Can you think of a song which had a powerful effect on your emotions? How about the sound of a car accident coming nearby – what would that do in your body? Do you feel a bit uneasy just thinking about that sound? It's clear that sound and music are powerful forces in our lives. Imagine what might be possible if you could harness that power to create a positive, healing reaction.
This is Sound Healing , a form of energy medicine or vibrational therapy designed to have a measurable effect on organs and tissues as well as brainwave activity which changes the way a person feet, functions and responses. It is also effective in the body to induce a state of calm, slow and regular breathing, lower blood pressure, alleviate pain, and reduce stress, all of which boost the function of the immune system. Sound can take your brain waves from active to alpha, as if you were meditating. The director of a Baltimore hospital coronary unit found that 30 minutes of classical music produced the same effect as 10 milligrams of Valium.
The Journal of Advanced Nursing reported that listening to music for one hour a day for one week reduced chronic pain by up to 21 percent, and depression by up to 25% in people with a range of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Premature infants exposed to music increased their rate rate 2.5 times, which allowed them to leave the hospital two weeks earlier than other premature babies, in research done by Jayne Standley, a leading music therapist from Florida State University. Mozart's music has been found to reduce the electrical activity associated with seizures in people with epilepsy. A leading New York oncologist uses Tibetan singing bowls and Hindu Sanskrit chanting to help cancer patients; in his book, “The Healing Power of Sound,” Dr. Mitchell Gaynor discusses the amazing results seen by integrating music, vocalization and meditation into patient care.
We know what a great health benefit it is to reduce stress, and using music and sound to help do this is a fun, powerful and effective way to enhance health and improve energy. In fact, sound and music can help you shift from one state of energy to another, from feeling tired and depressed, to feeling more calm, energetic and happier. Often, emotional and mental difficulties can also be resolved.
Hospitals and clinics today use sound to heal in a number of ways, from music in the waiting room, to ultrasound waves aimed at kidney stones to dissolve them. After WW II, the benefits of sound gained attention in the West when veterans in homes and hospitals responded extremely positively to visiting musicians. Today, hospitals are being constructed with music and sound as an integral part of the architecture, with different music for waiting areas, outpatient clinics and emergency rooms, and even in the operating rooms, all designed to aid patients in healing, and to rejuvenate and support staff.
Sound healing is based on vibrational frequencies. Physics tells us that everything in the universe is made of energy which vibrates at its own unique speed or frequency. If a person is in pain or feels out of balance it may be because his or her subtle energy system is blocked in one or more areas, in addition to any physiological issues.
When parts of the body such as organs, muscles, and bones are vibrating at their normal frequency, a person is healthy. If a part is vibrating at a frequency which is not in harmony with a person, he or she is unhealthy. Using music, sound tools, technique and intention, the sound healer helps to release the pain, and asserts the person in healing by making changes in the unhealthy sound patterns found in a person who is ill or emotionally upset.
For example, someone with lower back pain may have dropped a muscle but is also feeling unsupported by those close to him or her. This pain, and even the thoughts about the pain, vibrate at a specific speed creating a sound; which may or may not be audible to human ears. The task of a sound healer is to match this specific frequency in order to release the pain. However, most sound healers would agree that this addresses only the physical issue. The person must also pursue healing on an emotional, mental and spiritual level so that the pain will not return shortly after the session.
Sound, even in its simplest form, such as a single tone sung at the proper frequency, can effect change in our bodies. Scientists believe this may be possible because our bodies are made up of about 80% water and water is a major conductor of sound. If sound helps the cellular activity move towards greater order, the body can do its own job much more more effectively. More complex music affects us on a mental and emotional level because it is acting on the nervous system, specifically, the parts of our brain responsible for emotion, memory and non-verbal communication.
Some researchers take this idea even further. Masuru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, has studied the effects of music, chants, thoughts and words (which technically have their own measurable vibrations) on the shape and pattern of water as it forms into crystals. Water in vials onto which the words “Thank You” have been placed creates a beautiful crystal, while the words “I hate you,” creates a dark, chaotic mess. The theory is that since humans are made up of mostly water, sounds, including the inaudible frequencies of words and thoughts have an effect on us, both positive and negative
This kind of work implies that using sound, and adding a positive intention doubles the positive effect of sound healing, and moves the person closer to a state of balance and health. There are many studies, formal and informal, which illustrate the effectiveness of using sound to create positive changes in body, mind and spirit, but a person only has to think of a song which strongly influenced his or her state of mind to demonstrate it.