stressed out or highly strung; we are typically producing too many Beta brainwave frequencies (13 – 30 Hz).

The knock-on effect of too much Beta activity is shallow breathing and a fast heartbeat. Together, these factors create the perfect storm for imbalance and dis-ease.

With the help of Sound Therapy, you can restore a healthy mix of moderate Beta and increased Alpha and Theta brainwaves. Leaving you to ride the waves of calm and serenity.

Sound + Intention = Healing –
Jonathon Goldman

How Sounds Affect Water

Now you understand more of the ability of sound to restore balance from the inside out, here’s one final example of why sound affects us so powerfully.

Dr Masaru Emoto was a Japanese doctor who carried out pioneering research into water. He found that environment, sound and thoughts affect water’s molecular structure.

In his book The Hidden Messages in Water, Dr Emoto observed that frozen water forms beautiful geometric patterns when exposed to certain sounds, such as soothing classical music. In contrast, aggressive heavy metal music caused misshapen blob-like crystalline shapes.

(His photos of the water crystal images are verging on mind-blowing. I highly recommend you get a copy of his book and see for yourself.)

Dr Emoto also found positive human words such as ‘love’, ‘gratitude’, and even praying over water made it form beautiful crystal shapes. Conversely, negative human words such as “you fool” resulted in the same distorted shapes discordant music created.

Why is this study so significant to us?

Humans comprise around 75% water (90% in newborn babies), and sound travels 4 times faster in water. What this means is the sounds and intentions we surround ourselves with can negatively or positively affect the water we are made of – our true essence.

The sounds in a Sound Bath are all selected to positively align and uplift your mind, body, heart and Soul.

Can’t wait to see you there.

Namaste, friend.

Tiff xx

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– The 7 chakra energy centres of the subtle body –