Mental Health

What is sound therapy and what are the benefits?

Looking to learn more about sound therapy and how it can help you? Sound can have a profound effect on your body and mind, and different practices are becoming more mainstream in the wellness space.

From soothing sound baths to the classical music of the Bonny Method (more on this below), we explore different types of sound therapy. We also reveal the benefits it may have on your emotional and physical wellbeing.

What is sound therapy?

Sound therapy is a form of sensory therapy. It has been used for many years in ancient practices. Ancient Greek physicians believed musical instruments could aid digestion and help with sleep. Similarly, the ancient Egyptians thought musical incantations could heal the sick.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll probably be familiar with how music can affect your mood. An upbeat, happy track can energise you, whereas a slower song may make you feel more mellow or even sad.

Sound therapy covers a whole range of different techniques and treatments that aim to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing.

The British Academy of Sound Therapy says: ‘Sound Therapy uses sound, music and specialist instruments played in therapeutic ways, combined with deep self-reflection techniques to improve health and wellbeing.’

Different types of sound therapy

There are a number of different types of sound therapy. These include:

  • Sound baths – a meditative experience where you are ‘bathed’ in sound waves, often using musical instruments such as a gong.

  • Guided meditation – chanting or repeating mantras during the practice.

  • The Bonny Method – a music-centred approach that uses classical music to explore personal growth, consciousness, and transformation.

  • Tuning Fork Therapy – uses calibrated metal tuning forks to apply specific vibrations to different parts of the body, which is believed to release tension.

What are the benefits?

Many experts think that sound therapy can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Participants may also find these sessions to be deeply relaxing and even rejuvenating. Research suggests that it may even help to improve your overall mood and wellbeing.

Some studies have also explored sound therapy as a treatment for tinnitus, a condition where you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. Tinnitus may be experienced during the menopause, linked to the rise and fall of hormone levels. While evidence suggests sound it may help alleviate symptoms, there is still a need for more research in this area.

How can you take part?

Many sessions are carried out with a practitioner, either in a group or solo setting.

It’s worth searching online for ‘sound therapy sessions near me’ to find local groups to you who offer different practices.

The format of your sessions can vary in length, style and what participants do during it. For example, you may have to sit or lie down on a comfortable yoga mat for a sound bath as it takes place, or you may actively take part with chanting or breathing exercises during a guided meditation.

You may feel overcome by emotion during the session, depending on the type. These may be both positive or negative emotions, similar to how you may respond to certain songs. Know that it is an entirely normal response, and talk to your practitioner if you have any concerns.

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