Sound Therapy: what is it and how does it function in everyday life?
By: Michaela Bekenn
PART 1: Sound as a Tool for Healing, Harmony, and Wellbeing
As a singer-songwriter and certified sound therapy practitioner, my work is centered around the power of sound and its impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic body.
Sound is an ancient form of medicine, used for centuries to support wellbeing and accompany various stages of life. In what ways can sound be therapeutic and why is the human body sensitive to sound? Certain frequencies have been proven to create lasting benefits when applied with intention, including reducing stress, soothing pain, releasing emotional stagnation, improving sleep, boosting immunity, and encouraging cellular rejuvenation. How does this research relate to your own life? Think of a time when music shifted the energy of a moment. Perhaps at a ceremony, a concert, or at home during this pandemic. How were you supported or affected by the sound in your environment? Sound can have both a subtle and monumental impact on one’s mood, physiological responses, and sense of connection with others.
If you tune in right now: what can you hear or what vibration can you feel? There is likely a symphony of sound surrounding you, which can easily be drowned out by the noise of thoughts. So take a moment, take a breath, maybe close your eyes and begin to listen in a deeper way. Perhaps you can sense the singing of birds, the movement of traffic, another human voice, or the low hum of a nearby appliance.
Many people think of music as being made exclusively by those who identify as musicians. Perhaps they even go as far as declaring, “I am not musical.” And yet, every human being is born with the innate gift of sound, vibration, and rhythm. The first thing that a child does when they arrive into the world is make sound through crying. Vibration is a primary mode of communication for the infant and parents alike. Secondly, each of us carries around an inner drum that sustains us at all times. You guessed it, the heart. From a musical perspective, the heart is like a metronome, a natural keeper of time. The heart helps all the other organs function in a cohesive and mutually rhythmic way.
Science proves that everything that is in motion has a vibration. Therefore, every tissue, bone, and cell in the human body emits its own unique vibration and frequency. The brain is part of this equation too! The neural pathways communicate by sending messages through small electrical pulses. Essentially, the human body is a living breathing symphony. Music is often defined as “organized sound” and the body is one of the most organized instruments out there! So if you still don’t believe that you are musical, linger a while longer.
When it comes to health and wellbeing, just as an instrument can go out of tune, so can the human body. When the body is functioning with mental, physical, and emotional equilibrium harmony is achieved. In an orchestra when one instrument is playing out of tune, something begins to sound “off,” which is called dissonance. The same is true for the human body. Inner dissonance occurs when a particular region is not functioning in balance with the whole. This disharmony can result in fatigue, pain, discomfort, and illness. Sound and the use of the voice can be a primary tool in helping to restore and preserve the natural state of harmony required for rejuvenation and healing. Think of it as re-tuning the body, mind, and spirit. When we look at the current research as well as personal accounts of the effects of sound on holistic health, it is not surprising that Albert Einstein predicted, “Medicine of the future will be the medicine of frequencies.” The field of sound therapy is ancient and yet there is still so much to uncover.
Keep an eye out for next week’s blog focused on the power of the voice and the many ways you can engage your inner instrument to ignite balance and harmony in your life.
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