What is Sound Healing?

March 03, 2023


Everything has a vibrational frequency, especially us humans! It's no surprise that sound frequencies impact how we feel throughout our daily lives. This concept is why certain songs and styles of music usually evoke specific emotions; depending on our mood, we gravitate towards different styles of music. Sound healing is most easily explained as a modality that works with our many subtle frequencies. This ancient therapy employs tonal frequencies to put the body into vibratory harmony and balance.

For thousands of years, many civilizations have used sound as a therapeutic aid. Whether through the use of 18th-century Sanskrit mantras, Icaros (medicine songs) of various Indigenous peoples from South and Central America, or Pythagoras' use of interval and frequency, all of these approaches have the same goal: to bring us from a state of imbalance to one of balance.

How Does Sound Healing Affect the Brain?

If you have never experienced a sound healing session, it feels like a meditative, relaxing, acoustic inner journey. When you attend a sound healing session, also known as a sound bath, you'll usually lie on the floor or a yoga mat, possibly cuddle up with a cozy blanket and listen as a practitioner plays a variety of instruments while you "bathe" in the soothing sounds and vibrations. The sound frequencies then slow brain waves to a profoundly calm state, activating the body's self-healing system.

Sound baths use entrainment to assist and guide shifts in our brainwave state, synchronizing our erratic brainwaves by supplying a stable frequency to which the brainwave can attune. Bathing in frequency allows us to shift from our standard beta state (ordinary waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness) and even theta (meditative state) and delta (sleep, where deep internal healing can happen).

This same concept is used in meditation by consciously regulating the breath, but instead is achieved with sound.

"The body is held together by sound. The presence of disease indicates that some of the sounds have gone out of tune."

– Deepak Chopra

How Does Sound Healing Work, On An Energetic Level?

Human bodies contain 75% water. Water is a strong conductor of vibrations, as you may know from a science class. Sound healers utilize instruments that vibrate at specific frequencies when struck, such as gongs, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, crystal bowls, and even glasses. These frequencies found in the instruments are associated with specific emotions and energetic centers in the body.

Many people do not want to feel sadness or other difficult emotions, so they shut their heart chakra (energy center) rather than fully feeling the complex feelings associated with the heart: receiving and giving love, self-worth, etc. When a sound healer hits the heart-attuned bowl, the frequency of the bowl opens the heart chakra and facilitates deep healing. By opening the different energy centers, repressed emotions can be released.

What is the Energetic Body?

Our energy body is our "subtle body." The subtle body is the location of our life force energy, also known as Qi, Chi, or prana. Meridian points are utilized in Chinese medicine to identify regions where energy flow in our physical and subtle bodies is blocked. Hundreds of meridian lines are mapped throughout our body, similar to how we have mapped out the Earth's latitude and longitude.

The subtle body retains imbalances and traumas that might ultimately appear in our physical bodies if not dealt with, which is why it's crucial to consider healing and balance as a holistic experience that equally involves mind, body, and spirit.

What Instruments Are Used for Sound Healing?

The instruments most commonly used in sound healing sessions includecrystal bowls, crystal chalice grails, gongs, Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, and drums. Another common instrument used during many sound healing sessions is one you might not expect: the voice. Vocal toning is a powerful addition to any sound bath, and many experienced practitioners notice profound healing after using the power of their voice.

Each instrument serves a different purpose. Some instruments open up the energetic centers, while others clear out stagnant energy and bring healing. Crystal bowls are commonly tuned to the seven energetic body chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. The gong is claimed to help relieve stress and activate the glandular and neurological systems.

Although sound healing has become quite popular recently, it is an ancient therapeutic practice. It is said that every ancient culture on Earth had some sound therapy, from vocal chanting to instruments like Tibetan singing bowls, shamanic drums, beautiful wooden flutes, and many others. Sound healing is claimed to have originated 40,000 years ago when indigenous Australians utilized ancient didgeridoos for healing. 

What is Vocal Toning?

This method of sound therapy uses a single constant tone to balance your cells and unblock your energy channels. Vocal toning is intuitive; it comes effortlessly to us, like exhaling a relieved sigh. This innate understanding is why numerous societies throughout history have used vocal toning, from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to indigenous tribes.

Of course, there's a good reason for this. The voice is a one-of-one unique instrument. A practitioner can intuitively tune into the energy of the group or client and create notes and melodies to work specifically with the client's needs. 

Vocal toning frequently uses seven vowel-based tones, each corresponding to a different chakra or region of the body. A particular sound helps the practitioner access a specific area of the energetic body and begin healing it. An "ah" tone, for example, travels to the heart chakra, but an "ee" tone travels to the crown chakra (top of the head).

Who Can Benefit From Sound Healing?

Short answer: everyone and anyone who is open to it! Sound healing is a truly infinite modality that is widely accessible. The only pre-requisite is having an open mind to experience the healing possibilities. 

More specifically, using sound as therapy can provide results for a variety of issues, including:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling weighed down
  • Depression
  • Feeling "stuck"
  • Stress management
  • PTSD
  • Pain management

Where Do I Start With Sound Healing?

Luckily, sound healing is rapidly growing in popularity and accessibility. If you are looking to attend your first sound bath, simply searching on the schedule of your local spiritual center (yoga studios, zen centers, retreat spaces) will likely point you in the right direction. 

You don’t need to wait for a professional to begin, though! Sound healing is a very intuitive practice that can be learned through dedication and curiosity. If you want to try out sound healing instruments at home and practice this modality yourself, we recommend starting with chakra-tuned crystal sound bowls or chalices. 

Here atTribu Spirit, we believe in the power of sound and are proud to offer the highest-quality crystal sound instruments. Check out our beautiful collection of chakra-attuned sound chalices and bowls. 

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