Self-care Through Sound Healing

Michelle Martin
Sound Healing Managing work and personal stress while also attempting to find fulfillment has become the new American past-time. Meditation, yoga, and massage therapy are all excellent self-care tools. However, you may want to consider implementing a few lesser-known options into your holistic lifestyle. Practices such as sound healing have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and improve cognitive awareness. Numerous cultures over many centuries have utilized aspects of sound healing to evoke physical and mental well-being, including ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Japanese, Chinese and Australian Aborigines.

The use of sound as a healing modality can assist with “tuning” the mind and body to a balanced state. Stress creates disharmony in the form of anxiety, insomnia, allergies, food sensitivities or physical and emotional pain. Modern scientists have been studying alternative medicine, including vibration, music and laughter as tools to assist with healing. Music therapy has been explored and implemented by obstetricians, both during pregnancy and at the time of labor. Botanists have discovered plants use vibration to seek out water sources to assist with nourishing and sustaining life. Sound healing practices are an easy and enjoyable way to introduce self-care into your life, or enhance an existing holistic regimen.

Vibration
Holistic sound healing includes different sound modalities to assist with relieving stress and quieting the “noise” inside the mind. Tibetan singing bowls are widely used during meditation to assist with relaxation and to stimulate the immune system. Other percussion instruments include gongs, drums and tuning forks. Human vocal tones are also used through meditative chants and the practice of Tibetan Om (Aum) meditation. Each of these are based within the element of vibration and can assist with activating the body’s own healing properties.

Music
Sound healing through music has been common throughout history. Music has no socioeconomic, age, or culture barriers so it translates and inspires most people. Health benefits associated with music include decreased stress and anxiety, increased pain threshold, emotional expression, improved memory, communication and cognitive thinking. Health practitioners have been studying music for some time, and have discovered certain music can alleviate stress almost instantly, along with improving cognitive and creative thinking. The following list of modern and classical music has been studied and shown to significantly reduce stress and anxiety but also increase focus.

Modern (in no particular order)
1. Weightless, by Marconi Union
2. Electra, by Airstream
3. Watermark, by Enya
4. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix), by DJ Shah
5. We Can Fly by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

Classical (in no particular order)
1. Raindrops, by Chopin
2. Air on the G String, by JS Bach
3. Canzonetta Sull'aria, by Mozart
4. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, by Claude Debussy
5. Trois Gymnopedies, by Erik Satie

Laughter
Laughter for healing is a fairly new practice in comparison to 3,000 year old Eastern practices. However, modern healthcare studies have linked laughter to stress reduction and decreased blood pressure. Benefits of laughter are instant…and it doesn’t need to be genuine laughter. Although, that’s always something to strive for. Laughing releases endorphins and acts as a physical and emotional release, which helps our physical and mental health.

However you decide to move forward with your holistic health lifestyle, be curious and experiment with what works for you. These tools can assist with relieving the stress of personal growth and the sometimes painful circumstances which are unavoidable as you move through life. Take the time to continue searching for what will help you stay balanced. Implementing these self-care practices can assist you with improving your physical and mental health, along with enhancing your overall well-being.

Disclaimer: The information above is for informational purposes only and not an endorsement. It’s always advisable to contact a medical professional before undertaking any form of conventional or alternative treatment.

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Michelle MartinAs a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Michelle supports Cascade Centers' health and wellness initiatives through a holistic approach, and believes true well-being is based on bio-individuality. Along with supporting wellness initiatives, she is part of the account management team and assists with providing proactive service and solutions for clients and their employees. Michelle writes and speaks about holistic health related issues including sleep hygiene, sugar addiction, forgiveness and mindfulness. For more health information and wellness inspiration, you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook @sohowellbeing.