what is a sound bath?
Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Sound baths are a form of sound healing therapy in a group setting, but also a form of meditation practice.
It usually involves lying on the floor (on the mat), cuddled with a blanket/pillow (to create the ultimate comfort experience), and simply listening to the sounds produced by a sound therapist. The sound comes from various special instruments such as gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, and even the human voice itself. The music doesn’t have a catchy melody or rhythm like you would experience at a rock concert or symphony, but instead is a carefully selected wash of instruments with notable resonance and overtones.
It looks like guided meditation and a deep relaxation session, but it might be much more - helping to manage both - mental and physical conditions.
The sonic vibrations from the instruments bring a change in the brainwave activity. It shifts from a state of normal consciousness, known as beta waves, to a relaxed conscious state, or alpha waves, and even a meditative state, called theta waves.
Research has established that sound baths may be effective in managing general wellbeing, chronic stress and anxiety as well as physical pain or even high blood pressure.
If you want to get the most out of a sound bath, try to identify a clear goal before you begin. Your goal can be as simple as relieving stress. It may be to sort out a persistent issue that has been bothering you for weeks on end.
A sound bath session can also act as a way to flow the attention towards “one single point” in order to meditate.
Usually, it is an ultra-relaxing and pleasant experience; however, it might bring up to the surface some emotions or memories buried in the unconscious mind. Hopefully something you are ready to face now! Quite often it is a profound experience simply because it is one of the rare occasions where we spend an hour or so, consciously allowing the body and mind to let go and simply be present.
Not every sound bath looks the same - you will find that practitioners use different instruments in their sessions, as well as including a variety of other methods – such as guided meditation, hypnotherapy, chanting, energy healing (Reiki), etc.
After a sound bath session, allow yourself to notice any shifts you experienced during, after, and in the days to come. Most sound therapy facilitators are usually ready to guide and hold the space for you, if and when they can, even after the session.