What is Sound Therapy?

Is there a habit of thinking or behaving that is holding you back from being your best self? such habits can go back to earliest childhood and are so familiar; they may not be recognised as negative. Many people are held back by limiting habits of belief, which adversely affect their mental and/or physical health.

Natural frequencies in the client will respond to the same frequencies in the gong, drum, tuning fork or crystal bowls that are played during a therapy session. Through sympathetic resonance and entrainment, the client's state of consciousness is altered; stress is reduced, chronic pain addressed and the immune system strengthened.

The non-rhythmic multitude of harmonics produced by sound therapy instruments are such that the brain cannot follow. Surrender to the process follows.

The Alpha brainwave state (8-12Hz: daydreaming and imagination) is quickly achieved. As the client relaxes, Theta follows (4-7 Hz: deep meditation and psychic awareness). Theta is an ideal level of consciousness for healing to occur.

The gong used as an instrument for sound therapy

The gong is a wonderful instrument for sound therapy work as it has so many harmonics.

All you have to do is lie comfortable and close your eyes and relax, The gongs are played very softly to begin with and after a while increasing volume slightly (the volume never get unbearable as they are played therapeutically) the playing technique changes frequently so there is no fixed rhythm this results in the brain not being able to follow and entrainment takes place, entrainment is the changing of brainwave frequencies (this is very much like what our ancestors Shamans would have done with their drums and rattles, they changed your brainwave frequencies to bring about healing).

Alpha brainwave state is achieved very quickly and is followed by the Theta brainwave state.

Alpha waves are defined as brainwave frequencies between 8 and 12 Hz. Daydreaming, imagination and associative thinking are all part of alpha brainwave activity. Alpha waves are present in states of relaxation.

Theta waves are defined as brainwave frequencies between 4 and 7 Hz. Theta waves occur during dreaming sleep - or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, although they also occur during deep meditation.

Theta brainwave frequencies is most often where the gongs will take you - even though you still feel present, you have entered a dreamlike, deep meditative state. Some people might enter the Delta brainwave state. (Deep sleep frequency) Theta is a good state of consciousness to be in for healing to occur as your mind is no longer getting in the way and this allows your body to heal on a deeper level.

The gong can be used for the treatment of one person or up to thirty people or more; infact the gong works really well in a group environment.

The gong has been in existence for thousands of years, No one really knows for sure the exact history of the gong. Some historians claim that Chinese gongs predate the second millennium BC. What is certain is that gongs were made and used during the first century; during an excavation in Wiltshire in the UK, a rimmed Roman gong was found and dated from the 1st or possibly 2nd century AD. The very beginning of the gong is believed to have originated from the start of the Bronze Age, possibly in India.

The gong was probably discovered by accident, perhaps as long as 6000 years ago and possible in the following way. During the agricultural age when wheat had been discovered to be a good food source to feed tribes of people and was widely grown, the wheat was ground up and made into flour and very large ovens were carved out of huge rocks with a fire in the base to bake bread. It is believed that as these ovens were getting larger and hotter over time, minerals would run out of the rocks. At first tin formed a molten pool on the oven floor and later as the temperature rose, copper appeared. As these two metals combined together, bronze was created and when the oven cooled the circle of hardened metal in the bottom of the oven was the creation of the gong and this could have been the start of the Bronze Age.
In ancient times and today, the gong is used to start sumo wrestling contests.

Some gongs are loud enough to be heard from many miles away, and were used to signal workers in from the fields. In Asian cultures, the gong is an important part of celebrations, births, weddings and funeral ceremonies.

In the Buddhist culture, the gong is used today, as it was in the past, to start the beginning of meditation practice and to call group members to gather together.

Today, gongs are used in complementary therapy along with other instruments to entrain people to a theta brain wave state to promote healing.

The Drum for sound therapy

The Drum is an instrument that has been around since early human history and has always been used for sound therapy; Shamans from all cultures would have owned a drum and used it for the benefit and well being of their people.

One of the few things we know about our universe is that everything in it is vibrating, and is in motion and has rhythm. We are surrounded in a world of rhythm. When giant meteorites crash into the planet with great force, the earth vibrates like a drum and shamans the world over know that the drum is "The Great Spirit's favourite instrument.

The drum is the most ancient instrument in the world, dating back tens of thousands of years. It has been used within healing work, ritual & ceremony, rites of passage, clairvoyance, divination, celebration and for moving between the worlds. More than any other instrument, it gives us a powerful link with our tribal past.

Since earliest times, drums have been used not only for music, but for their consciousness-altering ability. Shamanic drumming slows down the brain waves, so that the client can 'journey' from the present to other levels of consciousness. A 'sonic drum massage' (where the individual client relaxes to the powerful resonance of an all-over drum treatment) can help with stress and chronic pain.

