Although sound baths have recently entered the mainstream, sound therapy practices have existed for thousands of years.
Despite how eccentric it appears, sound therapy is a wellness technique that has existed for thousands of years. Despite the name, sound baths don’t involve any water; practitioners put themselves in a relaxing state, surrounding themselves with sounds from instruments and human voices.
It’s very likely that you’ve been exposed to sound therapy at some point in your life, whether you were aware of it or not. A sound bath of sorts would be the relaxing soundtrack you listen to while getting a massage or when attending a yoga class.
“Sound Therapy has been used for thousands of years in many different cultures all with the same intention; to move us from a place of imbalance to balance,” yoga teacher and sound bath practitioner Puranshant Kaur told Virgin.com. “The sound stimulates our circulation and immune system, cleanses our energy meridians, and helps to release emotions stored in our body like anger, stress and trauma. Sound also balances both hemispheres of our brain, promoting deep relaxation.”
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Studies show that soothing music has positive effects on our systems, activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways. While no disease will be cured by listening to music, many symptoms like chronic pain, depression, anxiety and PTSD can be relieved when you help your body relax.
Sound baths differ depending on who’s conducting them, but most sessions last between 45-60 minutes, and can have different themes that fuel them. In conversation with The Huffington Post, sound bath facilitator Anne Bergstedt said that she chooses a positive theme to center people throughout her sessions.
“The sound stimulates our circulation and immune system, cleanses our energy meridians, and helps to release emotions stored in our body like anger, stress and trauma. Sound also balances both hemispheres of our brain, promoting deep relaxation,” explains the article.
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People’s experiences are varied, with most entering a deep state of relaxation. Others have more intense responses, such as tears, bursts of creativity or falling into a deep sleep.
While the term sound bath might sound a little funny, it’s a practice that provides similar effects to meditation. Strangers to it might find the whole thing puzzling, but the overall results tend to speak for themselves.