Apart from the theoretical studies that books and researches offer us, let us go simple and more practical. After a terrible hectic day, when we return from college or office, we wish to take a nap or lay down quite. More specifically, if we listen to some music it calms our mind and we attain a peaceful state. This is what we mean by sound therapy in a very practical sense. For centuries around, sound therapy existed as the method of treating patients with the help of sound, but even though it has been touted as a ‘New Age Phenomenon’. We have all heard about sound therapy, and most of the world’s greatest musicians admit the power that music and sound have in helping to heal the mind and the body. English playwright and poet, William Congreve, has been quoted as saying: “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
If we get to define what is sound therapy, it can be like the clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a qualified professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. This therapy is said to be directly linked to the release of hormones and other factors, including the so-called harmonic factor. It is said to affect the physiologic parameters, including breathing and heart rate, blood pressure and neuromuscular tone, and is supposedly useful in Alzheimer’s disease, hospice environments for the terminally ill, childbirth, dentistry and psychotherapy. Some sound therapists use handheld devices to apply sounds directly to the body surface, a practice of questionable efficacy.
The physics of sound plays an important role in how sound healing benefits us. Indeed, different sound vibrations interact with our physical and energetic bodies in different ways. It can be used for deep relaxation and also inspiring motivation. The songs and their respective lyrics act very much like personal affirmations as we feel some songs with influential lyrics. Sometimes, even though we might not comprehend the actual inner meaning of some songs, our mind picks up the melody and then we start repeating some specific lines to ourselves again and again. Many thinks, whether it actually works out or not, or if yes, how? Actually the songs, specially the melodies we are fond of stimulates our brain when we start hearing them. Many are fond of the classical music or band songs which use to restore the ears and stimulate the brain. This kind of therapy excites the ear by presenting it with constantly alternating sounds of high and low tone. This in turn exercises the middle ear muscles and stimulates the receptor cells in the inner ear. As the ear becomes open and receptive to high frequency sounds these are then passed on to the brain. The brain is recharged by means of sound, releasing latent vitality, obliterating tiredness, lessening the need for sleep, and inducing a permanent state of peace and relaxation.
The most wide-spread result that is got through sound healing is stress-reduction. Stress is known to be the fundamental cause of many physical conditions, and it melts away with ease when you are bathed in a sea of sound healing vibrations. It is also reported that there are many people who have also recovered from life-threatening diseases such as Cancer and AIDS through sound healing therapy. In actual, it is so effective because it influences our emotional as well as our physical state. As our emotional problems are healed up, automatically we feel our bodily freshness. Sound and emotions are deeply connected and the human emotions have their instant expression through sound, for example, we cry out when we get some kind of hurt. It is often the repression of the sound of the emotions that creates emotional blockages. Equally, sound can also be used to unlock the blocked emotions and release them with grace. The sound vibrations are typically produced by sound healing instruments, deemed so by their unique characteristics to produce pure sounds, rich in overtones and harmonics, that interact in a positive way with our physical body, emotions, and subtle energy fields. Though, any sound from any source that is created with intention will have therapeutic benefits. In a typical sound massage healing session, you will be bathed in a sea of relaxing and soothing sound healing frequencies that will melt away stress and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. Each session is unique and the sounds are created in the moment through intuitive listening and higher guidance.
A study conducted in Thailand in 2012 stated that a type of audio therapy known as binaural beats has greatly reduce patient anxiety during cataract surgery, which is the most commonly found to be performed among middle aged and older people. Another study published in The Journal of Pain in 2011 reported that listening to catchy music can help reduce pain, particularly in people who have high levels of anxiety. The researchers found out the music helps ease distress by activating sensory pathways that themselves compete with the pain as the music forces us to think less about the pain!
Moreover, chanting a mantra like the syllable ‘Om’ is a long-practiced method of meditation, meant to help the mind stay focused and present. Now science is catching up, discovering the physical effects of such sounds. A 2011 study that examined Om chanting through analysis of MRI scans found that the practice deactivated regions of the brain involved with alertness and self awareness — when people chanted, they turned down their stress and stimulus receptors.