How does sound therapy work?

Most people have experienced the way the right piece of music can deeply affect your emotions. It can make you cry, bring a smile to your face, or even get you pumped up for a five-mile run! Sound therapy is a more refined and targeted process, but it works from the same principle: that we have an innate connection to tone and rhythm.

Clients report that sound therapy can have results not unlike meditation – a clear mind and a sense of deep relaxation. It has been suggested that part of this effect may be connected to the physical response your body has to the sounds. In the same way that you might respond to a beat by clapping, tapping your foot, or dancing, your breathing and your heart rate can connect to the tones used and gradually slow down in sync with them, helping to induce an altered state of consciousness.

While various forms of sound therapy have existed for hundreds of years, the practice has gained more scientific attention in recent years as its popularity has grown. In a 2011 study on this process, one track, ‘Weightless’, composed by a group called Marconi Union with input from a team of sound therapists, was found to be so relaxing that one neuropsychologist strongly recommended never listening to it while driving!

In terms of what you can expect from a session, you may be familiar with the ‘singing bowls’ and gongs that are used in Tibetan meditation. Many therapists use these items but others may also use vocal techniques, such as chanting or holding sustained tones, tuning forks, or percussion instruments, depending on the specific therapy methods they have developed. You may also undergo the treatment in a bath or pool, as water amplifies sound.

Sound therapy is popular as a complementary tool to help deal with stress, anxiety and depression, and some clients also find it of use for physical issues such as pain alleviation. To find out if sound therapy could be beneficial for you, you can book a consultation with a therapist through our Directory.

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