Updated: Mar 2
You’re here, at your first sound bath experience.
Let’s set the scene: you walk into a yoga studio to find different size bowls made out of quartz crystal set up in the front or center of the room.
Yoga mats are laid out in circles around the bowls.
People are sprawled out on their mats with anything that’s going to make them the most comfortable.They have: warm blankets, pillows under their heads, fuzzy socks, eye pillows, you name it.
Then… the lights begin to dim.
Everyone begins to nestle into their space and quiet themselves.
Your eyes start to flutter closed, and your breathing starts to get heavy.
You might eventually hear the subtle snores of your neighbor — don’t fret, all excess noise will be drowned out shortly.
And then for the next hour you’re transported to a different world — all without actually leaving your mat… and that’s when the real magic happens.
Let’s take this journey together. We’ll take a look at the breakdown of a sound bath: what it is, how it seems to transform your internal state, what its benefits are, and where you can find one near you to begin immersing yourself in this ancient healing practice.
What is a sound bath?
At its core, a sound bath is a style of meditation that uses the power of sound to promote a deeper sense of relaxation and healing.
What types of sounds?
Think along the lines of crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, or tuning forks.
Sound healing is dated back to the times of ancient India and even earlier.5 They’ve been used by indigenous people around the globe with the intention of providing healing, aiding in sleep and digestion, among other benefits.
How does it work?
Just like everything in our universe, sound is an element that’s always producing its own frequency or vibration. And whether you’ve realized it before or not, your brain is doing a similar thing — producing different frequencies of brain waves all the time.
When your brain is exposed to the different frequencies of a sound healing (ie: crystal bowls), a process called entrainment begins to happen. That’s when your brain starts to synchronize its brain waves to the frequencies that it's exposed to.
Let’s break that down a little farther:
When you hear more than one frequency from the crystal bowls, you’ll notice that it feels like you’re hearing a different frequency in each ear.
While this is happening, your brain is trying to match those frequencies by changing its own frequencies (brain waves) to coincide with what it’s hearing.
When you’re in your day-to-day waking life, your brain is producing what’s called beta waves. Beta waves are the fastest moving brain waves and are associated with alertness, cognition, and concentration.3 But, when your beta wave levels increase too much, that’s when anxiety can begin to creep in.
By submerging yourself in the frequencies and vibrations from a sound bath, your brain begins to essentially “down-shift” itself from beta waves into alpha waves.
Alpha waves are slower brain waves than our waking-conscious brain waves and are similar to that of an idling car — waiting to respond when needed instead of constantly alert and revved up.6
As you sink deeper into the sound of the bowls, your brain will continue to slow its brain waves down from alpha waves, moving through theta waves and finally to delta waves — which is the state our brains are in when we’re in a deep sleep.
This is where the magic happens, because delta waves are where our body has the capacity to internally heal itself.1
Pretty freakin’ cool, right?
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe — think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
What are sound baths used for in terms of healing?
Besides providing a relaxing evening (or whatever time of day), sound baths are known to have immense healing potential.
With more up-and-coming studies of holistic health in the west, it’s become well known through research that sound baths decrease blood pressure and affect the human nervous system more than traditional meditation.2
Which, if you think about it, all you’re doing differently is adding the element of a specific sound(s).
Seems like a minimal added effort to maximize your benefits, doesn’t it?
At a glance, some other areas of this healing from sound baths could manifest as:2
Improved quality of sleep
Reduced fatigue and tension
Elevated feelings of spiritual-wellbeing
Decreased stress and anxiety
Reduced feelings of anger
Sound baths have the ability to reduce the physical pain in your body, too.
The changing states in brainwaves from the vibrations of the bowls allows your body to get out of its fight-or-flight state and into the rest and restore state of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Studies show that people who’ve never tried sound healing (or were quite naïve to it) actually felt more relief from their physical pain than those who have experienced it before.3 Meaning that this may be an incredibly beneficial, low-cost alternative to reducing pain for people who have never tried it before.
Where can I find a sound bath near me?
Copy-and-pasting that header into your google search bar is a great place to start. ;)
Just like meditation and other mindfulness practices, sound healing has been starting to take the United States by storm. More and more people have begun to educate themselves on mindfulness and holistic healing. Yoga studios, hotels, conference centers, among other establishments are beginning to utilize their space to host these miraculous sound baths.
I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry — there’s a Covid-approved way for you to submerge yourself in the transformational healing power of sound therapy if you don’t feel comfortable being in a public setting.
There is an (almost) endless array of sound bath content on the internet, and places such as YouTube or Alo Moves host tons of different facilitators and styles of sound baths.
Here at Sacred Moon, we offer our sound baths in correlation with every full moon. The potent energy from the moon adds an extra layer of positive energy. These sound healings are hosted in-studio and our space is large enough to accommodate any regulations regarding our current pandemic.
If you feel like you’re ready to try a sound bath, or this article stirred up your curiosity, we’d love to talk with you more about them. Feel free to send us an email or comment below this post — let’s keep the conversation going!