Good Vibrations: The Secrets Behind Sound Therapy

You know how the opening notes of your favorite song can instantly put a smile on your face? That’s because music can naturally boost your mood and keep stress at bay. But why stop there? An ancient practice called sound therapy uses noises like chanting, singing bowls, tuning forks and drums to improve a patient’s mental and physical condition.

How does sound therapy work?

Sound therapy is the ancient belief that vibrations from certain noises can relieve ailments ranging from common aches and pains (the vibrations are said to increase blood flow, which can ease muscle tension) to severe anxiety. “The body is nothing but frequencies,” said Kate Hart, founder of Therapeutic Sound & Wellness in Berkley, Michigan. “When it’s out of tune with itself, we can become ill. By using a specific kind of sound, which is what we specialize in through harmonics and human voice, it replaces the disrupted frequency.”

Leesa Hansknecht, a wellness coach at Verdurous Me in Wixom, Michigan explains the connection this way: “Our bodies run on certain vibrations, from the beat of our heart to the vibrations when we talk, and we use sound therapy to get those into alignment.” While there isn’t a lot of scientific research to back up the health claims, some people who practice it believe the effects can be long-lasting. “We’ve had cancer patients come in for sound therapy and feel less pain in their bodies for several days or even weeks afterwards,” says Julia Briest, co-owner of Compassion Wellness Center in Clawson.

Who should try sound therapy?

Sound therapy is truly for anyone, but people suffering from the following may really benefit from the rejuvenating sessions:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress management
  • PTSD
  • Muscle tension
  • Fibromyalgia

Because of the direct impact the vibrations have on the body, pregnant women or those with pacemakers shouldn’t practice sound therapy.

”The body is nothing but frequencies. When it’s out of tune with itself, we can become ill.”

Where can you do it?

Sound therapy sessions are often done in private or group settings, like the ones at Verdurous Me and Therapeutic Sound & Wellness. For a more unique experience, Compassion Wellness Center has a Sound Bath Experience Dome, equipped with 30 hammocks for guests to have a full relaxation experience. They’re taking the dome around the state (find an event near you!).

Photo credit: Matt and Julia Briest

Video credit: Kate Hart

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