What is a Sound Bath?
First off let us explain what exactly a Sound Bath is and what it does for your body. Sound Baths are an ancient form of deep meditation that includes various ambient sounds played by an instructor. Your instructor during a sound bath uses a variety of different traditional crystal bowls, gemstone bowls, cymbals, and gongs to create repetitive sounds. These sounds are notes at different frequencies that help enhance and guide you through your whole meditative experience. While most people lay down in savasana (a yoga pose where one lays flat on their back) on mats with pillows or blankets during the duration of the sound bath it is up to the particular individual on how they would like to practice their meditation. Here is what we believe to be the best seven benefits of sound baths.
#1: Heals your body by reducing stress and anxiety
The sounds created by the particular instruments used during a sound bath are meant to activate the alpha and theta brain waves which are associated with deep meditative and peaceful states. When one is able to access these brain states it develops a more conducive space for healing the body, heart, and respiratory rate.
Additionally, new research has been done on the benefits of binaural beats, which is when two tones at slightly different frequencies are played together, and its effects on anxiety levels and mood states. One study by Padmanabhan, Hildreth, & Laws found that binaural beat audio has the potential to decrease acute pre-operative anxiety while another study by Le Scouarnec et al. discovered that listening to binaural beat tapes in the delta and theta range may be beneficial in reducing mild anxiety.
#2: Impact the human nervous system and decrease blood pressure
One previous research, Landry, J.M., studied how Himalayan singing bowls, which use similar healing vibrations used in modern sound baths, in meditation practices could enhance certain physiological and psychological effects. This study measured blood pressure and heart rate before and after exposure to a Himalayan singing bowl meditation session and found that exposure enhanced both blood pressure and heart rate responses. Listening to the various vibrations and frequencies in a sound bath have potential to help restore and enhance one’s respiratory system.
#3: Helps tune out your thoughts and tune in your meditation
The healing sounds and vibrations created by the various instruments helps give you something else to focus on other than your thoughts which enhances and improves your meditation. While there have been multiple scientific studies proving the healing benefits of meditation it can sometimes be very difficult for individuals to completely clear out their mind and concentrate. However, by having the added benefit of different sound frequencies surrounding you during your meditation you can clear out your thoughts and focus your mind on the sounds and vibrations, making it easier for you to clear and reset your mind.
#4: Allows you to open up and reconnect with one’s self
Since this is a deep form of meditation, sound baths can allow one to completely reset their body and then reconnect with their own intentions. Much like regular meditation, sound baths have similar benefits of allowing one to free their mind of daily thoughts and nerves while also restoring their body and stimulating their mind to take on the next day. The healing sound instruments produce vibrations that help to promote not only the expansion of your consciousness but also your inner peace.
#5: Makes you more relaxed, balanced, and focused
The environment created in a sound bath class provides a soothing and safe space to relax and rest. Since you are lying in savasana, a comfortable and restorative pose, it allows your body to become more relaxed and balanced as well as helps to realign and connect your mind and body. This deep meditative process includes active breathwork and listening. Combining deep breathwork with the soothing sounds and healing vibrations from the collection of instruments completely envelops you into a relaxing experience where you can let your mind go, recharge, and then refocus in on your daily life after the session. Sound baths can be a great help for anyone who wants to hone into a moment of relaxation and meditation.
Where can you try your own sound bath?
Sound baths have become hugely popular over the last few years in western society. However, they are not always super accessible or affordable. Be Crystal Clear provides a calming space for anyone to join the Breathwork and Sound Bath classes taught by a variety of different teachers throughout the week. Each class guides students through a transformative experience for $25-$30 for a drop-in class. To learn more about Be Crystal Clear’s Breathwork and Sound Bath classes click HERE and get started on your way to receive, release, and relax your mind and body.
Sources: 1. I Tried a Sound Bath-Here’s What This Meditative Practice Is Really Like; 2. What to know about ‘sound baths,’ an ancient wellness practice gaining steam in the West; 3. A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre‐operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery; 4. A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre‐operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery; 5. Auditory Beat Stimulation and its Effects on Cognition and Mood States; 6. Physiological and psychological effects of a Himalayan singing bowl in meditation practice: a quantitative analysis; 7. What Is Sound Bath Meditation—and Will It Really Help You Relax?