Hello beautiful friends,
To be soothed by sound is the most beautiful thing. Have you ever felt the emotion and goosebumps from classical music? Noticed the imagination wander when listening to your favourite pieces of music? Truly felt the effect that music has on your body, we can dance, cry, smile, stomp and feel all sorts of emotions when listening to music.
So what is a sound bath? Is it music?
A sound bath isn't music, there may be a melody on a certain instrument, there may be a drum in part of the practice but it isn't a specific song or concert. It's a practice in which participants enjoy resting while being immersed in sound. Hence why it's called a sound bath, like immersing the body in water.
Sound baths can be a few instruments or many, they allow us to unravel the mind, release physical and mental tensions.
The practice of a sound bath is restful and not a physical practice with movement. We settle into a comfortable position (normally lying down), supported by cushions and blankets as if getting cosy for a goodnights sleep! Once we are comfortable you are guided into a deep relaxation, sometimes this is a body scan, it could be a visualisation, it could be a meditation with an intention or influences of yoga philosophy.
Within or after the guided relaxation you will hear sounds, this may be singing bowls or something to help the mind relax and find a sense of calm. This will then lead into a soundscape with varying instruments that literally bathe the body and mind in sound waves, the sound waves help to move the brain waves through different stages, much like our sleep cycles, so its very normal for us to feel as though we are falling asleep, aware and awake, dreaming and finding complete stillness and peace.
It's incredible to know that sound can have such an effect on the body, that by listening to different tones and frequencies it can help to release emotional stress, anxiety and aid deep relaxation. On a day to day basis in your waking state, all 5 types of brain waves are active at the same time. However, one particular brain wave will be dominant depending on the state of consciousness that you are in, this will be influenced from task to task, emotional states, activity and exercise, sleep and stress levels.
Sound baths allow us to 'activate' different brain waves, as mentioned above we have 5 different brain waves, gamma, beta, alpha, theta and delta. Through out our daily routines we are predominantly in the Beta state, with a sprinkle of Gamma and Alpha.
Our brain operates at the Beta frequency in our normal awake state. Beta waves occur when we are alert, concentrating and functioning in our day to day activities. It is the wavelength we use for focusing, critical conscious activities, reading, writing, completing work and socialisation.
Within the Alpha frequency we find ourselves a little softer in our focus, almost like a daydream or the moments before we drift off to sleep. Alpha waves induce feelings of calm, increase creativity, and enhance your ability to absorb new information. Meditating and practicing mindfulness are some of the ways to help prolong our ability to stay in an Alpha frequency.
Within a sound bath it works with the brain in a way that it can move into lower frequency rates, like alpha, theta and sometimes delta (if you fall asleep!). Because the body and brain are not asked to complete tasks, to interact or to soak up external information we simple rest and immerse ourselves in sound. Each instrument (specific singing bowls) have different frequencies and vibration, when these sound waves penetrate the brain it allows the body to move into a deeply restful state. When we allow the body and mind to rest it can repair, heal, process and release.
There are many benefits to a sound bath, studies found that they can help people reduce stress. Sound baths elicit the relaxation response, the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body calm down and recover from stress. The blood pressure lowers, heart rate lowers and the body goes into healing mode. The physical and mental effects on the body are profound, aiding in a calmer and more focused mind, reduced anxiety and a deeper sense of inner connection. It's a beautiful way to aid the body in healing, improving sleep and creating a more harmonious life!
If you would like to join a sound bath session I run them monthly on a Saturday & Sunday evening, just head to the 'classes & workshops' page and have a little look to see if anything resonates. You are openly invited to any of the sessions I run, whether you have experience or not.
Thank you for taking the time to read, I hope to see you soon,
All my love,