Tuning forks for sound therapy

'The intervals of the tuning forks create a sympathetic resonance with the quality of 'Sacred Sound' deep within us' John Beaulieu

Tuning forks in sound therapy have been found to be effective in clearing long-standing mental blocks – these are the habits of thinking and reacting that hold a person back from achieving his or her full potential.

As the powerful vibrations travel through the body, the body in turn responds with a harmonising and balancing energy of its own.

Even deaf people can benefit. The resonance of the tuning fork will travel through the body just as it does for a hearing person, and can be felt as a vibration.

Tuning forks resonate with our own energy bodies and bring us back in balance.

Resonance comes from the Latin verb resonare, meaning to "return to sound" we think of resonance in terms of a instruments such as bells which when struck continue to ring or resonate the original sound. Another type of resonance is called sympathetic resonance. This is when if we were to strike a tuning fork and hold up another tuning fork of the same frequency the second tuning fork will begin to sound or vibrate. Resonance can be understood as a merging created when energy moves back and forth between two or more bodies.

When we meet somebody special or do something just right, we experience resonance. The longer lasting and deeper the experience of resonance, the more ecstatic we become. Our language is filled with words that ring with the taste of resonance. "Being on the same wave length" describe a resonant experience.

Tuning forks are held lightly at the stem and are struck gently on a rubber block to create resonance, this is one tuning fork in each hand and are raised to the ears at the same time and held about one to two inches away from the ear for ten seconds or a minute and then the forks are swapped over from left to right and struck again and held to the ears for the same amount of time as before, each tuning fork has a different frequency so what happens is you will have one frequency in the left ear and another frequency in the right ear the brain recognises a third frequency that is the difference of the two other frequency combined this is recognised as Binaural beats or binaural tones which are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and earned greater public awareness in the late 20th century based on claims that binaural beats could help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. The effect on the brainwaves depends on the difference in frequencies of each tone, for example, if 300 Hz was played in one ear and 310 in the other, then the Binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz.

The brain produces a phenomenon resulting in low-frequency pulsations in the amplitude and sound localization of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject's ears, using stereo headphones. A beating tone will be perceived, as if the two tones mixed naturally, out of the brain. The frequencies of the tones must be below 1,000 hertz for the beating to be noticeable. The difference between the two frequencies must be small (less than or equal to 30 Hz) for the effect to occur; otherwise, the two tones will be heard separately and no beat will be perceived. Binaural beats are of interest to neurophysiologists investigating the sense of hearing.

Binaural beats reportedly influence the brain in more subtle ways through the entrainment of brainwaves and have been claimed to reduce anxiety and provide other health benefits such as control over pain.

The human voice for sound therapy.

Holistic Voice Therapy

Holistic Voice Therapy is a unique form of sound therapy, which uses vibration of the voice to encourage our own healing process. Because we are largely made of water, sound passes through us successfully. The vibration we choose to create with our own voice can literally affect us at a cellular level. There are two types of treatment available for this type of sound therapy.

Active Treatments

The client explores their state of being through their own voice, with focussed support from the therapist.

Passive Treatments

The client relaxes to the therapist's voice, which tones to redress their chakra imbalances.

Music for use in sound therapy.

Hemi-Sync is a trademarked brand name for a patented processused to create audio patterns containing binaural beats, which are commercialized in the form of audio CDs. Interstate Industries Inc., created by Hemi-Sync founder Robert Monroe, is the owner of the Hemi-Sync technology.

Hemi-Sync is short for Hemispheric Synchronization, also known as brainwave synchronization. Monroe indicated that the technique synchronizes the two hemispheres of one's brain, thereby creating a 'frequency-following response' designed to evoke certain effects. Hemi-Sync has been used for many purposes, including relaxation and sleep induction, learning and memory aids, helping those with physical and mental difficulties, and reaching altered states of consciousness through the use of sound.

The technique involves using sound waves to entrain brain waves. Wearing headphones, Monroe claimed that brains respond by producing a third sound (called binaural beats) that encouraged various brainwave activity changes.

Replicated, double-blind, randomised trials on anesthetised patients have found Hemi-Sync effective as a partial replacement for fentanyl during surgery. A similar study found it ineffective at replacing propofol however.

The Crystal singing bowl for use in sound therapy.

The quartz crystal bowl is one of a number of vibrational healing tools available for use in sound therapy. As with ancient Tibetan singing bowls and bells, it can be used to balance the physical energies and to harmonize body, mind, and spirit. Many scientists, musicians, doctors and health practitioners are finding that quartz crystal bowls create a sacred spiral energy which can be used for healing and strengthening, calming the mind and improving meditation experiences, balancing the human energy system, cleansing the auric field, awakening creativity, creating or bonding relationships, manifesting abundance, and expanding consciousness.

Quartz crystal bowls come in various sizes, each with their own primary tone and effect on your subtle energies. We invite you to experience the tremendous effects upon your body and consciousness. Let the sacred vibrations echo throughout you... naturally aiding you to be the best you can be.

The above is just a small number of tools that can be used for sound therapy work.